State of New Mexico
House of Representatives
W. Ken Martinez, Speaker of the House
Rick Miera, House Majority Leader
Antonio “Moe” Maestas, House Majority Whip

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release – February 14, 2014                          

Contact:  Carla Aragón 505-986-4475

Carla.Aragon@nmlegis.gov

                              

 

Jobs Council Legislation Gets Unanimous Vote in House

House Bill 273a Creating Economic Development Grant Heads to the Senate

 

SANTA FE, NM – The pledge to create jobs in New Mexico has picked up steam in the House of Representatives.   House Bill 273a (Economic Development Grant & Program), an initiative put forth by the bipartisan interim Jobs Council, passed the House on a vote of 67-0.  HB 273a creates a grant program that allows the Economic Development Commission (EDC), which is attached to the Economic Development Department (EDD), to make grants to local economic development organizations.  The grants will be used to hire economic development professionals (up to 50% of the cost), and to report on job creation efforts and outcomes.  The program puts forth a state and local partnership to expand economic development and job creation capabilities.  HB 273a is sponsored by Speaker of the House, W. Ken Martinez (D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia-69) who is also Co-chair of the interim Legislative Jobs Council.

 

“Local economic development agencies are on the front lines trying to attract business and create economic base jobs,” says Speaker Martinez.  “This grant program will boost their efforts by helping them hire professional staff.  It also allows us the opportunity to collect data and coordinate efforts.  I’m thrilled to see the Jobs Council initiatives move forward.”

 

On the floor today, Speaker Martinez introduced Mark Lautman of Lautman Economic Architecture who facilitated the work of the Jobs Council, and noted physicists Dave Csintyan and Anatoliy Glushchenko from the “See the Change Foundation” in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The foundation has perfected middle school physics that is proving to flip student success.  The program, now in six school districts, is helping students advance four grade levels in one year.  Speaker Martinez is hoping to start a similar program in New Mexico.  He has co-sponsored Senate Bill 161 with Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen (D-Doña Ana-38) which establishes the Science Early Education Program as a five-year pilot project.  It would incorporate physics, computer programming, and chemistry into the sixth through eighth grade curricula.  SB 161 is in the Senate Finance Committee.  This is another of the initiatives brought forth by the Jobs Council.

 

New Mexico ranks last in job growth in the nation according to NMSU and the UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The state labor force grew less than 1% during the most recent 3-year period.   The Legislative Jobs Council has worked on a blueprint to change those statistics and create approximately 160,000 jobs in the next ten years.

 

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