Democrats Stand Up for New Mexico Families
Santa Fe, NM – The 54th Legislature came to a close today at noon. House Democrats passed legislation to fund education, grow the economy, promote job creation, and increase public safety.
House Democrats' highest priorities was to pass a responsible budget revenue package. The bipartisan budget puts a focus on the things that matter to New Mexico families: education, good paying jobs, public safety, economic development, and health care. The budget includes raises for state employees, educators, and law enforcement and funds the COPS program, and state roads and infrastructure.
“This bipartisan budget has now been agreed upon by the House and Senate and heads to the governor. This budget focuses on diversifying the economy and allowing local communities to thrive, while also addressing crime and public safety” – House Appropriations and Finance Committee Chair Patricia Lundstrom (February 14, 2018)
Awaiting the Governor's Signature: As we close the session, a number of Democratic priority bills are on the Governor's desk awaiting her signature.
Jobs and Economic Development
Regional Air Center Special Economic District: House Bill 197 would expand the Roswell International Air Center and bring economic growth and development to the area. The bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. Candy Ezzell and supported by Speaker of the House Brian Egolf.
Library Broadband Infrastructure Fund (Rep. Sweetser): House Bill 207 would appropriate money from the general fund for broadband infrastructure in public school, tribal, and community libraries.
Thanksgiving Saturday Gross Tax Receipts (Rep. Gallegos): House Bill 79 will promote small, local businesses by making Small Business Saturday tax free at small businesses in New Mexico.
Investing in Solar (Sen. Stewart): Senate Bill 79 makes solar more affordable for businesses and families in New Mexico while bolstering a new industry and creating good paying jobs.
Border Fuel Permits (Rep. Gomez): House Bill 329 opens up trade by expanding permits for fuel being transported through ports of entry on New Mexico’s border.
Indian Student Needs Assessment (Rep. Lente): House Bill 151 requires a needs assessment to determine the services public school districts need to provide Native American students to improve graduation rates and college readiness.
Early Childhood Care Accountability Act (Reps. Armstrong and Ferrary): House Bill 193 would require the Children, Youth and Families Department to establish early childhood care program standards.
Phased-in Teacher Cost Index (Rep. Dodge): House Bill 188 amends the public school finance act to make schools more efficient in how they utilize their budgets, ensuring that dollars are used in the classroom and school districts are not burdened with unfunded mandates.
Making Communities Safer
Bipartisan, Comprehensive Public Safety Package (Reps. Ely, Thomson, and Maestas): The Committee Substitute for House Bill 19 is a bipartisan effort to keep our communities safe by using a framework that addresses support across our criminal justice system. More information is available here.
False Statements to NMED (Rep. Small): House Bill 142 imposes criminal penalties for owners and operators of public water systems who lie to inspectors from the Department of the Environment. Currently, there are no penalties for lying to inspectors nor for tampering with devices or records.
Criminal Justice Task Force (Rep. Ely): House Joint Resolution 16 would identify issues of concern within the state’s criminal justice and public safety system and develop solutions to keep communities safe.
Nonviolent Offender Interventions (Rep. Stapleton): House Bill 160 provides interventions for nonviolent offenders who have a behavioral health diagnosis in order to reduce the chances of repeat offenses, detention, and ineffective incarceration.
Public Safety Data Needs (Rep. Stapleton): House Joint Memorial 9 would create safer communities by addressing public safety needs across the state through direct communication with public safety stakeholders.
Improving Healthcare Access
Filling the Nurse Shortage (Rep. Armstrong): Senate Bill 1, The Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC), allows nurses from other states to practice in New Mexico without additional licensing requirements.
Putting Patients First (Rep. Thomson): Senate Bill 11 would improve “step therapy”, the practice used by insurance companies to cut costs by requiring patients to try more affordable treatment options before more expensive ones. SB 11 would allow doctors to skip treatments that have already proven ineffective or harmful and prescribe more effective treatments first.
Increasing Access to Cannabis Medication (Rep. Armstrong): House Bill 139 amends the Controlled Substances Act and enacts a new section of state law that would allow New Mexicans access to FDA-approved marijuana-derivative medications.
Supporting Our Military & Veterans
Benefits for National Guard Members (Reps. Rodella and H. Garcia): House Bill 47 changes the eligibility requirements for national guard members to receive assistance from income tax refund contributions.
Honoring Gold Star Families (Rep. M. Garcia): House Bill 103 honors families who lost a loved one in the line of duty.
Protecting New Mexico Seniors
Guardianship Fixes (Rep. Chasey): Senate Bill 19 would make changes to New Mexico’s guardianship system, which has been under fire the past few years for lack of oversight. The bill provides more transparency and safeguards for protected persons and their families.
Providing Support for Local Communities
Animal Program Fees (Reps. Carl Trujillo and Rodella): House Bill 64 fund dog and cat spay and neuter programs in New Mexico by placing an additional fee on dog and cat pet food to.
Brine Well (Sen. Smith): Senate Bill 226 would distribute revenue from the motor vehicle excise tax to the state road fund.
Traditional Historic Community Qualifications (Rep. R. Gonzales): House Bill 81 revises the qualifications for historical areas so more communities have the opportunity to formally recognize their historical significance.
Ethics and Transparency
Pass Fix it America Constitutional Amendment (Rep. L. Trujillo): House Joint Memorial 10 advocates to make elections more fair and will send a message to Congress to overturn the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision, limiting the disproportionate influence campaign contributions have on elections, and ensuring political districts are drawn fairly. This resolution heads directly to Congress.