La Jicarita wants to thank all our loyal readers who contributed to our fundraiser in February. While we didn’t reach our goal, we value every penny that was sent. At least for now we will continue to cover as many stories and issues that our small staff and contributors can within the confines of our budget. We encourage submissions from journalists and writers on all subjects that are appropriate to La Jicarita and will always give careful consideration and provide editorial help.
Here’s the list of those who came through for us: David Bacon, Jim Faris, Thomas Guthrie, Bonnie Korman, Pat Simons, Karen Cohen, Robert Templeton, John Echerd, Marvin Mendelow, Sam Orr, Peter Arnold, Christine Ingram, John Reese, Adrienne Mathewson, Marlene Fahey, Jude Pardee, Carol Miller, S. and S. Piá Storytelling, Terri Rolland, Jennifer Richter, William Bradley, Richard Norman, Bruce Spencer, Vision Broadcast, Russell Woodward, Joe Ciddio, Sig Silber, Gerald Majer, Miep O’Brien, David and Lauren Alsup, Heather Nordquist, Anne Kass, and F. Chris Garcia (let us know if we missed anyone on this list). We also want to thank our other supporting members who contribute on a monthly basis.
There’s good news on several fronts. Three of the preemptive bills dealing with oil and gas regulations were tabled in the Senate Conservation Committee on Tuesday, March 10: SB 421, which would have given the state authority not only over oil, gas, and mining development but agriculture as well; SB 601, which gives the state Oil Conservation Division and Oil Conservation Commission authority to regulate oil and gas activities; and SB 184, which would have punished local governments from enacting any kind of regulations that increased costs to the extractive industry by 25 percent or more. The House, however, passed another bill, HB 366, which also gives the state Oil Conservation Division and Oil Conservation Commission authority to regulate oil and gas activities. This bill is now in the Senate Conservation Committee.
The bill to make New Mexico a so-called “Right to Work” state was also tabled. Here’s a statement from AFSCME on Facebook:
(SANTA FE, Mar. 10, 2015) – Legislation to make New Mexico a “Right to Work” state failed to pass out of the Senate Public Affairs committee on Tuesday night after HB75 and SB163 were tabled on a party line vote. Since the start of the session, labor and community members have been taking action together to speak out against the controversial proposal in public hearings, rallies, and community town halls across the state. This past Sunday, hundreds of New Mexico workers packed the Roundhouse and testified against “Right to Work” for the first SPAC meeting on “Right to Work” bills.
Senators spent nearly two hours of their meeting dedicated to the “Right to Work” bills, with Senators on both sides of the debate taking the opportunity to make impassioned arguments for and against the passage of the bills. Most notable, Senator Jacob Candelaria described “Right to Work” as a “cloud of rhetoric in search of solid ground.”
Working people in attendance at the committee meeting applauded the Senators who voted down the bill, as well as other elected officials who stood against “Right to Work” at all stages in the legislative process.
“We are so grateful to the Senators who helped to ensure the prosperity of New Mexico’s economy tonight by voting down terrible ‘Right to Work’ legislation. We also want to thank the Senators who protected the committee process and voted to stop the fast-tracking of HB75 on the Senate floor, as well as the House members who fought valiantly to oppose ‘Right to Work’ in their chamber,” said Brenda Watson, Librarian, AFSCME 477. “We look forward to all our elected officials working together toward solutions to benefit all of our state now that this distraction has been put to rest, and we will take action to protect against any Hail Mary moves to bring these dead bills back to life.”
“I’d like to thank the members of the Senate committee who voted against this attack on the working men and women of New Mexico. As a young man in the workforce, I strongly oppose legislation that would take away our voice and representation in the workplace,” said Casper Cly, a member of LIUNA.
Labor and community groups plan to continue working together to support a “Ready to Work” package of bills that focuses on improving the economy, creating good jobs and equipping schools with the necessary tools to prepare children to be part of a 21st century workforce.