MUST PASS Bills



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Our Legislative Research Team is still identifying new bills to be identified as Priority bills. So 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. 

 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. This provides NM with information on the fiscal viability of the plan and a good estimate of what NM is currently spending on healthcare. A new summary is coming soon, awaiting input from Health Security for New Mexicans.
  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.

Election and Voter Reform

  1. HB 55 Agreement to Elect President by Popular Vote. 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. This bill was not part of our online survey.
  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. This is the 2019 version supported by Common Cause. This bill received “strongly approve” or “approve” from 84% of 1,300 New Mexicans in our 2018 survey.
  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.
  4. SB 3 Campaign Finance Reporting 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.

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 felt that this bill would 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.
  2. HB 141 State Disclosure of Sensitive Info.  This bill would protect immigrants (and others) from having the Federal government harvest information that could be used to identify an immigrant, e.g. motor vehicle or SNAP information. This bill is also supported by Somos Un Pueblo Unido.

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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

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.
  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.

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.

LGBTQ 

  1. SB 20. Sex Designation on Vital RecordsSB 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.

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.
  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 We are told that another bill will be introduced to reduce the cap to 36%.  Stay tuned. 
  3. SB 183 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.
  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. We will consult further with NM Voices for Children and other allies to get guidance on possible amendments.
  5. HB 160 Requirements for Childcare Assistance–Raises income levels where parent co-payment kicks. Piece needs to calculate what the Fed. Poverty level is at 100, 200 and 300% as these are the levels adjusted in the bill. 
  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).

Criminal Justice

  1. HB 87 Domestic Violence and Firearm Possession. 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.
  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.

Wildlife and Animal Protection

  1. SB 76 Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests 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.” 

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. 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.

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 

HB 85 Union Security Agreements 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.

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.  Oil, Gas, and Vented Gas Royalties. HB 398 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.

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. 

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