These columns will come from Patrick Brenner, Southwest Public Policy Institute president, which delivers polling and analysis on critical issues from a conservative perspective, according to its mission.

New Mexico Legislators Were Misled On Rate Caps: Here Are The Facts

By Patrick Brenner

Earlier this year, as New Mexico debated legislation setting a 36 percent APR limit for consumer loans in the state, the primary witness testified in support of the bill before the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. Claims were made that do not hold up to reality. It is time to correct the record.

During her testimony, Karen Meyers, a consumer lawyer serving in her capacity as an expert witness, cited specific findings and data from Illinois as a case study for New Mexico's similar effort. Such rate caps, Meyers argued, could not possibly reduce access to credit, like many in the industry forewarned, because new lenders were actually coming to Illinois after its rate cap took effect.

At best, this assertion is a fundamental misunderstanding of the data. At worst, the argument is disingenuous and dishonest.

Read more ...

Why Is New Mexico Exporting One Of Its Top Investments?

Asking the question of why the brain drain exists is a critical step to plugging it.
By Patrick Brenner, 

During the 2022 legislative session, New Mexico passed a major expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship. Despite a two-year period of temporary monetary allocation, the Opportunity Scholarship Act was made permanent when it was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on March 4, 2022.

The original scholarship was announced in 2019, but previous iterations of the bills supporting the scholarship failed to obtain requisite momentum and lacked legislative support. Until now. 

New Mexico already had a generous Lottery Scholarship program with fairly lenient academic criteria, but those with alternative education backgrounds like former students returning to college are unable to qualify. The Opportunity Scholarship bridges that gap.

TheLegislative Finance Committee released a Fiscal Impact Report, estimating a cost likely to exceed a whopping $100 million annually with expectations to grow.

Read more ...

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