"The Governor supports allowing workers to decide for themselves whether to join a union or financially contribute to one, and doesn't believe anyone should be forced to join a union or contribute to one as a condition of employment," a spokesperson for Martinez said in an email.
On Tuesday, the state's Senate Public Affairs Committee is slated to debate and vote on the subject. But Majority Floor Leader Sen. Michael Sanchez said he does not think it has much likelihood of passing or even making it out of committee.
Paul Gessing, president of the Rio Grande Foundation—which has written policy papers in support of right-to-work—said he feels the bill is something that could start to bring much-needed economic development into the state.
"This was one idea that Republicans have that is politically popular, not costing taxpayers anything, and is right for workers," Gessing said. Gessing has testified before New Mexico's House Business and Employment Committee on how right-to-work laws have led employers to relocate to those states.
But the policy, and the supposed benefits its supporters are quick to highlight, are highly contested. Tamara Kay, a professor in the sociology department at the University of New Mexico, criticized right-to-work laws as "kindergarten math."
"I basically found that the best statistical studies suggest right-to-work will do nothing for economic growth," she told National Journal, adding that passing the law likely would lower employees' wages and reduce the likelihood of workers getting pensions or health benefits.
Gessing, meanwhile, pointed out that when electric carmaker Tesla Motors was looking for a state to place a factory, New Mexico was passed over in favor of Nevada, a right-to-work state.
"Certainly the experience with Tesla and the desire to make New Mexico competitive is another aspect," he said.
But Sanchez said New Mexico not being a right-to-work state wasn't what led to Tesla going elsewhere. Instead, he blamed Martinez for not working with the legislature to help attract the company.
"The administration never reached out to us on Tesla," he told National Journal.
Sanchez said he believed the attempt to pass a right-to-work bill is intended to divide the state politically, as well as increase the profile of the governor, who is being floated as a possible vice presidential nominee.
"There's no doubt it's to enhance her career nationally," Sanchez said.
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In addition to having a right-to-work provision, the bill before the Senate would also increase the state's minimum wage by 50 cents. Martinez' office told National Journal in an email she would support the wage increase as long as it keeps the state competitive and does not hurt small businesses.
But Jon Hendry, president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, said it is not sufficient.