This category will fill with information on the 30-day legislative session that begins on Jan. 18, 2022.

Proposed Legislation for 'Baby Boxes' Passes Committee

Santa Fe, NM- Yesterday, the Health & Human Services Committee passed HB 157, which proposes funding for ‘Baby Boxes’ in every county in New Mexico. These boxes aim to prevent infant abandonment by increasing safe, confidential options for parents who make the difficult decision to surrender an infant under the state’s existing safe haven law.

The legislation would expand New Mexico’s safe haven law, which allows parents to surrender newborns to a health care worker, law enforcement officer or first responder without legal repercussions within 90 days of birth, allowing another option to surrender infants safely and confidentially, without the guilt of personal contact with a medical provider or law enforcement officer. The bill, sponsored by Representative Ambrose Castellano (D-Serafina), House Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos (D-Las Cruces), and Representatives Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque), James Strickler (R-Farmington) and Kelly Fajardo (R-Los Lunas), passed the committee with a vote of 7 to 3.

“It is especially important in a small town like mine that we make sure there are safe and confidential ways for infants to be surrendered under New Mexico’s Safe Haven Law,” said Rep. Castellano. “When people feel desperate they can make very bad decisions and this bill will help make sure that does not happen again in our state.”

House Swears in Rep. Art De La Cruz

Santa Fe, N.M. – Today former Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz (D-Albuquerque) was sworn in as the newest member of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Rep. De La Cruz, who was born and raised in Albuquerque’s South Valley will represent House District 12, taking the seat recently vacated by Brittney Barreras.

“I am incredibly proud to represent the South Valley in Santa Fe,” said Rep. De La Cruz. “There is a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time but I am ready to get to work.”

House Passes Historic, Bipartisan Budget

House Budget Would Put Unprecedented State Revenues to Work for New Mexicans with Responsible Investments in Education, Public Safety, Clean Energy, and Economic Development 

Santa Fe, NM- Today the New Mexico House of Representatives passed HB 2, the General Appropriations Act, with a vote of 56 to 13, demonstrating strong bipartisan support for the proposed state budget. The budget proposed for fiscal year 2023 totals $8.47 billion, up 13.8% from last year while maintaining a robust 30% reserve. 

“Our unprecedented revenues mean we have the chance to make a real difference in the lives of New Mexicans, and people are counting on us to work together this session to deliver results,” said House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC) Chair, Representative Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup). “But we also have to do that smartly and responsibly. I am incredibly proud of the smart, responsible investments in this budget.”

The budget invests $3.87 billion in public schools and calls for 7% raises and other incentives to help our state recruit and retain talented teachers.

Read more ...

Roundup at the Roundhouse 020322

NM HOUSE REPUBLICANS PRESENT ALTERNATIVE STATE BUDGET THAT CALLS FOR $802 MILLION TAX BREAK AND TARGETS SPENDING

Today House Republicans unveiled their alternative proposal, the Putting New Mexico Working Families First Plan, to the state's record-breaking $8.47 billion budget. The proposal, presented by Rep. Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho), is based on sound fiscal principles that are designed to directly address the needs of New Mexico working families while also enhancing incomes, and preparing the state to withstand the effects of increasing inflation, higher utility rates and volatile gasoline prices.

"We are uniquely positioned to dramatically help the working families of New Mexico--that is if we do not miss this opportunity," said Harper. "It is no secret that the last three years of spending continue to put government first; however the plan we are rolling out today presents opportunity to change the trajectory of our beloved state. If we take this opportunity, we can focus on giving working families the respect and help that they deserve instead of propping up state agencies that keep asking for more and more money."

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Senator David Gallegos Applauds Bipartisan Support for Social Security Tax Exemption Legislation

Senate Bill 108 and Senate Bill 121 receive overwhelming support in Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee

SANTA FE – Senate Bill 108 and Senate Bill 121, co-sponsored by Senator David Gallegos (District 41-Eddy and Lea), were today debated in the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee. The two bipartisan bills aim to repeal the taxing of Social Security benefits. Although they received overwhelming support from Committee members and the public, the Committee delayed taking action to advance the bills at this time.

Senator Gallegos issued the following statement applauding the support:

"After watching similar legislation stall in the past, I am hopeful that this is the year we finally repeal the double tax on Social Security benefits. If enacted, this legislation would greatly benefit those New Mexicans who rely on their Social Security—especially those living on a fixed income."

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Senate Republicans Condemn Passage of Senate Bill 14

Legislation will raise gas prices and harm New Mexico's energy economy

SANTA FE – Today the New Mexico Senate passed Senate Bill 14 on a 25-16 vote with all Republicans and one Democrat opposing the measure. As one of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's top priorities, the bill was quickly advanced by Senate Democrats despite legitimate concerns that it will significantly raise gas prices and harm New Mexico's energy economy.

"Make no mistake—New Mexicans will pay a high price for this bill that does almost nothing to impact worldwide emissions," said Senate Republican Leader, Senator Greg Baca (District 29, Bernalillo and Valencia). "They did this in California and the average price of gasoline has skyrocketed to almost five dollars per gallon. If enacted, Senate Bill 14 will needlessly hit hard working New Mexicans at a time when inflation is soaring and wages are stagnant. All of us want clean air, but we can protect our environment without forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for these radical, ineffective policies."

"Our New Mexico energy producers are producing the cleanest and most efficient hydrocarbon fuels in the world," added Senator William Sharer (District 1-San Juan), who represents the San Juan Basin. "However, the radical President in the White House and his ally in our Governor's mansion have caved to the demands of the eco-far-left and attacked our greatest tool to fight climate change—domestic energy production. If we want to make a dent in international greenhouse gas emissions, we must end our reliance on other countries who mine and drill with no regulations or regard for the environment. Our path to continuing global emissions reductions is American Energy independence, not taxing New Mexicans for working and living their lives."
Senate Bill 14 will now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Governor cheers Senate passage of Clean Fuel Standard Act

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday issued the following statement following the state Senate voting to approve Senate Bill 14, the Clean Fuel Standard Act:

"The Clean Fuel Standard Act will reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels, improving the health of our communities and quality of our air while increasing consumer fuel options and attracting new economic investments. We will be the very first state in the southwest to implement a clean fuel standard, setting us ahead of the curve economically and environmentally."

Sponsored by Senator Mimi Stewart, the legislation harnesses market forces to spur millions of dollars in economic investment in the clean economy with the potential to create jobs in rural and urban communities across the state. If implemented, a clean fuel standard will reduce emissions by an estimated 18.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – equivalent to taking 570,000 cars off the road for a year.

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NM House Republican budget: Putting New Mexico Working Families First Plan

Reclaiming New Mexico's future with the largest tax break for working families in state history

Santa Fe – New Mexico House Republicans today presented their alternative proposal, the Putting New Mexico Working Families First Plan, to the state's record-breaking $8.47 billion budget. The proposal, presented by State Representative Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho), is based on sound fiscal principles that are designed to address directly the needs of New Mexico working families while also enhancing incomes, and preparing the state to withstand the effects of increasing inflation, higher utility rates and volatile gasoline prices.

"We are uniquely positioned to dramatically help the working families of New Mexico- that is if we do not miss this opportunity," said State Rep. Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho). "It is no secret that the last three years of spending continue to put government first; however the plan we are rolling out today presents opportunity to change the trajectory of our beloved state. If we take this opportunity, we can focus on giving working families the respect and help that they deserve instead of propping up state agencies that keep asking for more and more money."

Read more ...

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