This will cover all news releases concerning the 2023 NM Legislative Session

Senator Craig Brandt's Education Freedom Act Tabled by Senate Education Committee

Legislation would have given parents the freedom to choose the best K-12 education for their children

SANTA FE — Today, Senate Bill 109, the Education Freedom Act sponsored by Senator Craig Brandt (R-Rio Rancho), was tabled by the Senate Education Committee on a party-line vote. All Democrats on the committee voted as a bloc to table the measure.

Following the bill's tabling, Senator Brandt issued the following statement:

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Statement on Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund Passing Senate Conservation Committee

Bipartisan Land & Water Conservation Proposal Receives Unanimous Support

Santa Fe, N.M. - January 31, 2023 - Today representatives of a broad coalition of New Mexico organizations released the following statement after the Senate Conservation Committee voted unanimously 7-0 with a “do-pass” recommendation for Senate Bill 9: The Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund, that would create the state’s first dedicated and long-term funding stream for land and water conservation. 

“Today’s unanimous endorsement by the Senate Conservation Committee reinforces the urgent need for this fund,” said Dr. Brittany Fallon, western lands senior policy manager at Western Resource Advocates. “With support from legislators on both sides of the aisle, it’s clear we must prioritize land and water conservation this session. We are eager to continue this positive momentum as it moves through the legislative process so that we can have a sustainable fund in place to protect and restore New Mexico’s landscape for future generations.”

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House Democrats block anti-crime legislation

Santa Fe – House Democrats today on the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee unilaterally blocked Republican sponsored anti-crime legislation in today's committee hearing. The Democrat lawmakers persistently moved to "table" (or blocked) every Republican crime bill, sometimes before any lawmaker or member of the public had a chance to digest the legislation, ask questions, or make comment on the proposed legislation.

"Today the progressives made clear that they are unwilling to lock up felons with illegal firearms, but they are willing to make felons out of law-abiding gun owners," said State Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque). "Just days ago, we joined the Governor in her office, with statewide media, for productive talks about bipartisan action against crime and today's disappointing votes reveal that House Democrats on the House Consumer & Public Affairs committee care little about improving public safety in meaningful ways. These political tactics are highly frustrating to the many victims of crime that spend their personal time advocating in Santa Fe for a safer New Mexico."

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Public safety expert, District Attorney testify in support of keeping potentially dangerous offenders behind bars pending trial

SANTA FE – Today, Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman and Department of Public Safety Deputy Secretary Benjamin A. Baker provided expert testimony during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Governor’s proposal to reform pre-trial detention. Lawmakers heard from attorneys and law enforcement professionals on Monday afternoon about the critical importance of reforming the state’s pretrial detention system during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

“It’s incredibly difficult to explain to the victims of a violent crime why the perpetrator was allowed to go free on an ankle monitor before violently reoffending,” said Benjamin A. Baker, Deputy Secretary of the Public Safety Department. “This is not just an Albuquerque problem – I hear the same things from constituents and law enforcement officers around the state.”  

“We are all 100% clear that every New Mexican is innocent until proven guilty – there’s no question there,” said Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman.

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Bipartisan Economic Development Bills Advance Through House

Proposed legislation would support local entrepreneurs and spur investment in early-stage companies in New Mexico

Santa Fe, NM - Two important bills to grow and diversify New Mexico’s economy were passed by the House Commerce & Economic Development Committee (HCEDC) today with strong bipartisan support. 

Unanimously passed by HCEDC, House Bill 69 would stimulate investment in young businesses in New Mexico by increasing the annual cap on angel investment credits. The legislation holds bipartisan sponsorship from Reps. Linda Serrato (D-Santa Fe), Meredith Dixon (D-Albuquerque), and Joshua Hernandez (R-Rio Rancho).

“House Bill 69 creates a major incentive for investors to increase the capital given to early-stage startups in New Mexico, right when they need it most,” said Rep. Serrato. “By attracting greater investments, we will bolster economic development in our state and make New Mexico more competitive for both workers and businesses.” 

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Updated “Bennie’s Bill” Headed to House Floor

Safe Storage Bill reduces access to firearms for minors and increases accountability for adults who irresponsibly store guns within reach of children 

Santa Fe, NM - “Bennie’s Bill,” which would hold adults who recklessly store firearms accountable if a child uses that firearm to commit a crime, passed the House Judiciary Committee today on a party line vote of 7-4. The bill is named after Bennie Hargrove, the Washington Middle School (Albuquerque) student fatally shot by another student who used his father's improperly stored gun in August 2021.

House Bill 9 holds adults accountable for making a firearm accessible to a minor (a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail), and negligently making a firearm accessible to a minor resulting in great bodily harm or death (a fourth degree felony, carrying an 18-month prison sentence).

 “This bill is about keeping our kids safe. While most gun owners are responsible and store their firearms safely, we have seen the tragic consequences that can occur when adults fail to keep these weapons out of the reach of children,” said House Bill 9’s lead sponsor Representative Pamelya Herndon (D-Albuquerque).

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House GOP announces new Whip

Santa Fe – House Republicans today met today to elect a new Minority Caucus Whip. Republicans selected State Rep. Greg Nibert (Roswell) for the caucus whip position.

"I am humbled and honored to be selected to work with our new leadership team, Reps Ryan Lane and Gail Armstrong, and look forward to working to support New Mexico's best interest as we debate public policy this session," said House Republican Whip Greg Nibert (Roswell).

"Our entire House Republican Caucus is thankful for the work and service of Rep. Jason Harper, and we know that he will remain an integral part of our caucus and will continue to lead in tax policy," said House Republican Leader Ryan Lane. "Our caucus remains resolved to upholding conservative principles and working to make sure that New Mexicans see results and not just political grandstanding."

Senate Committee Unanimously Advances Bill to Provide Legislative Involvement in Public Health Declarations and Orders

SANTA FE — Senate Bill 65, sponsored by Senate Republican Leader, Senator Greg Baca (R-Belen), today cleared the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. The bill aims to provide legislative involvement in the renewing or amending of a governor's public health order and emergency declaration.

"As the people's representatives, the Legislature should to have a seat at the table when making important decisions that impact every New Mexican," said Senator Baca. "Today, we took a step as Legislators to create some balance in the decision-making process during a public health emergency. I thank my colleagues for their bipartisan support on this bill."

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