March 8, 2017

House passes measure to reinstate solar tax creditLas Cruces Sun News

A bipartisan measure that would reinstate a tax credit aimed at boosting roof-top solar installations in New Mexico has cleared one legislative chamber. The House voted 36-31 Monday evening in favor of the HB 61, which would renew the state's solar market development tax credit for another eight years. It would set a cap of $5 million for solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems. -- 3/8/2017


A hot race: NM works to beat out Colo. for 'chile' license plate -- Las Cruces Sun News

New Mexico legislators are racing against time — and Colorado — to have the first specialty license plate featuring chiles. House Bill 393 was amended to include an emergency clause to ensure that the plates are available to New Mexicans before being produced in neighboring Colorado. An emergency clause means that the bill will become effective immediately after it is signed by Gov. Susana Martinez. - - 3/8/17


NM lawmakers debate naming ‘official state dance’Las Cruces Sun News

New Mexico Senate Democrats are debating SB 449 to name an official state dance despite a deadline to pass more pressing bills. The Democratic-controlled Senate Rules Committee on Monday approved a measure to identify “La Marcha de los Novios” as the state’s official dance number. - - 3/8/17


Raising cigarette taxes will help classroomsLas Cruces Sun News

New Mexico has a unique opportunity to accomplish two important goals for our state by simply raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products. First, we can substantially strengthen our children’s classrooms, which have been hit with cuts worth tens of millions of dollars since 2008. Second, we can make sure that more than 11,000 additional kids never even become smokers, and more than 10,000 current adult smokers will quit, significantly lowering overall health costs. Senate Bill 231, would increase the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack, with an equivalent increase in other tobacco products including e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco. The tax on a pack of cigarettes would increase from $1.66 to $3.16. It will produce new revenues of $89 million annually for our state. -- 3/8/2017