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NM Legislative Session 2020

This is provide information on the 30-day New Mexico Legislative Session 2020

Provides low-cost spay/neuter services, helps struggling families keep their furry friends healthy

Santa Fe, N.M. – Friday, Senate Bill 57, providing funds for a low-cost pet spay and neuter program, was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham. Sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque) and Representative Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), Senate Bill 57 covers costs of spay and neuter services for lower-income families looking to take care of their pets, as well as delivers funds to struggling animal shelters around the state. Signed into law on Friday, Senate Bill 57 becomes effective July 1, 2020.

To fund the programs in Senate Bill 57, pet food manufacturers with annual gross revenue of $3 million or more will pay a $100 fee per year for dog food, cat food, and pet treat brands sold in New Mexico after a 3-year phase-in. This fee is on par with what these companies pay in several other states. The fee does not apply to livestock feed or any other animal feed, prescription diets, nor does it directly affect retailers, or consumers. 

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday vetoed Senate Bill 232, a piece of legislation that would have appropriated roughly $50 million to a variety of local projects. The money will instead be part of the state’s general fund reserves. The governor’s formal veto statement can be accessed here. She issued the following statement expanding on her rationale, which is primarily the enhancement of the state’s reserve capacity:

“Revenue projections and the state’s ability to weather potential downturns are always primary concerns of mine. That’s why I have called for a 25 percent reserve target in both of my executive budget recommendations – and this year succeeded and secured what will be the highest percentage of reserves in our state’s history. It’s why I pushed for a revenue-generating mechanism for the Early Childhood Trust Fund, which shields general fund monies from future ‘busts.’ And it’s why – given the economic news of the past few days – I have given enhanced consideration to how we can be even more fiscally prudent and ensure our investments in New Mexico workers and families are protected.

Santa Fe, NM– With just days remaining for the New Mexico budget to be signed and approved by the Governor, today’s news headlines showing plunging oil prices and large losses on Wall Street indicate major concerns for the New Mexico budget which heavily relies on oil and gas revenues. Oil prices have declined to less than $35 per barrel today and such dramatic cuts will most certainly adversely affect both state revenues, and oil producers who have operations in the Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico.

Continuing Democratic Push For High-Quality Education For All New Mexicans 

Investing In And Raising Up The Next Generation Of Students And Educators 

SANTA FE, N.M. – On Wednesday, four significant education bills championed by House Democrats were signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. House Bill 59, House Bill 62, House Bill 92, and House Bill 102 are important steps to ensure that all New Mexican students and educators have the opportunity, support, and tools they need to learn, grow, and be successful. The bills accomplish this through: increasing funding for the state’s at-risk student population, developing a framework for a formal mentorship program for beginning educators, giving grants to public and tribal post-secondary institutions to establish teacher residency programs, and creating a scholarship fund to assist teachers in attaining national board certification.

Santa Fe, NM–  New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham has one week left to take final action on legislation from the 2020 Legislature. Out of the many out-of-touch bills that were passed, House Bill 364 has sparked intense interest in the last few days. HB 364 was hastily passed in its only committee assignment as a “dummy bill” and was debated by the House in somewhere around 48-hours. The bill passed on a contentious party-line vote, with many Republican members questioning the break-neck speed of passage and taking considerable offense that Republican analysts and expert witnesses were given little to no notice of the bill’s presentation.

In the weeks that followed HB 364’s passage, it has become clear to many open government groups that the rushed through legislation raises serious questions about transparency. The crux of the issue is the interpretation of the HB 364 and future clashes with the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA). It appears that contrary to IPRA’s current standards, HB 364 will eliminate New Mexicans access to public records.

Santa Fe, NM– Representative Rebecca Dow (R- Truth or Consequences) delivered on her promise to constituents to request funding for crucial veterans services in New Mexico. Originally Rep. Dow’s request was presented in HB 192, which passed unanimously in the House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs committee, but failed to be called up in the House Appropriations committee. Rep. Dow communicated the issue to the Appropriations committee and worked with veteran lawmakers to ensure that the funding request made it into the final budget proposal.

“In Silver City last year, I heard loud and clear from our community that there was a gap in veterans services, especially in rural New Mexico,” said Rep. Dow, “I am pleased that our state is committed to funding five full-time Veteran Service officers that will be dedicated to delivering much needed assistance to rural veterans. My colleagues and I have heard these concerns echoed from veterans across New Mexico, and we are taking a step in the right direction by investing in our veterans.”

SANTA FE – Today, House Bill 50, House Bill 233, and Senate Bill 29—a slate of bills protecting New Mexico’s environment and promoting a clean energy future while strengthening the state’s economy—were signed by Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham.

House Bill 50, sponsored by Representative Nathan Small, expands infrastructure for renewable energy by making transmission line projects eligible for Industrial Revenue Bonds available through cities and municipalities. Signed into law today, House Bill 50 becomes effective July 1, 2020.

“House Bill 50 promotes jobs for New Mexicans by adding another tool for transmission of our rich, renewable resources,” said Representative Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces). “I am proud to partner with my colleagues in the Senate and the Legislature, as well as with Governor Lujan Grisham, to pass this bill supporting economic development and environmental stewardship based on reliable and affordable renewable energy across the state.”

Santa Fe, N.M. – A House Democratic bill addressing the retirement savings crisis is signed into law by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

House Bill 44, the New Mexico Work and Save Act, creating a voluntary, state-sponsored savings program for small business, self-employed, and nonprofit employees in the private sector, was signed into law by the Governor. Sponsored by Representative Tomas Salazar (D-Las Vegas), Representative Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Senator Michael Padilla (D-Albuquerque), and Senator Bill Tallman (D-Albuquerque), House Bill 44 addresses the statewide gap in retirement saving by encouraging employers to offer their employees access to a retirement savings plan. Currently, 62 percent of private sector workers in New Mexico work for businesses that do not currently offer a retirement plan.

A Message from Rebecca Dow

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Rebecca Dow