MUST PASS Bills



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If one of your favorite bills is not among the MUST PASS list, you may find it among our Priority bills at the bottom of the page. 

Please click here to review the criteria and the process we used to prioritize the bills. Chief among them were months of input from our allies, and statewide responses to an online survey of 2017-2018 good bills that were either vetoed or never got out of the legislature. 

The links below take you to a one-page summary of each bill with speaking points and a link to the full text of the bill. 

Healthcare

  1. SB 279 /  HB 295 Health Security Act. SB 279 / HB 295 would require the completion of a fiscal study of the Health Security Plan, which will insure that all New Mexicans have comprehensive, affordable health care coverage. The study will provide NM with information on the fiscal viability of the plan and a good estimate of what NM is currently spending on healthcare. STATUS: SB 279 passed with amendments in Senate Public Affairs on 2/8, stuck in Senate Judiciary since. HB 295 passed House Health & Human Services on 2/8, passed House State Govt, Elections & Indian Affairs on 2/25; sent to House floor 2/28, then to House Appropriations & Finance on 3/3, where it was tabled.
  2. HB 416 / SB 405 Medicaid Buy In Act.  The Medicaid Buy-In Act would provide greater access to quality, affordable healthcare by implementing a program to allow New Mexicans not currently eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, or Affordable Care Act Subsidies to pay monthly premiums to “buy in” to Medicaid, by January 2021. STATUS: HB 416 passed House Health & Human Services on 2/18, stuck in House Appropriations & Finance since. SB 405 passed Senate Public Affairs on 2/15, stuck in Senate Finance since.

Election and Voter Reform

  1. HB 55 Agreement to Elect President by Popular Vote - PASSED! Once states with a collective number of 270 electoral votes pass this bill, enough to elect a President, the bill will require those states to cast all of their electoral votes for the candidate with the most popular votes, effectively eliminating the electoral college. STATUS: Passed full House 41:27 on 2/1; passed Full Senate on 3/12, 25:16. 
  2. SB 50  State Agency Automatic Voter Registration & HB 84 Automatic Voter Registration at MVD and Elsewhere. SB 50 and HB 84 are identical bills that would allow every person who is a qualified elector and is applying for or renewing or updating a driver's license or ID card to be automatically registered to vote, or to have an existing voter registration automatically updated, unless the person declines. STATUS: HB 84 passed House State Govt, Elections & Indian Affairs on 1/30 and House Judiciary on 2/12; passed Full House 44:22 on 2/19. Scheduled in Senate Rules 3/13; then moves to Senate Judiciary before Senate Floor.
  3. HB 57 Restore Felon Voter Rights. This bill would eliminate the disqualification from voting in NM for persons convicted of a felony; they would never lose their right to vote, including while incarcerated. STATUS: Passed House State Govt, Elections & Indian Affairs on 1/25, passed House Judiciary 3/5; sent to House Floor, but we're told by an ally that it's Dead!
  4. SB 3 Campaign Finance Reporting - PASSED! would require the source of last minute “hit” ads to be disclosed. It would also simplify and bring into compliance other finance reporting rules. This bill received “strongly approve” or “approve” from 88% of 1,300 New Mexicans in our 2018 survey. STATUS: Passed full Senate 36:6 on 2/13; passed full House 48:17 on 3/9. 

Immigration

  1. SB 196 / HB 195 No Resources for Federal Immigration Law.  This 2019 bill is endorsed by one of our closest allies, Somos Un Pueblo Unido. They feel this bill will have more impact than the No Funds for Border Walls bill from 2018, as that bill is largely symbolic and can be bypassed by the Feds. This bill would greatly benefit our immigrant neighbors. STATUS: HB 195 stuck in House State Govt & Indian Affairs since 1/17; SB 196 passed Senate Public Affairs on 1/28; stuck in Senate Judiciary since 2/19.
  2. HB 141 State Disclosure of Sensitive Info.  This bill prohibits state agencies from releasing personal information including genetic information; Social Security numbers or Individual Tax Identification Numbers or addresses; a person’s status as a recipient of public assistance or as a crime victim; and a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, immigration status, national origin, or religion. This bill is also supported by Somos Un Pueblo Unido. STATUS: Passed House State Govt, Elections & Indian Affairs on 2/5, and House Judiciary on 2/18; passed full House 43: 24 on 2/24. Passed Senate Public Affairs 3/8; now in Senate Judiciary, if passed there, goes to Senate Floor.

