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Senate Democrats Roll Out Jobs Package

Touting their plan as “bigger and better” than Gov. Susana Martinez’s approach, Senate Democrats this morning unveiled a package of bills aimed at strengthening New Mexico’s economy.

The 11 pieces of legislation include tax credits for manufacturing and farms. One proposal would give businesses a tax credit of of up to $5,000 per year when they employ a graduate of any state university.

The so-called HIRE package (Helping Incentivize Real Employment) could emerge as an alternative to Martinez’s economic plan, which includes $55 million in tax breaks for small businesses and subcontractors as well as a proposed tax credit for companies that hire veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Martinez also wants to cut back on “tax pyramiding,” which occurs when taxes are levied multiple times on the same service or item.

Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, one of eight Senate Democrats who spoke at today’s news conference, said the governor’s approach isn’t broad enough and is tailored too specifically to benefit certain companies, such as Union Pacific.

“We think hers if frankly too small,” Keller said.