Jobs and the Economy

The “Breaking Bad” Bill

In the 2013 Legislative Session, Rep. Maestas sponsored the “Breaking Bad” bill which sought to increase the Film Production Tax Credit for television productions or projects that shoot in New Mexico and employ New Mexicans. The bill was nicknamed the “Breaking Bad” bill because the popular series was interested in coming to New Mexico initially in part due to this favorable tax credit. At first, HB 379 was vetoed by the Governor. But Rep. Maestas was not deterred – he continued to work hard to reach a compromise with all parties to include the credit in a major tax reform package bill, HB 641, which was ultimately signed into law by the Governor. Rep. Maestas puts working families first while at the Legislature and uses his experience to strike a balance between competing interests and ultimately bring jobs to New Mexico.

For more information on these bills, see:

House Bill 379 in the 2013 Legislative Session

http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/13%20Regular/final/HB0379.pdf

 

House Bill 641 in the 2013 Legislative Session

http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/13%20Regular/final/HB0641.pdf

 

Economic Development Utility Rates Bill

In the 2014 Legislative Session, Rep. Maestas sponsored a bill that called for utility rates for certain customers certified by the state’s Economic Development Department to assist in job creation and additional investment in the state. This measure would help cities like Albuquerque attract major employers like Tesla by being able to offer competitive utility rates as an additional incentive to relocate to New Mexico. Unfortunately, this bill died at the end of this past session. Rep. Maestas plans to introduce this bill again in the 2015 session and to work with all stakeholders, like environmental advocates, energy companies, consumer and low-income advocates, to work out a good compromise to the bill.

For more information on this bill, see:

House Bill 289 in the 2014 Legislative Session

http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/14%20Regular/bills/house/HB0296.pdf

 

Commercial Real Estate Broker Lien Act

Rep. Maestas has been a big supporter of ensuring our real estate market in Albuquerque continues to grow and work efficiently. He carried legislation in the 2013 Legislative Session to help Commercial Real Estate Brokers ensure they get paid for the services they provide. That bill was HB 365, and it died before the end of the 2013 session. In the 2014 session, Rep. Maestas carried on the effort and sponsored House Bill 185 which created the Commercial Real Estate Broker Lien Act. This law permits a broker to place a lien upon commercial real estate or any interest in commercial real estate in the amount that the broker is due for licensed services connected with the leasing of commercial real estate. This could include brokerage fees and consulting fees if the broker is entitled to a stated fee or commission. Rep. Maestas worked hard to pass this law because he believes in the importance of making sure commercial brokers get paid for their work in helping to sell or lease commercial real estate. Albuquerque’s Westside has the potential to attract much more commercial activity, and brokers are at the forefront of making sure that vacant property is occupied by responsible businesses.

 

House Bill 365 in the 2013 Legislative Session

http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/13%20Regular/bills/house/HB0365.pdf

 

House Bill 185 in the 2014 Legislative Session

http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/14%20Regular/final/HB0185.pdf

 

Public Safety

Rep. Maestas is a member of several Standing Committees of the House, including the Judiciary Committee and the Voters & Elections Committee. He is also a member of several Interim Committees, including the Criminal Justice Reform Subcommittee, Legislative Council, Indian Affairs Committee and the Courts, Corrections & Justice Committee. Rep. Maestas has been passionate about justice and civil rights since his early days as a community organizer at El Centro de la Raza, a Seattle community-based civil rights organization. As a former prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney, he also believes strongly in criminal justice reform in New Mexico, including alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders and addressing the failed war on drugs.

Among the many bills he has sponsored are:

HB146 Sale of Methamphetamine Precursors in the 2013 Legislative Session

http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/13%20Regular/final/HB0146.pdf

Rep. Moe Maestas is concerned about the accessibility of certain products that are used to make methamphetamine. He sponsored HB146 in the 2013 Session, which restricted the per-person purchase amount of non-prescription ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to no more than 3.6 grams per day or no more than 9 grams per thirty day period. Nonprescription products containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine were also required to be kept behind the retailers counter. The bill also implemented a “real-time stop sale system” administered by the board of pharmacy, which was to be available to retailers free of charge beginning January 1, 2014. Rep. Maestas worked hard to pass this legislation and succeeded in getting it passed through the House and Senate, but it was vetoed by the Governor.