Climate Change, Environment, Land and Water

  1. HB 210 Community Solar Act, would allow individuals to buy energy from locally developed solar arrays, enabling renters and homeowners to purchase solar power without the cost of installation. This bill was killed in the House in 2017 because three Democrats missed the vote. SB 96 received “strongly approve” or “approve” from 92% of 1,300 New Mexicans in our 2018 survey. STATUS: Passed House Energy & Natural Resources on 1/24, House Judiciary on 2/11, and full House on 2/18 by 42:25. Passed Senate Conservation 3/12; now moves to Senate Judiciary, then Senate Floor.
  2. SB 186 Oil Conservation Division Powers & Duties would increase penalties for gas and oil spills to be comparable with neighboring states. Penalties have not been increased in decades and the instances of spills has increased significantly over the years. Received “strongly approve” from 78% and “approve” from 15% in our 2018 survey of 1,300 New Mexicans. STATUS: Passed by Senate Conservation on 2/21, Senate Judiciary on 3/2; stuck in Senate Finance. Word is Rep. McQueen introduced HB 680 to replace it, but that's stalled in House Energy, Env. & Natural Resources.
  3. SB 275 Increase Renewable Portfolio Standards.  SB 275 would increase the existing RPS to 50% renewable energy produced by NM utilities by 2030 and 80% by 2040. While Retake Our Democracy supports this bill we will advocate for an 80% RPS by 2030 and 100% by 2040. STATUS: Sent to Senate Conservation on 1/21; no action as of 3/13.
  4. HB 206 Environmental Review Act. The bill provides rule-making authority to the Environmental Improvement Board and defines the powers and duties of state agencies to conduct environmental reviews and prepare environmental impact statements for all development and construction projects that would have significant impact on the environment. STATUS: Passed House Energy & Natural Resources on 2/4; stuck in House State Govt, Elections & Indian Affairs since.
  5. SB 374 Local Choice Energy Act. The bill would allow local jurisdictions and tribes to develop, produce, distribute and sell renewable energy. Retake Our Democracy and New Energy Economy feel this bill could be a game changer, essentially breaking the monopolies enjoyed by privately held utilities like PNM. If you want to achieve a higher RPS, we need to pass this bill. STATUS: Stuck in Senate Conservation since 1/28.
  6. SB 456 Electric Utility Resource Procurement  SB 456 directs investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to solicit competitive bids from other independent power companies when adding or replacing electricity-generating power. A transparent competitive resource procurement process would be established and would be monitored by an independent evaluator. STATUS: Passed Senate Conservation on 2/19; stuck in Senate Corporations & Transportation since.
  7. SB 489 Energy Transition Act.  This is a very complex and important bill. We can't support it as written. It needs several amendments. With the amendments that our ally New Energy Economy has provided to the bill sponsors, we would wholeheartedly support this bill. But we are not optimistic the amendments will be incorporated. STATUS: This bill was not amended to address its many problems, but it passed the full Senate 32:9 on 3/6 and the full House 43:22 on 3/12.
  8. SB 459 Hydraulic Fracturing Permits and Reporting.  SB 459 would impose a four year moratorium, or pause, on the issuance of fracking permits to allow the state to conduct an assessment of the scale and impact of current fracking operations. STATUS: Stuck in Senate Conservation since 2/4.

Women & Children (Several Economic Justice bills below address the needs of low-income women and children.)

  1. HB 51 Decriminalize Abortion. This bill would rescind a 1969 statute making abortion illegal in NM in most instances. This bill was not in our 2018 survey. Passed full House 40:29 on 2/6; passed by Senate Public Affairs on 3/1; passed Senate Judiciary 3/12;  now on Senate Floor.
  2. HJR 1 Permanent Funds for Early Childhood. Allocates an additional 1% from the Permanent Fund for early childhood education. This bill received “strongly approve” or “approve” from 89% of 1,300 New Mexicans in our 2018 survey. The Permanent Fund has increased in value to almost $18 billion. Passed full House 41:27 on 2/15, but killed in Senate Rules. SB 671 introduced 3/5/19 to replace it (at 1/2% instead of 1%); passed by Senate Education 3/6; in Senate Finance since.

Indigenous People

  1. HB 278 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The bill would create a task force to study the jurisdictional gaps, reporting gaps, lack of coordination among law enforcement, uneven media coverage, among other issues that contribute to the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women in New Mexico.  84% of Indigenous women report having been victims of violence in their lifetime. STATUS: Passed House State Govt., Elections & Indian Affairs on 1/31; passed House Appropriations & Finance 3/8; passed full House 62:0 on 3/8; passed Senate Indian Affairs 3/12; now on Seante Floor.

LGBTQ 

  1. SB 20. Sex Designation on Vital Records - PASSED! SB 20 allows transgender, gender expansive, gender nonconforming, non binary New Mexicans to confirm their gender on their NM birth certificate, without the requirement of surgery. It will protect New Mexicans against sexual discrimination by amending the Vital Statistics Act to allow the State Registrar to amend, correct, or change a birth certificate, with a new name, sex designation, or gender identity, or to show paternity. STATUS: Passed full Senate 26:13 on 2/5; passed full House 33:14 on 3/10.

