|AFSCME Council 18|
Gov. Martinez wants YOU to pay $1,000-$2,000--and no one else (Political Update #42)
Gov. Martinez gave her state of the state address today, and while there were some positive general statements, the overall message was a big disappointment.
Let's first find common ground: Gov. Martinez claims she wants to find bipartisan solutions to our budget problems. She also said good things about some of our members--mostly those who work in public safety, including those in CYFD and the Department of Corrections.
Talk is nice, and we agree that those who work for the state, who are already understaffed and underpaid, deserve our respect, thanks, and support. While Gov. Martinez gave respect and thanks, it's on the support issue--changing talk into action--that we need to move her.
She still plans to ask for YOU--everyone reading this who works for the state or for a university, or for public schools, to take a 3.5% pay cut to balance the budget. And nobody else. Her budget has even MORE corporate tax cuts coming next year, and it protects loopholes for Wall Street gamblers and out-of-state corporations.
So while everyone likes a nice compliment, not many of us would take a compliment if it was backed up with "hey, now fork over $2,000--each of you and your families--to pay for Wall Street loopholes."
People who make their money in the stock market pay HALF of what you do in personal income tax. And she's asking you to fork over thousands of dollars? Every year? That's not just wrong, it's hypocritical for someone who says she cares about our public safety and other workers.
The good news is that your union is already at the Roundhouse talking to both Democrats and Republicans, asking them to fix the budget by ending special loopholes for the rich and powerful instead of taking money out of your paycheck.
The better news is that legislators in both the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans alike, have told us they don't like Gov. Martinez' plan to take over a hundred million dollars out of the pockets of hard-working New Mexico families to shield special breaks and giveaways for big, rich corporate CEOs and Wall Street gamblers.
If the prospect of losing thousands of dollars a year from your paycheck isn't enough to make your blood boil--especially when you pay TWICE as much in taxes as Wall Street rich kids, we don't know what is.
We can win this battle. The press (except maybe the Albuquerque Journal), is on our side. Legislators in both parties are on our side. Your families, your neighbors, your friends, and your co-workers are on our side. I'll repeat: We CAN and WILL win this battle, if we take action.
We'll get you more numbers and emails to contact as the session starts up, but for now, flood Gov. Martinez' office with calls.
Tell her NOT to balance the budget with pay cuts to state and university and other public employees.
Tell her staff about the important work you do for New Mexico and ask that "Gov. Martinez drop her plan to cut your pay by 3.5%"
Calls matter. Emails matter. Rallies matter. YOU matter. Be respectful to the poor souls who have to answer the phone for Gov. Martinez. You can be sure they know she's proposed the wrong thing. Enough people weigh in, and hopefully the Governor will realize she's made a mistake and will find another way to balance the budget.
Do it now. This is when it matters.
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