MUST PASS Bills



Click here to JOIN the Statewide Rapid Response Network and Help Us Pass Our Priority Bills for 2020! Most recent update, January 14, 2020.

2020 Legislative Preview

Click here to review the 2019 Session's bills and their fate.

Below is a draft list of bills that we hope to see in 2020. For a bill to be introduced in a short session (30 days), it either must be a tax/revenue bill, a memorial, or it must be deemed "germane" by the Governor, aka "on the Governor's agenda." (Or "on the Governor's call," as many people say.) 

We will likely identify just 12-15 "Must-Pass" bills this Session because time is short and focus is critical. 

If you know of a bill or bill concept that is being drafted, let us know. Many bills have been drafted but not yet filed and have no title or bill number yet, so below we provided suggested language to make it clear to the Governor and Democratic leadership which "bill" we are asking to be on the Governor's agenda.

If you feel strongly about any of these bills, now is a good time to write to the Governor and the Senate and House leadership and let them know you'd like the bill to be "on the call." We will have a complete and updated list of contact info for all legislators soon. But for now, to contact your House Rep or Senator, click here to obtain the best contact info.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

Senator Peter Wirth

Speaker Brian Egolf

Bills That May Be Introduced:  

Language to identify the "bill" you want on the Governor's agenda is in black, italicized, bold print. Issue areas are in blue. In some instances, two words, like Community Solar or Abortion Decriminalization is all that you need to say. When making calls, you will not need to bone up on the issue as you will not engage in dialog. You will only be telling the person on the other line that you support A, B, or C and then fill in the blank with the letters in black/bold. For emails, you will want to provide a very brief reason for your support of the bill. But this can be done in a sentence. For bill ideas listed below that were introduced in the legislature last year, we provide a link to the 2019 bill summary.

Early Childhood 

  • Increase the contribution from the Permanent Fund for Early Childhood Education. Recall that last year this was killed in Senate Finance by Sen. John Arthur Smith. Last year this bill was HJR 1 Permanent Funds for Early Childhood. It has been reintroduced in 2020 again as HJR 1. We are likely to support this bill. According to Pat Monahan in his Jan 13 post, this bill is dead due to a compromise reached by the Governor and Senator John Arthur Smith.
  • Create a new trust fund with funds from gas and oil revenue, dedicated to early childhood. Last year  this bill was also killed in Senate Finance by Sen. John Arthur Smith. In 2020, the bill has been introduced and sponsored by Senator JA Smith and House Rep. Doreen Gallegos. HB 83 late in the session and was not one of our priority or MUST PASS bills, so we do not have information on this bill at this time. We are unlikely to support this bill as it provides a fraction of the funds that would be generated by HJR-1. What's more, this bill is the result of a compromise reached by the Governor and Sen. Smith. It will be pushed by the Governor and will fly through the legislature without our help.

Economic Justice

  • Public Banking. In 2019, two memorials were introduced seeking funding to conduct a study of the benefit of creating a state public bank. We are hopeful that the another memorial or a bill will be introduced in 2020. HM 41 Study a State-Owned Bank (2019) There will not be a public banking bill introduced in 2020. Next year.
  • Working Families Tax Credit. Introduced in 2019 as HB 23/ SB 183. While SB 183 died in Senate Finance, it was incorporated into HB 6 Tax Changes with an increase of 17% instead of the proposed 20%, a smaller credit, but still a win. It is being reintroduced in 2020 as SB 87. We have not studied this closely, but it is supported by NM Voices for Children and so it is highly likely we will support this bill in 2020. Stay tuned.
  • Increase the Minimum Wage. We supported HB 31 in 2019. It died in Senate Corporations and another version was introduced by Senator Clemente Sanchez. In 2020, a new minimum wage bill has been introduced, HB 82 which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We are in communication with allies to see if there is the political will to get this done and if it is likely to be on the call. Stay tuned.
  • Small Loan Interest Caps. This bill was introduced in 2019 as 

Environment and Climate Change

  • Community Solar.  Recall that last year this died in the Senate Judicial Committee. Last year, Community Solar was HB 210. SB 80, the Community Solar Act, has been introduced by Senator Bill Soules. But another community solar bill is being introduce, drafted by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero and Speaker Egolf. This, yet to be introduced bill is more likely to be "on the call," as it is a high priority for the Speaker. We will have to see the bill before we commit to supporting it.  
  • Earmark Funding in the Budget to Develop a Just Transition Plan. As with Community Solar, there is no indication that this will be part of the Governor's agenda. This may mean it will be adopted simply as a line item in the budget to conduct the needed study. So your ask is that the Governor earmark funding in the budget for a just transition plan. It's possible this will be advanced by the Governor asking that $1M be incorporated into the budget for the Energy Department to then be put out for bid for a study to be conducted. But this will require pressure from you. 
  • Implementing a Fracking Moratorium. We recognize that the political will is unlikely there to introduce -- much less to pass -- this bill, we feel it is important to press for this bill to be introduced and debated. SB 459 Hydraulic Fracturing Permits & Reporting was introduced in 2019 by Senator Sedillo Lopez and she hopes to reintroduce it in 2020. It is not very likely the Governor will put this on the call.

