New Mexico Legislative Session 2018

Items about the New Mexico Legislative 2018 session, which began Jan. 16, 2018 and will end on Feb. 15, 2018 can be viewed here.

Santa Fe, NM – Today, HM 37, sponsored by Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces) and Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), passed the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee. The memorial recognizes the role of Hispanic New Mexicans in protecting and preserving the land, water, and wildlife across the country, but particularly in New Mexico.

SANTA FE—Today, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted unanimously to pass House Bill 100, legislation proposed by Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes (R-Albuquerque) to expand Baby Brianna’s Law to apply to all abusers whose intentional harmful actions result in a child’s death.

Santa Fe, NM – A bill to make it a crime to lie to inspectors from the Environment Department passed unanimously today in the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee. HB 142 imposes criminal penalties for owners and operators of public water systems who lie to inspectors from the Department of the Environment. Currently, there are no penalties for lying to inspectors nor for tampering with devices or records.

SANTA FE—This afternoon, the House Business and Industry Committee unanimously approved House Bill 212 to establish a family-friendly workplace income tax credit for New Mexico small businesses.

HB 212, sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Truth or Consequences), provides a tax credit for small businesses that have implemented family-friendly workplace policies such as parental paid leave and part-time employee benefits. Employers could claim $1,000 per full-time employee and $500 per part-time employee. Eligible businesses must employ 50 or fewer employees and must earn “Gold” level recognition by New Mexico Family Friendly, a statewide non-profit organization that promotes family-friendly business policies in New Mexico.

SANTA FE—Earlier today, the House Education Committee voted 11 to 2 to approve House Bill 147. This legislation sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith (R-Sandia Park) will bolster New Mexico’s lottery scholarship program.
HB 147 gives the New Mexico Lottery Authority (NMLA) the freedom to encourage sales through larger prize payouts by removing the requirement that the NMLA transfer 30% of its gross revenues to the tuition fund.

Santa Fe, NM- Today, a bipartisan, comprehensive public safety package passed the House Judiciary Committee. The package includes bills sponsored by Reps. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), Reps. Elizabeth Thomson (D-Albuquerque), and Daymon Ely (D-Corrales). This package is a bipartisan effort to keep New Mexico communities safe by using a framework that addresses crime across the entire criminal justice system.“We spent months working with people in every part of the criminal justice system to develop evidence-based solutions for New Mexico’s crime problem. This bill addresses the full spectrum of public safety needs: sentence enhancement for violent offenders, law enforcement staffing, and mental health services. It’s a meaningful and comprehensive approach that will help move the needle in the right direction for New Mexico,” said Rep. Nate Gentry.

“This package of bills is a comprehensive, common-sense approach to increase public safety—from keeping more police on our streets and managing caseloads in the courts to ensuring we reduce recidivism. This package will also tackle the factors that contribute to crime as a whole,” said Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas.

“Living with crime has become a daily reality for too many New Mexicans. High crime rates affect our ability to build healthy communities and increase opportunities for our children. I am pleased to be part of this bipartisan effort to make our state a safer place to live,” said Rep. David Adkins.

“Every New Mexican deserves to feel safe in their community, and emphasizing proactive solutions is critical to increasing public safety” said Rep. Elizabeth Thomson.

“This is a step in the right direction. We need to address crime prevention by looking at the entire system, and that includes law enforcement, prosecution and defense, courts and corrections, and behavioral health,” said Rep. Daymon Ely.

The comprehensive, bipartisan public safety package specifically includes:

· HB 19, sponsored by House Minority Floor Leader Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), would keep violent criminals from obtaining firearms by increasing penalties for felony offenders who receive, transport, or possess a firearm.
· HB 215, sponsored by Rep. David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), would provide bonuses to our most experienced officers to help keep them on the force protecting our communities.
· HB 217, sponsored by Reps. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales) and Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), would help corrections facilities screen inmates for underlying health issues, connect them with treatment services, and enroll those eligible in Medicaid before they are released – encouraging access to behavioral health support and decreasing recidivism.
· HB 266, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would increase the requirements for removal of an ignition interlock device for DWI offenders before a driver’s license is reinstated.
· HB 271, sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), would set realistic penalties for nonviolent crimes, a fiscally responsible way to help our judiciary system better manage caseloads and free up the time for District Attorneys and public defenders to focus on serious crimes.

The bill now heads to the House Floor for consideration.

SANTA FE—Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes will present House Bill 100, legislation to expand Baby Brianna’s Law, to the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee tomorrow afternoon, Thursday, February 1, 2018.

HB 100 would remove the arbitrary age restriction present in the current law. Baby Brianna’s Law imposes mandatory life sentences on individuals whose intentional abusive or negligent actions result in the death of a child under the age of 12.

Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed a bipartisan budget to invest in New Mexico’s economy and put the state back on track. The 2019 Fiscal Year budget includes a total of $6.32 billion in funding that will invest in public schools, increase support for job training and economic development, boost teachers’ salaries, ensure the judiciary is properly funded, support public safety measures, fund roads and infrastructure projects across the state, and backfill agencies that experienced drastic cuts.