February 5, 2015

What it Means to Have a Republican Majority in NM House | Speaker Don Tripp


[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]DON TRIPP is a member of the NM House of Representatives (R-Socorro). A jeweler by trade, Rep. Tripp is also the Speaker of the House, the first Republican to hold that title in 60 years.[/box]

It’s time for your lawmakers to get to work. There is much to do this year, and we’re ready for the challenge.

There is a lot of excitement in Santa Fe — the result of last year’s election. For the first time in 60 years, the people of New Mexico have chosen Republicans to lead the House of Representatives. It is an honor that we do not take lightly, and we promise to fight every day to advance our state.

A lot of people ask me, “What does it mean now that Republicans are in the majority?” No matter who I talk to, whether they are Democrat or Republican, my answer never changes: Our goal is to put New Mexico’s families first.

After all, the voters have spoken — they want an end to the politics as usual in Santa Fe. They want their leaders to reject the political dysfunction and gridlock that has become the hallmark of Washington, D.C. In the end, political games hurt our families and derail progress.

Some may say we have a daunting task ahead of us — they say it’s impossible for Republicans and Democrats to work together.

I disagree. I believe we can come together. And we can start by working on common ground and finding ways to create good jobs for all New Mexicans.

Democrats and Republicans both agree that our state relies too heavily on federal dollars, making us vulnerable to budget cuts and Washington gridlock. Together, we can deal with this unique economic problem by strengthening our private sector and eliminating barriers that get in the way of job creation.

There are too many regulations that work against us. Both parties can come together to support stronger incentives to encourage economic investment in order to attract more businesses to New Mexico, helping us compete with other states.

Another area of common ground is protecting our children. Above all else, Democrats and Republicans care about the safety and well-being of our kids. Several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation that crack down on child abuse, and we intend to do whatever it takes to make sure these bills reach the governor’s desk.

In addition to keeping our children safe, we need to make sure that they are prepared to take the jobs in tomorrow’s economy. Improving our schools will set our children up for success in the long run.

To create the best education system possible, we need to work on behalf our parents, teachers and, above all else, our children. Better teacher pay and more money into the classroom is a good start, and I look forward to both parties bringing solutions to the table.

A majority of New Mexicans agree that reading must be a priority; it’s time we act. If our kids cannot read, they are destined to fail. With better reading initiatives, we can target those who are falling behind and get them back on track.

We can also end the failed policy of social promotion, which passes our children onto the next grade even when they cannot read. An overwhelming majority of New Mexicans — Democrats and Republicans — support eliminating this policy. I believe it’s time to come together and act on this, because the people of New Mexico demand it.

As I’ve clearly laid out, jobs and education are our main priorities this session. But in order to get things done, we must work together as statesmen, not politicians.

On the opening day of the legislative session, I gave Democrats my word: We will continue to reach across the aisle to get things done for our state.

I ask that they answer our call. Because when we’re able to put politics aside, anything is possible.