Gun Violence Prevention.  

  • Extreme Risk Protection Order. Rep. Ely has drafted a bill that is very similar to last year's HB 83 Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, a bill that died in Senate Judiciary Committee. It has been redrafted as SB 5, Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order, but is almost identical to last year's bill. It will be on the call and the Governor has indicated it will be a priority. Even still, there will be strong opposition. It is highly likely Retake will support this bill.  We've been told to avoid use of the term "red flag" as it has a negative connotation for those seeking protection, so when advocating for this bill refer to it as Extreme Risk Protection Order. Retake has developed an Issue Brief on Extreme Risk Firearm Protection for the 2020 session. Click here to review this brief.

Healthcare. 

  • Full funding for Medicaid which will be a revised version of Medicaid Buy-In HB 416, in 2019, which died in House Appropriations (Rep. Lundstrom, Chair). We are very likely to support this bill if it is introduced. As of Jan 5, it has not been introduced. We have been told from multiple sources that this will not be re-introduced in 2020.
  • Patient Safe Staffing Act.  We supported this bill in 2019, SB 670. It has been reintroduced as HB 68 and is substantially the same bill and so, Retake is likely to support this bill in 2020.

Higher Education. 

  • Tuition Free College. This bill will be Education Moonshot Part II.  It will run into a challenge with Sen. John Arthur Smith. This shapes up to be a showdown. This is a new bill and so does not have a bill summary from last year. One of our criteria for selecting bills to endorse is if the bill would require our advocacy to make it through the legislature. We will assess this when it is introduced, but if the Governor makes this the centerpiece of the 2020 session, our support won't be needed.

Immigration Reform

  • State Disclosure of Sensitive Information. In 2019, this bill was HB 141. The bill word prohibit the state from sharing with the Federal government sensitive information that could be used to identify individuals for detainment and/or deportation. It did not advance far in 2019 and has been reintroduced as HB 108. It is very hard to tell if this will be "on the call" and so this is where you can take action by calling the Governor and asking that she put this on the call. 

Indigenous Rights. We're told there will be at least two or three bills advocated for by indigenous groups. We are working to get more details on this.

Legislative Reform. Common Cause will be advancing the following three priorities.

  • Salaries for Our Legislators. We had hoped that this would be introduced this year, but our allies have determined that more education is needed on the bill and so it will not be introduced in 2020.
  • Full funding for the Ethics Commission. 
Social Justice
  • Legalize Recreational MarijuanaThe Governor has indicate that this will be on the call and that it is a high priority. It remains to be seen if there is the political will in the Senate to get this done. We will certainly support this bill once it is introduced. Last year's bill was HB 356 Cannabis Regulation Act

Tax & Revenue Bills from NM Voices for Children 

Last year all tax & revenue bills were folded into HB 6. This bill incorporated a vast array of separate bills, tax cuts, and tax increases. In some cases, bills are introduced separately to allow input, and then they are tabled or ignored, with the plan to introduce them as budget items in the Tax & Revenue Bill. From NM Voices for Children we know that they will advocate for the following to be included in the Tax and Revenue bill: 

  • Child Tax Credit. Last year this was introduced and revised to be a tax deduction in the Senate, HB 18 Child Income Tax Credit.  
  • Increase Working Families Tax Credit. Last year the proposed tax credit was for 20% but was reduced to 17% in the Senate. HB 23 / SB 183 Increase Working Families Tax Credit.  
  • Repeal Capital Gains Tax Break. This was not one of our Priority or MUST PASS bills so we do not have information on this bill at this time.We are told that this will be introduced in 2020 and we will very likely support it be introduced. We are watching for this.

Tax & Revenue Bills from Think New Mexico

  • Repeal the state income tax on Social Security benefits. There have been two bills introduced to repeal state income tax on SSI income:  SB 29 which would exempt all SSI income from State taxes and SB 68 which would exempt just the first $15,000 of SSI income. In either case, our allies at NM Voices oppose both versions. Reearch largely from supply side economic theory (trickle down/multiplier effect) point to possible job gains and increases in tax revenue, but other economists--and NM Voices--suggest other less regressive tax strategies targeting working families and low-income individuals is a more just and effective way to stimulate the economy and support the under-served.Our leadership team is wrestling with this bill. We are allies with both Think NM and NM Voices and we have a researcher and a member of the Leadership Team who support the reforms. This will be a difficult call.
  • Ensure that every private sector worker in the state has access to an Individual Retirement Account that they can contribute to using automatic payroll deductions. Today, two out of three private sector workers in the state lack access to a retirement savings plan through their jobs. This matters because the research shows that people are 15 times more likely to save if they can do so using automatic payroll deductions. Eighty percent of New Mexicans working in the private sector currently have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.
  • Stabilize New Mexico’s public pensions by increasing the qualifications of pension board members (there are currently no qualifications required to serve on the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) board, which manages $15.7 billion in pensions); consolidate the investment management of the $15.7 billion managed by PERA pension fund and the $13.3 billion managed by the Educational Retirement Board; and use some of the current budget surplus to make a one-time cash infusion or loan to PERA.
  • Diversify State Revenue, Tax Base and Workforce. As we move from an economy far too dependent upon gas and oil, the state will need to explore a range of investment policies to diversify its economy. This brief by Laura Riedel begins to examine this issue. 

