COMMENTARY: As legislators, our job is to protect New Mexico’s people and grow our economy. We strive to provide all our children with excellent classrooms and exceptional teachers. Our top priorities are creating jobs and making economic development opportunities available to our homegrown New Mexico businesses. We are committed to ensuring that our communities are safe. We must provide good roads and clean water while encouraging broadband and clean power sources. New Mexicans should feel proud to live here.
Our shared responsibility requires that we – together – acknowledge that without reliable revenues to our state, we cannot meet our obligations. But there are no pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. Money doesn’t grow on state trees.
In short, without resources we will not succeed.
This year, Democrats in the Legislature said “ya basta” — “enough is enough” — to cutting still more from services that benefit children, grow jobs, and keep you safe. In the face of one of the biggest crises in state history, Democrats in the Legislature crafted a responsible, balanced budget that starts us down the road to recovery.
We protected funding for job creation programs. We restored funding to our schools. We provided emergency funding to our courts. We assured our local communities that we are ready to be their partner in creating neighborhoods and businesses where people can feel proud.
But something happened this year on our road to recovery. Our governor decided that government must continue to fail. She refuses to pay for the economic development and educational programs our state desperately needs. Instead of working on solutions, she is insisting on even more cuts to essential services and she is willing to lay off needed public workers and cut teachers’ pay.
Apparently the governor still thinks that her tax cuts and loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected will attract huge, out-of-state corporations. We have tried her approach for the last six years and are still waiting for jobs to come.
The result is clear: Asking those at the bottom to fund those at the top has simply failed; it has stopped us from growing communities that we are proud of. We all know this because we all see the lack of jobs, the increase in crime and the struggles of our public schools. Our kids are leaving the state and moving to places where they can find work.
We do not have to keep failing. It is clear that businesses will only start and grow here if we offer good schools, modern infrastructure (including broadband), and safe communities. Our kids should not have to leave the state to find good jobs, and we are working to turn that around.
If the governor insists on calling a special session, our message will be clear. Ya basta. We are going to fight for New Mexicans by standing against additional cuts. We are going to fight the governor’s failed policies. We are going to fight for our kids and our seniors. We are going to grow our locally-owned, locally operated businesses here at home. We are going to attract new businesses that matter, businesses that want to come to New Mexico because they want to be part of something great, something of which we all can be proud.
Ya basta! It’s time to fight!
This letter is signed by Democratic state Reps. Deborah Armstrong, Gail Chasey, Daymon Ely, Joanne Ferrary, Harry Garcia, Bealquin “Bill” Gomez, Wonda Johnson, Derrick Lente, Georgene Louis, Antonio “Moe” Maestas, Rodolpho “Rudy” Martinez, Javier Martínez, Bill McCamley, Matthew McQueen, Debbie Rodella, G. Andres Romero, Patricia Roybal Caballero, Angelica Rubio, Patricio Ruiloba, Tomas Salazar, Debra Sarinana, Nathan Small, Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson, Christine Trujillo and Linda Trujillo.