Earlier today, Governor Susana Martinez signed into state law two veteran-related bills that will create jobs for recently-returned military veterans and give a boost to veteran-owned businesses in the bidding process for state contracts.
At the New Mexico Veterans' Memorial in Albuquerque, the Governor signed House Bill 10, sponsored by Representative Terry McMillan (R-Las Cruces), providing a tax credit of up to $1,000 to businesses for each hiring of a recently-returned veteran.
"Our men and women in uniform make tremendous sacrifices to protect our safety and freedom," said Governor Martinez. "It is unacceptable that these heroes might come home from Iraq and Afghanistan only to stand in the unemployment line. Providing this tax credit to businesses will not only help to create jobs and get our veterans to work when they return home from overseas, it will send a strong message to our armed service members that we are grateful for what they do and we are proud to welcome them home."
The Governor also signed into law House Bill 97, sponsored Speaker Ben Lujan (D-Nambe), which gives up to an additional five percent hiring preference for veteran-owned businesses or contractors over the existing five percent preference currently established for locally-owned businesses during the bidding process for state contracts and jobs.
"This preference will create a more competitive playing field for veteran-owned businesses and help to boost job growth in New Mexico's veteran community," Governor Martinez added. After the signings, the Governor joined officials from U.S. Citizen and Immigration services to take part in a naturalization ceremony for two Army Reserve members who have earned their U.S. citizenship. Rashniv and Odini Ramos are originally from the Philippines and currently live in Albuquerque.
"It is a privilege to stand with these soldiers as they joined the ranks of United States Citizens,"
Governor Martinez said. "Both these men proudly wear our country's uniform and it's an honor that they have made New Mexico their home.