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Last updated 5:20PM ET
September 22, 2018
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
NM Governor calls for clean energy, tax cuts and increased school funding
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is calling for what he calls bold progress in the next legislative session.

Richardson outlined his agenda in his state of the state address yesterday.

KSUT's Joan Zwisler reports.

JOAN: If New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson pursues plans to become the president of the United States, his four-year term could be cut short.

But he said yesterday in his state of the state address

RICHARDSON: Regardless of any future political plans that I might have, my priority will be a successful legislative session.

JOAN: The legislative session began Tuesday in New Mexico.

Within the first 30 days, Richardson has a 4 part agenda.

At the top of it is addressing minimum wage.

RICHARDSON: let's restore dignity to a hard day's work let's raise the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour.

Richardson also wants more support for clean energy.

He's calling for New Mexico to become one of the first states in the nation to create a Renewable Energy Transmission Authority and export renewable energies like solar, wind and biomass.

He wants to require utility companies to produce 15% of their energy through renewable sources by 2015 and 25% by 2020.

He wants higher emission standards and he wants to give incentives for companies to build cleaner coal fired power plants.

And he wants to implement tax incentives for homes and offices to invest in energy efficiency.

The government should set the example.

RICHARDSON: we can and should become the first state in the country to use 100 percent renewable energy in government buildings.

He also proposed an increase in green school buildings.

Richardson's budget proposes increased school spending.

283 million dollars would help relieve overcrowding and modernize New Mexico's public schools.

He proposes a 7.4 percent raise in teacher salaries.

Richardson also wants to raise the drop out age from 17 to 18 years old.

The Governor's plan is calling for 123 million dollars in targeted tax cuts.

He wants to pass the Working Families tax credit, extend the personal income tax cut to more middle income New Mexicans, a 50 percent reduction in state income tax for retired military, and...

RICHARDSON: let's eliminate the state income tax for active duties of the military.

In his state of the state speech, Richardson called 2007 the year of water .

RICHARDSON: I propose a 3 part strategy focused on improving water availability, investing in innovation and conservation of our waterways and watersheds.

He calls for the creation of a New Mexico Office of Water Infrastructure to provide better coordination of efforts.

Among his other plans, Richardson said he wants to ban cockfighting, increase health care access, protect consumers from predatory lenders, and fund a state of the art Crime lab for law enforcement.

From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Joan Zwisler.
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