Dems pass $6k solar panel subsidy for the rich, tax dog and cat food—ignore bills helping the disabled

With just a couple of days to go in the 30-day legislative session, House Democrats chose to focus on vanity legislation that would do nothing for the average New Mexican and everything for wealthy Santa Fe liberals in Speaker of the House Brian Egolf’s district.

On Wednesday, House Democrats stalled legislation such as SB-182, a bill that passed the Senate unanimously (except for four excused members) that would provide community-based support services for adults diagnosed with serious mental illness. 

Other examples of unanimous bipartisan legislation put on the back burner include SB-270, keeping child pornography and other intelligence from its destruction as evidence in criminal cases and SB-124 that would eliminate a requirement to maintain a register of blind persons domiciled in New Mexico. 

Instead of considering legislation that would actually help everyday New Mexicans, Democrat Speaker Brian Egolf’s top priorities included SB-29, which would subsidize rich people putting solar panels on their roofs by giving them a tax credit of up to $6,000 for installing the “green” technology, and impose additional fees on dog and cat food to fund a “dog and cat spay and neuter assistance program.” 

“With the price dropping, the efficiency being where it’s at, and the industry being established, it is now time for them to stand on their feet, and not be subsidized by wage-earner dollars,” Rep. Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho), said of SB-29.

a 5 kW solar panel system costs anywhere from $14,875 – $20,125.

Democrats quickly tabled an amendment that would target the bill to people of lower incomes, with a $250,000 cap on the assessed value of the home to be eligible for the tax credit, proving that the bill is specific to wealthy liberals ready to erect expensive new solar panels on their seven-figure Tesuque homes. 

Instead of addressing the needs of vulnerable citizens, such as blind domiciled individuals and people with behavioral health needs, Egolf and the Santa Fe Democrats instead chose to tax dog and cat food and help their deep-pocketed wealthy friends and donors pad their pockets with a solar panel tax cut. 

These priorities should show New Mexicans exactly where the Democrats’ priorities are. After they failed to pass a radical bill that would give the Governor more power by overseeing the Public Regulations Commission and a bill to legalize recreational marijuana legalization, they’re now ignoring the needs of hurting New Mexicans in their final hours of the short legislative session.

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