From State Director Minda McGonagle
Slow motion describes the pace of this year's legislative session in dealing with small business and most other issues.
Education is taking the spotlight with a wide gulf between what legislators and Gov. Susana Martinez deem important. Behind the scenes is the budget. Again, there are major differences between the legislative and administration priorities.
The slow pace may turn out to be a winning situation for members as multiple bills to raise minimum wage are in play. The most troubling is the return of proposals (Senate Joint Resolution 13 and House Joint Resolution 9) to have annual increases added to the state constitution. If either one passes both legislative chambers, it will then go straight to voters. Similar local initiatives have been successful at the ballot box. NFIB is working hard to thwart these joint resolutions and all other similar proposals.
Several bills to constrict or eliminate workers' compensation benefits where the use of drugs and alcohol are present (House Bills 113 and 290 and Senate Bill 211) are being debated again this year. There is not an expectation of success, because of the make-up of the committees they must go through, but there is always the possibility.
Net Operating Losses
Two legislative proposals (House Bill 234 and Senate Bill 156) would increase to up to 20 years the ability for sole proprietors, LLCs and corporations to carry over net operating losses (NOLs). Currently the state limits the carry over to five years.
On the health-care front, a new mandate is being proposed. Senate Bill 64 calls for obesity prevention, screening, treatment and weight reduction to be included as a core offering of any policy issued under the state's Health Care Purchasing Act.
Personal Income Tax
Finally, one more time, there is a proposal to increase personal income tax. House Bill 168 calls for increases on income over $100,000 from three-tenths of a percent to 1 percent over the current personal income tax rates.