Women's Rights

  • Decriminalize AbortionThe Governor initially indicated that she would put this on her agenda, but we hear that unless four of the Senators who voted against it last year indicate they will change their votes, she will not do so as it would consume considerable time. Last year, Abortion Decriminalization was HB 51.Most unfortunately, we are hearing that there are not the votes to get this through the Senate and so it likely will not be introduced. There is work to be done in the June Primary to change the composition of the Senate so that this skates through in 2021.

We will add more to this document in the coming weeks.

Showing 11 reactions

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  • Barbara Schroeder
    commented 2020-01-12 11:47:02 -0700
    Re. Angelica Rubio has pre-filed the “Immigrant Detention Facilities Act,” HB. 72, to provide some oversight and limitations on the for-profit prison companies (Core Civic and GeoGroup) that are imprisioning thousands of asylum seekers in our state in deplorable, inhumane conditions. I urge Retake to support this bill, should it qualify for consideration this session.
  • Craig O'Hare
    commented 2020-01-10 20:03:46 -0700
    SB 80 Community Solar. The bill is not real clear (or I’m just not getting it!) about how much a subscriber will get “paid” (in the form of a credit to their bill) for their solar generation – only that the PRC will determine the bill credit rate (with no apparent criteria for the PRC to follow) . If the bill credit is not via “virtual net metering” (essentially getting paid the same cents/kwh rate for their solar generation that the utility charges for electricity), I question how many subscribers will be interested given that they’re overall costs will be higher than they were before the solar subscription. I’ve found over the years that, while they may be concerned about the environment, many (most) don’t want to pay a single dime more for electricity. Simply getting “a community solar bill” adopted won’t be very effective if the bill is burdened by provisions that compromise the original fiscal incentive to go solar.
  • Craig O'Hare
    commented 2020-01-10 19:12:09 -0700
    IMO, SB 29 should be a very high priority. “New Solar Market Development Tax Credit” of 10% of the cost of the homeowner’s solar system. It’s particularly important because the federal tax credit for solar is going completely away in the next 2 years. The federal credit was 30% for years and dropped to 26% this year, 22% next year and then, I believe, it’s completely gone after that. We need the state solar tax credit to help make up for the loss of the federal credit.
  • Craig O'Hare
    commented 2020-01-10 19:03:59 -0700
    Check out SB 18 Renewable Energy Production Tax (not tax credit but a new tax on renewable energy). With the Climate Crisis in full swing, now is not the time to be taxing renewables.
  • Mark Chavez
    commented 2019-12-11 07:13:10 -0700
    I’m really wondering when the governor is going to address the rampant crime in our state. The catch and release constitutional amendment needs to be revised. You can’t have any type of solar project when repeat offenders will rip out the copper long before completion. Seriously do you all live in a guarded community where you and everyone you know is not affected by the actions of repeat offenders on pretrial release..
  • Devin Bent
    commented 2019-12-09 17:58:24 -0700
    “But, we have heard this would be a giveaway to mostly older, upper income adults who tend to be conservative. " Is this serious? Are we going to support or oppose a tax change based on the political beliefs of those impacted? We support tax breaks for progressives, but oppose them for conservatives? Frankly, I find this incredibly disturbing. What would we think if Trump proposed the opposite — tax breaks only for conservatives? Should we deny benefits and protections of government based on political beliefs?
  • Michael Sperberg-McQueen
    commented 2019-01-06 13:31:04 -0700
    There is no substantive difference between bills shown in red and bills shown in black. The bills with hyperlinks (red) are those for which we have summary pages on the web site; for the others, summaries are still being developed. The legislation research team is hard at work, but good summaries take time.
  • Steve McIlree
    commented 2019-01-06 13:18:32 -0700
    I would like a clearer explanation of the difference between the bills with red links and shown in black. Were those shown in black previously introduced without a summary?
  • Frederick Sawyer
    commented 2019-01-04 10:09:48 -0700
    Hi Paul et al., We Need a Publicly owned State Bank to transform the Great State of New Mexico from poverty, violence and addiction to a modern Green New Deal economy. We need a 10 point plan to get us there in 3 generations. The future starts NOW!!
  • Frederick Sawyer
    followed this page 2019-01-04 10:04:57 -0700
  • Michael Sperberg-McQueen
    published this page 2018-11-20 20:50:45 -0700