Bill Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs Passes House Committee
Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, House Bill 289 the Agriculture in Economic Development Finance Act passed the House Labor and Economic Development Committee in a 9-0 unanimous vote. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Candie Sweetser (D-Deming), Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) and Bill Gomez (D-Las Cruces) amends the New Mexico Statewide Economic Development Department (NMEDD) to include value-added agricultural enterprises, providing small agricultural businesses in rural New Mexico with access to funding administered by NMEDD. The bill’s passage signals the prioritization of New Mexico’s agribusinesses as essential players in the state’s economic vitality.
“I am so pleased by the unanimous, bipartisan support that this bill received today in committee,” Representative Sweetser said. “Our state’s agricultural enterprises are a significant economic engine. It is vital that they receive the same economic opportunities for success as any other business in our state and we should facilitate rather than neglect that success.”
“Value-added agriculture creates jobs and expands opportunity for our communities,” stated Representative Small. “I am excited our legislation unanimously passed its first committee today. Our farmers, students and workers will benefit from this extra tool.”
The Agriculture in Economic Development Finance Act explicitly includes language that permits value added agricultural businesses to access federal monies and loans administered by NMEDD. The bill will be heard next in the House Business and Industry committee.