2021 Victories from the First Session of the 55th New Mexico Legislature

Date: April 22, 2021

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. After it all, NFIB New Mexico accomplished some big victories for small business.

Stopped an Unemployment Insurance Tax Increase

New Mexico was already in debt to the federal government for loans to fill its Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund when the session opened, so a tax increase on an employer’s unemployment insurance obligation looked certain. Working in concert with other associations, however, NFIB helped persuade lawmakers that expending $300 million from general funds to shore up the state’s trust fund instead of hitting employers with a tax increase would be a better investment for the state’s economy and job creation.

Defeated Anti-Small-Business Legislation

Working overtime, NFIB helped defeat harmful bills that would have been detrimental to small business. 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.
Lessened Severity of New Paid Leave Law

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 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.

Supported Economic Recovery Legislation

NFIB lent its support to the following measures

  • 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 rent, lease, or mortgage.

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