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, House Majority Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s (D-Albuquerque) bill to support behavioral health passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee. House Bill 160 provides interventions for nonviolent offenders who have a behavioral health diagnosis in order to reduce the chances of repeat offenses, detention, and ineffective incarceration.

SANTA FE—This evening, the New Mexico Senate unanimously approved House Bill 55, Rep. Tim Lewis’s effort to expand scholarship benefits for the surviving family members of New Mexico police offers and firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty.

HB 55 expands the existing survivors’ scholarship to cover costs related to room, board, books, and supplies as well as tuition. The bill also provides an equal benefit for survivors who attend out-of-state schools.

Santa Fe – Today, the House Floor recognized the importance of the North America Free Trade Agreement by passing a memorial introduced by Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) with bipartisan support. The introduction of HM 86 comes after the current federal administration has expressed their desire to pull out of the agreement, a decision that would have negative impacts on New Mexico’s economy.

 Santa Fe – Today, a memorial to add opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition to the state Medical Cannabis Program passed the House Floor. HM 67, introduced by Joanne J. Ferrary (D-Las Cruces) and Deborah A. Armstrong (D-Albuquerque), would provide an alternative to opioids in acute and chronic pain management and in preventing and treating opioid use disorders.

“This is a common sense step to addressing the opioid epidemic. Opioid use disorder often goes untreated because medication assisted treatment is not accessible to many residents of New Mexico, especially those living in rural areas of the state,” said Rep. Joanne Ferrary. “This proposal would provide patients with a new option to discuss with their medical providers.”

Santa Fe, NM – Today, a memorial to study the opportunity for job growth at the Escalante Generating Station in Prewitt, New Mexico passed the House Floor. House Memorial 41, introduced by Reps. Harry Garcia (D-Grants) and Eliseo Alcon (D-Milan), would provide a report relating to the potential for job growth in the Prewitt area.

 SANTA FE—Tonight, the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 270, Rep. Jim Smith’s (R-Sandia Park) proposal to decouple lottery scholarship awards from tuition rates. HB 270 is co-sponsored by Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington). 

Currently, lottery scholarships cover a percentage of tuition based on the average tuition rates charged by each type of higher education institution: research university, comprehensive institution, or community college. This year, lottery scholarship awards covered 60% of student tuition costs.

SANTA FE—This afternoon, the House of Representatives honored the legislative careers of Rep. Jim Smith (R-Sandia Park), Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo), and Rep. Dennis Roch (R-Logan). These three representatives have announced that they do not intend to seek re-election to the House of Representatives this year.

jim smith rsRep. Jim Smith began his legislative career in 2011. A retired charter school science and technology teacher, Rep. Smith has been a tireless advocate for charter schools and targeted programs to provide direct assistance to struggling students. Rep. Smith has also championed efforts to improve wireless and broadband service in New Mexico, especially in rural communities. A prolific bipartisan worker, Rep. Smith shepherded numerous proposals through the legislature, and earned a reputation among his peers for consensus building.yvette herrell rsRep. Yvette Herrell entered the Legislature in 2011 as well. Rep. Herrell has been a strong proponent of limited government and fiscal responsibility. As a small business owner, Rep. Herrell consistently promoted policies to encourage business growth and development in New Mexico. Rep. Herrell has also been a steadfast supporter of our military veterans and has backed efforts to protect the honors and benefits due to these defenders of our freedoms.dennis roch rsRep. Dennis Roch was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008. The only school district superintendent serving in the Legislature, Rep. Roch brought a wealth of knowledge to discussions about K-12 educational policy. A skilled public speaker and debater, Rep. Roch has often been called upon to preside over floor discussions and guide his colleagues on matters of procedure. His quick wit and ready puns brightened the mood during many committee meetings and long floor debates.Memorials were read on the House floor for each retiring representative to recognize their legislative service and contributions. Many of their colleagues also stood to thank them for their service to New Mexico.

 SANTA FE—This morning, the House Judiciary Committee passed Rep. Rod Montoya’s (R-Farmington) plan to help San Juan County withstand the planned closure of the San Juan Generating Station. 

HB 325 requires PNM, the owner of the generating station, to cushion the devastating financial blow the closure will have on the local communities, especially the Central Consolidated School District, where the facility is located.