“I work for YOU—not for myself, nor for any political party. I’m a Ph.D. research scientist, a husband, and a dad—not some out-of-touch career politician. My record over the last six years proves this, and I will continue working to make my hometown, and New Mexico, a better place for us all.”
– Representative Jason Harper
Introduced HB 371,
which was unanimously passed and signed into law: it protects small businesses from ‘gotcha’ audits by the NM Tax and Revenue Department, that almost killed good businesses in Rio Rancho.
Added three amendments to HB 147,
which safeguarded the Lottery Scholarship: for the fourth year in a row, Jason Harper lead the effort to protect this vital program. They stopped the Lottery Authority from raiding the Lottery Scholarship fund, transforming HB 147 from a bill that was meant to benefit lottery vendors to one that put students first. They also prevented middle-class families from being denied their fair share of funding.
Introduced HB 241,
which ultimately improved the teacher evaluation process: this bill addressed the problem of sick teachers coming to work to avoid being penalized for taking sick days. It was vetoed, and Jason did not support a veto override, but rather used it as leverage to bring the governor to the discussion table. Subsequent negotiations resulted in larger concessions that not only expanded sick-leave days, but also made significant improvements to the teacher evaluation process, which went well beyond the scope of the original, vetoed bill.
Introduced HB 236:
Rescued the Severance Tax Permanent Fund,
which was passed and signed into law: NM’s permanent funds save each household $1000/year in taxes; this bill stops the over-raiding and requires more investments, keeping the funds safe and growing.
Introduced HB 2:
which was passed and signed into law: protects families with high medical bills from massive tax increases, and also helped rank NM 8th in the U.S. for tax friendliness, paving the way to attract more businesses and jobs to NM. (Co-sponsored with Rio Rancho Representative
Co-Sponsored SB 356:
Independent Tax Hearing Office Act,
which was passed and signed into law: fixes the conflict-of-interest for state tax audits by establishing an independent Tax Hearing Office, giving taxpayers a fair shake when appealing an audit decision.
Co-Sponsored HB 563: Rio Grande
which was passed and signed into law: helps create a beautiful new 500-mile “Rio Grande Trail” along the river, to share our rich history, culture, and landscape with our families, and to attract tourism dollars.
Introduced HB 263:
Rescues the Lottery Scholarship
This permanently keeps the Lottery Scholarship afloat instead of kicking the can down the road, and also weans it off tax money, keeping it safe and self-sustaining. Jason’s amendment to SB 347 also fixed an unjust flaw, and now all qualifying students will be treated equitably, instead of giving more funds to some students, and less to others.
Co-Sponsored SB 122: Fixes High School Graduation Requirements,
which was passed and signed into law: ensures that (1) Marching Band, JROTC and other co-curricular activities count towards high school PE credit, so that students are not burdened with adding unnecessary similar courses, and (2) graduation requirements don’t change for students once they start high school—no surprises in mid-stream! (Co-sponsored with Rio Rancho Senator Craig Brandt)
Introduced HB 352: Mandatory Claw-Backs,
which was passed and signed into law: ensures that when companies receive public funding, but the commitments the companies made are not met, public funding (your tax dollars) is returned. No free lunches on your dime!
Introduced HB 371: Reformed the Public Improvement District (PID) Law,
which was passed and signed into law: ensures that homeowners are not subjected to massive property tax increases like those faced by our neighbors in the Mariposa subdivision.
Jason Harper partnered with other legislators
to combine resources for significant investments in our city, these last 5 years:
$1 million in road improvements
$1 million in water line improvements
$5 million for right-of-way connections for Paseo del Volcan, from Unser to I-40
$550,000 for security improvements at all RRPS Middle Schools
$830,000 for security improvements at all RRPS Elementary Schools
$1.1 million for flood control improvements
$1.3 million for police and fire equipment and communication facilities