AFSCME Council 18

Press Release: Speak Up Union! Special Session = Danger for State Services Already Cut to the Bone

AFSCME Never Quits, and our VOICES count! ***Prepare for ACTION**  We must stand against CUTS, furloughs, or layoffs during Special Session.

AFSCME expects Governor Martinez will continue to hide from her failed policies during the special session to address $200 million budget shortfall. (see Senate Press Release below)

AFSCME knows that Governor Martinez will want everything on the table as far as cuts go, and she'll fight against fair taxes for the very rich or ending harmful tax loopholes for wealthy out-of-state corporations.

We know this could mean a battle against CUTS, Furloughs, or Layoffs. CLICK HERE to join our political action team. AFSCME will be ready to protect our careers and that means YOUR VOICE!

Please step up and be ready for action by signing up HERE. We must be prepared and vocal in our support for legislators support us, like Leader Michael Sanchez, who always advocates for public employees and services we provide.
Governor Martinez's failed policies of cutting taxes for the very rich and out of state corporations and not investing in vital public services has driven our state budget off a cliff.  Our State University system is weathering severe cuts. Vital services such has behavioral health and medicaid are being starved out. Public safety is being left behind and threatens to make our state less safe. People struggling with poverty have been systematically oppressed as the Martinez administration conspired to rob them of their food assistance.
This isn’t leadership, this is irresponsible and we all deserve better.

July 26, 2016

Contact: Isaac Padilla
Office: 505/986.4819

Senate Democrats Push Governor to Convene Emergency Special Session of Legislature to Fix State Budget; Caucus Rules Out Any Cuts to K-12 Public Education or Higher Ed

CLICK to read on website

(Santa Fe, NM) – Senate Democrats today called on Governor Susana Martinez to convene the New Mexico Legislature in an emergency special session to fix the quickly expanding budget deficit that has resulted from plummeting state revenues. A new report last week revealed that the State spent between $150 – $200 million more than it had budgeted in the fiscal year that just ended, and the year ahead looks even worse. Senate Democrats also vowed to oppose any proposal to cut public school classroom funds or higher education for universities or colleges in the course of addressing the budget crisis.

“The longer the Governor delays in calling back the Legislature to deal with this pressing crisis, the worse it is going to be for children, families and communities across New Mexico. It is irresponsible to think that we can continue to kick the can down the road. We are already spending money we do not have,” said Democratic Senate Majority Floor Leader, Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo and Valencia).

In response to Senate Democrats’ call last week for convening a special session of the State Legislature, House Republicans denied that the state is slipping into financial crisis, and rejected urgent action. According to a recent article, Republican legislative leaders and the administration have advised taking a deep breath:

‘“We need to be looking at it,” but once final numbers are in for the year just ended,’ likely at the end of August or early September. – Rep. Larry Larrañaga (R-Albuquerque), House Appropriations and Finance Committee Chairman [Albuquerque Journal, July 21st, 2016]

“The longer we wait, the bigger the hole we will have to fill. It appears the Administration and House Republicans are encouraging delay in dealing with the situation. Waiting until August or September will not change the fact that revenue has continued to decline. There isn’t any evidence to suggest that trend suddenly changed in June,” said Democratic Senate Whip, Michael Padilla (D-Bernalillo-14).

In recent days, however, diverse support for a special session of the Legislature to deal with the budget crisis has grown.  New Mexico’s Republican State Land Commissioner, Aubrey Dunn; State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg; Republican State Senator, Steve Neville, and the Albuquerque Journal editorial pages have all indicated that a meeting of the Legislature must occur sooner rather than later.

The state Constitution prohibits deficit spending and many believe both cuts and an increase in revenue will be required to resolve the current financial crisis. Senate Democrats remain committed to taking the necessary steps to balancing the budget but oppose any cuts to education.

“We will not support any cuts to K-12 or higher education,” Sen. Sanchez said. “We refuse to balance the budget on the backs of children and families who want their kids to be educated through high school and college. We ask House Republicans and the Governor to join us in that commitment.”

Falling tax revenues have put the State budget in crisis. Swift action by both the Executive and the Legislature is needed to avoid deficit spending for the continued operation of schools, prisons, public health care, public safety and other essential State services in the current 2017 Fiscal Year, which could see a shortfall of between $300 – $500 million.


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