Chamber Unveils its 2015 Legislative Package Following Approval by Board of Directors
After more than two-and-a-half months of preparation, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors today approved its 2015 Legislative Package. The approval came during the board’s regularly scheduled January meeting.
In the package, the Chamber issued legislative positions in areas ranging from the State and Capital FY16 Budgets, public education, economic development, tax policy, and public safety, to name a few. Please see the attached documents for a both a full narrative and a highlights card of the Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Package.
Terri Cole, President and CEO of the Chamber said in the meeting that several members of the organization’s leadership have worked for weeks with the Governor’s office, legislators and the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) to put its plan together. “Our goal in 2015 is to build on the solid foundation of success achieved in the last few years to improve New Mexico’s business climate and diversify our private sector economy,” she said.
The Chamber, which has consistently supported strong education initiatives for more than a decade, includes in its package, support for numerous education initiatives proposed by the Administration and LFC. Ending Social Promotion, increasing minimum Level 1 teachers’ salaries, suspending drivers’ licenses for habitually truant high school students as a means to improve attendance, and the acceleration of advancement track through licensure system for highly effective teachers. Cole, in her presentation to the board of directors, expressed her excitement that the Administration and the LFC are similarly aligned on almost all education bills that the Chamber is supporting.
The organization’s economic development support includes strong support for right-to-work. The Chamber maintains that employees should have the right to choose whether they want to pay union dues/fees or not and that it should not be a condition of employment. “We’ve been a proponent of right-to-work for many years and we’re bringing it back because we have a chance,” Cole said.
The Chamber also includes in its package, support for the Administration’s recommendation of $50M and LFC recommendation of $30 M to fund LEDA (closing fund).
“We are in alignment with any side of the issue that brings jobs,” said Sherman McCorkle, Vice Chair of Business Advocacy for the Chamber.