Economic Justice

  1. HB 31 Phased In Minimum Wage. Raises the minimum wage to $10 immediately and to $12 in 2022 with a COLA. This bill received “strongly approve” or “approve” from 91% of 1,300 New Mexicans in our 2018 survey. STATUS: Passed full House 44:26 on 2/13; passed Senate Public Affairs on 2/25; stuck in Senate Corporation & Transportation.
  2. HB 150 Installment and Small Loan Changes, AKA predatory lending limit, an economic and racial justice issue. In 2017, the Legislature reduced the limit to 175% and called it a win. This bill would not reduce that rate, but rather it cleans up consumer protections and closes potential loopholes in the NM Installment Loan Act of 1959 and the NM Small Loan Act of 1955. It requires all loan agreements to specify the full cost of the loan, including interest and fees. STATUS: Passed full House 53:15 on 3/5; passed Senate Corporations & Transportation 3/12; now in Senate Judiciary.
  3. SB 183 / HB 23 Working Families Tax Credit. This bill would double the size of the existing Working Families Tax credit from 10% to 20%. The bill is endorsed strongly by NM Voices for Children. STATUS: HB 23 passed House Labor, Veterans & Military Affairs on 2/15; stuck in House Tax & Revenue since. SB 183 passed Senate Corporations & Transportation on 2/26; stuck in Senate Finance since. Word is, all the tax bills will be folded into one big tax bill; no word on the status of that as of 3/13.
  4. HB 6 Tax Changes. This bill would eliminate a variety of tax giveaways including the 50% deduction for capital gains taxes. It would lower the GRT by $.05 and increase the percent tax in the top bracket of personal income tax, among other changes. While HB 6 represents a good start at much needed tax reform, we feel the bill also needs changes that will more fully address the needs of low-income communities, working families, children and the systems that support them. STATUS: Passed full House 40:25 on 3/1. Stuck in Senate Corporations & Transportation since.
  5. HB 160 Requirements for Childcare Assistance–This bill eliminates the “cliff effect,” when a raise in pay makes a family ineligible for a childcare public benefit even though the increased income is less than the value of the benefits lost. STATUS: Stuck in House Health & Human Services since 1/17. Another of the tax bills that's supposed to be rolled into one big tax bill; no word on the status of that as of 3/13.
  6. HB 18 Child Income Tax Credit.  HB18 provides for a fully refundable New Mexico child tax credit of $25 to $175 per child, depending on income. It would take effect in the 2019 tax year and would be in effect for as long as the federal exemption amount is zero (federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated exemptions). STATUS: Passed House Health & Human Services on 2/4; stuck in House Taxation & Revenue since. Another of the tax bills that's supposed to be rolled into one big tax bill; no word on the status of that as of 3/13.

Criminal Justice

  1. HB 87 Domestic Violence and Firearm Possession / SB 328 Orders of Protection and Firearm Ownership. This bill prohibits firearms to those involved in a domestic violence dispute.  This bill received “strongly approve” or “approve” from 92% of 1,300 New Mexicans in our 2018 survey. STATUS: HB 87 Passed the full House 37:28 on 2/8; passed by Senate Public Affairs on 3/2; stuck in Senate Judiciary since. SB 328 passed full Senate 27:15 on 3/6; now in House Judiciary; if passed there, will move to House floor.
  2. HB 356. Cannabis Taxation and Regulation. This bill would create the legal and regulatory framework for legalizing and taxing the sale of recreational marijuana with projections of hundreds of jobs and up to $200M in annual revenues to the State. This bill received “strongly approve” or “approve” from 83% of 1,300 New Mexicans in our 2018 survey. STATUS: Passed House Health & Human Services on 2/11; House Judiciary on 2/24; passed full House with amendments 36:34 on 3/7. Passed by Senate Public Affairs on 3/9; now in Senate Finance; if passed there, will move to Senate Floor.

Wildlife and Animal Protection

  1. SB 76 Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests - PASSED! This bill would prohibit coyote killing contests on both public and private land. The regulation introduced by Lands Commissioner Garcia Richards would only cover public land. In our 2018 survey of 1,300 New Mexican, 72% “strongly approve” and 13% “approve.” STATUS: Passed Senate Conservation on 2/13, Senate Judiciary on 2/25; passed full Senate 22:17 on 2/27. Passed House Consumer & Public Affairs 3/8; House Judiciary 3/9; passed full House 37:30 on 3/13. 