 

Albuquerque’s Westside Community

 

New Mexico Athletics

Orbit shows up at the roundhouse to support House bill 282.

HB 330 UNIFORM ATHLETE AGENTS ACT

In the 2008 session, this bill enacted the Uniform Athlete Agents Act to provide for the uniform registration, certification, and background check of sports agents seeking to represent student athletes who are or may be eligible to participate in intercollegiate sports. The Act was completed by the Uniform Law Commissioners in 2000, approved by the American Bar Association, supported by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and adopted by 38 states by the time New Mexico adopted it. The Act provides that an agent with the intent to induce a student to enter into an agency contract, who gives any false or misleading information or makes a false promise or representation, or who furnishes anything of value to the student athlete or to any other individual, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Responsibility for administering this Act is on the Secretary of State’s office.

HB 282 ALBUQUERQUE ISOTOPES LICENSE PLATE

In the 2013 session, this bill would have authorized the MVD to issue a special registration plate with a logo pursuant to indicating support for the Albuquerque Isotopes baseball team. The annual fee for the plate would be $35.00 in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fees. Despite being passed by both the House and the Senate, this bill was Pocket Vetoed by the Governor.

 

HM 10 “COACHES VS. CANCER & SUITS & SNEAKERS DAY”

In the 2014 session, this house memorial was meant to encourage coaches in New Mexico to wear sneakers with their game attire while coaching games and encouraged lawmakers and others to wear suits and sneakers to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. The memorial noted that more than ten thousand New Mexicans were newly diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and due to their diagnoses face many physical, emotional, financial and day-to-day challenges. The coaches versus cancer and suits and sneakers awareness nationwide effort unites coaches across the country in wearing sneakers with their suits while coaching games.

 

HM 93 NEW MEXICO MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER TEAM

In the 2014 session, House Memorial 93 asked that leaders explore the possibility of bringing Major League Soccer to New Mexico. The memorial requested that the governor lead a dialogue with representatives from various agencies including Finance and Administration, Economic Development and Tourism, along with the athletics community, the state’s chambers of commerce, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at UNM, business owners, and other stakeholders to explore the feasibility of building a soccer-specific stadium with the hope of establishing an MLS team here in the future.

 

Education

HB 1205  TEACHING OF FINANCIAL LITERACY IN SCHOOLS

In 2007, this bill provided that financial literacy be offered as an elective for high school students. Financial literacy has received notable attention since the passage of Title V of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACT Act) that established the Financial Literacy and Education Commission with the purpose of improving the financial literacy and education of people in the U.S. While financial literacy is a component of the Economics Strand of the New Mexico Social Studies Content Standards and is incorporated into the required semester economics graduation unit, the time given to this topic is limited and students might be better served with an option of having this elective available.

 

HM 73  MINORITY HEALTH-RELATED COLLEGE FACULTY

In the 2007 session, this memorial requested the UNM Health Sciences Center assess policies for recruitment, retention and tenure of Hispanic, Native American and other minority health related faculty at the state’s public colleges and universities. The memorial noted the study could help identify physicians, nurses and other public health professionals interested in academic medicine as well as existing faculty and medical students.

 

 

HB 342 PUBLIC SCHOOL MEDIA LITERACY CLASSES

Similar to the financial literacy bill, in the 2008 session, this bill permitted media literacy be offered as an elective for public school students in grades six through 12 beginning with the 2010-2011 school year.

 

HJR 13 MINIMUM LAND GRANT FUND BALANCE, CA      (failed in Senate)

In the 2013 session, House Joint Memorial 13 proposed a Constitutional Amendment calling for funding or early childhood education from the Land Grand Fund. The memorial called for an amendment to Article, XII, Section 7 of the State Constitution, which governs the distributions from the land grant permanent fund (LGPF). If approved by voters, the amendments to the constitution would make permanent the additional distribution of 0.5 percent of the five-year average of the year-end market value of the fund (currently scheduled to expire after FY16). Amendments would also create an additional distribution of 1.0 percent of the five-year average of the year-end market value of the fund to begin in FY16. This additional distribution was to be used for early childhood education nonsectarian services administered by the state for the benefit of children before they are eligible to attend kindergarten, as provided by law. While this joint memorial passed the House, it did not pass the Senate in 2013, and therefore, did not become law.