NFIB helped stop some very harmful bills from passing while lessening the negative effects of others
The First Session of the 55th State Legislature of New Mexico adjourned March 20 and was followed by a one-day First Special Session on March 30, which adjourned March 31.
Given the extent of the economic crisis, the Legislature proposed and debated a mixed bag of proposals affecting the small business community. Several proposals included the promised COVID-19 relief and economic recovery supports, but other proposals included increasing the minimum wage, increasing taxes on small businesses, and creating onerous cookie-cutter employer mandates.
Ultimately, NFIB was able to help defeat some very bad proposals, lessen the effects of others, and move forward on much-needed COVID relief proposals to support the economic recovery of small businesses across the state.
Economic Recovery Legislation
- Senate Bill 1 – Creates a new, temporary gross receipts tax deduction for restaurants, bars, small breweries, wineries, and food trucks for the months of March 2021 through July 2021.
- Senate Bill 2 – Waives 2021 license fees for licenses issued pursuant to the Liquor Control Act.
- Senate Bill 3 – The Small Business Recovery and Stimulus Act makes available $500 million in low interest loans and increases the lending flexibility for New Mexico small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis and economic shutdown.
- House Bill 11 – Provides $200 million in grants to support New Mexico businesses that can be used to make current or back payments for a rent, lease, and mortgage.
- Unemployment Insurance – The Legislature appropriated $300 million to the Unemployment Insurance Compensation Trust Fund to pay back federal loans, rather than increasing rates for small businesses.
Anti-Small Business Legislation Defeated
Harmful bills that would have been detrimental to small business were stopped before passage, these included:
- Initiatives to impose a surtax on unemployment insurance for small businesses
- Proposals to increase the personal income tax, which is a direct tax on small business
- Legislation to mandate paid family and medical leave through an employer payroll tax
- Several bills to increase the gas tax
- Efforts to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour
- An attempt to make employees who test positive for COVID-19 presumptively compensated by workers’ compensation.
Made Less Worse
Thanks to the engagement of NFIB members, legislation imposing a new cookie-cutter, paid sick leave mandate will have a delayed effective date of July 1, 2022, allowing small businesses a chance to prepare for the new mandate.
Despite our best efforts, the Legislature passed and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation imposing a cookie-cutter approach to mandatory paid sick leave for all private employers. Through efforts of the small business community, the legislation’s effective date was delayed a year in recognition of the economic crisis and burden on small businesses.
NFIB thanks its members who shared their voice with our elected officials. Your impact was felt, and our advocacy efforts created an impact. Please continue to lend your voice to your elected officials thanking them for their service, reminding them of our disappointments, and looking forward to 2021.