Priority Bills

Priority bills didn't quite make it to our MUST PASS list, but they are still very important. Each of the following bills was identified by an ally and by members of our Research Team as warranting attention. We will send out alerts on these bills ONLY if they are being heard at a hearing when one of our MUST PASS bills is being heard. If we sent alerts on all Priority Bills in addition to our MUST PASS bills, we would be sending too many alerts and people would lose the focus on our MUST PASS bills. We will be adding to this list very soon.

Election Reform

SB 4. Campaign Public Financing Changes - PASSED! SB 4 would limit distribution of funds in uncontested races. It clarifies how contributions and matching funds can be used and how they are accounted for.

SB 52. Register to Vote Three Days Prior to Election. SB 52 amends the New Mexico Election code to allow registration of qualified voters at early voting sites three days prior to a primary or general election. 

HB 86 Same Day and Early Voting Registration. HB 86 amends the election code to facilitate registering voters at polling places on Election Day, and at early voting sites, for primary and general elections. 

Women

HB 89 Health Coverage for Contraception. Requires all individual and group health insurance policies to provide at least one form of each type of contraception as part of its benefits, without discrimination as regards cost, amount, or provider limitations. This would include all necessary medical examinations, consultations, education, and assistance in use.

Health

SB 670 Patient Safe Staffing Levels.  SB 670 requires hospitals to establish staffing levels (particularly safe nurse-to-patient ratios) for hospital nursing units and to post and report their daily hospital nursing unit patient census and staffing levels. It would allow a nurse to refuse an assignment under certain circumstances––if the nurse does not have the training, education, or experience to ensure patient safety.

Education

HB 77 School District Administrative Expenses.  This bill limits the annual growth of school district central administration spending to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the overall growth in the state education budget, whichever is lower. Classroom spending would not be limited.

Economic Justice

HB 85 Union Security Agreements - PASSED! The bill asserts the state’s exclusive jurisdiction under the National Labor Relations Act to prohibit agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment in New Mexico. This would effectively prohibit counties from adopting Right-to-Work ordinances.

HB 386. Small Loan Interest Caps. HB 386 caps the interest rate for small and installment loans from storefront lenders at 36%, to replace the current cap of 175% imposed in 2017.

HM 41. Study State Owned Bank.  HM 41 call for research into how a state-owned public bank could benefit the people of New Mexico. It also recommends aggregating research on the success of the 100-year-old Bank of North Dakota in diversifying and strengthening the North Dakota Economy to discover how that success can be replicated in New Mexico.

Climate Justice

SB 39 Solar Market Development Tax Credit, two similar House bills were introduced in 2017, one extending the Solar Tax Credit and the other making it permanent. This bill would offer tax credit incentive for installing rooftop solar.

HB 398 / SB 500  Oil, Gas, and Vented Gas Royalties. This legislation raises the royalty rates for oil and gas companies profiting off of New Mexico’s land resources to 25% on leases in the top 6% of production. If a well hits 20,000 barrels of oil per month, it would trigger the 25% royalty rate.

HB 136. Efficient Use of Energy Acts Amendments.  Current regulatory and financial disincentives block investor-owned public utilities (IOUs) from investing in load management and energy efficient measures to reduce consumption. SB 136 will amend the Act to remove them and adopt a rate adjustment mechanism to ensure that utilities would not lose revenue even if consumption is cut.  

SB 492 Utility Securitization Financing.  This bill, the "clean" securitization bill would authorize securitized financing of PNM unappreciated assets in the San Juan Generating Station but allows the PRC to conduct hearings to determine the amount to be securitized, the split between ratepayers and shareholders and the form and developer of replacement power.

Criminal Justice

HB 83 Extreme Risk Protection Order Act.  HB 83 allows law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from those who are a risk to themselves or others––a so-called “red flag” law. It’s a tool that helps law enforcement and family members––either could file in court for the weapon to be removed. 

HB 40 Background Checks at Gun Shows.  This bill would require gun sales at gun shows to be done through a licensed firearms dealer, who is responsible for completing a background check on the person receiving the firearm.

SB 8.  Firearm Sale Background Check - PASSED! Background checks are currently required only for sales by federally licensed dealers, regardless of where the sale takes place. SB 8 would require a background check equivalent to the existing federal background check for any sale, or passing of ownership or control of a firearm for a fee, whether the seller was licensed or not. 

Indigenous Peoples

HB 100 Replace Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples DayReplaces Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day. 

LGBTQ Rights

SB 227. Additional Unlawful Discrimination Practices  SB 227 amends a section of New Mexico’s Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity to the classes protected from unlawful discrimination by all employers in the state and removes an exemption for small businesses (14 or fewer employees), thereby prohibiting ALL employers in NM from such discrimination.

 

 

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  • 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