- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez signed three bills Tuesday, including business friendly legislation to help boost New Mexico’s economy.

“Our ability to diversify our economy and improve our education system is only possible with a collaborative support of people like you, people with influence who can push for change,” Martinez told attendees at an Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce annual leadership conference.

She urged business leaders to help her move the state forward and offered her take on the legislative session.

Martinez critiqued the Senate majority in her half hour talk saying the public and the business community have a right to be disappointed with the lack of action in that chamber on key House priorities - which is GOP controlled for the first time in six decades. Democrats maintain their edge in the Senate.

“The Senate majority said they’d obstruct, delay and prevent floor votes (on) the things that are overwhelmingly important and supported by most New Mexicans,” she said.

She cited the failure of a right-to-work initiative, a bill to end social promotion of third graders, and a multi-million public works projects measure.

Despite acrimony during the session, Martinez said she was pleased with the House growing the Main Street investment fund, bolstering education and the state child welfare agency, and growing a state fund to attract businesses to $37.5 million.

Those items are part of a budget bill that the governor is expected to sign before a Friday deadline after which legislation that she does not act on will be “pocket vetoed.”

Martinez touted the state adding 16,000 jobs in the past year, the strongest growth since 2006, and doubling its exports to Mexico in the last year alone. The state now has the lowest tax burden on the manufacturing industry in the Western U.S., she said.

The three bills she signed include legislation:

- Making the hearing process for tax disputes independent, so taxpayers do not have to appear before the same agency that is billing them.

- Allowing the state to offer companies looking to relocate to New Mexico an economic development rate for their electric utilities.

- Providing predictability for businesses to prevent increases in workers’ compensation insurance costs for temporary disability benefits.

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