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 — Late last night, the Legislature approved two identical bills developed to give the state and local governments more flexibility to dispose of delinquent tax property. The bills, HB 88 and SB 109, are sponsored by Reps. Alonzo Baldonado (R-Los Lunas), Kelly Fajardo (R-Los Lunas), and Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena), and Sen. Greg Baca (R-Belen).
There are 116,155 delinquent properties in New Mexico, and 46% are located in Valencia County. Many of these properties in Valencia County are too small to be developed, and they are worth less than the tax penalties and assessments placed on them.
Santa Fe, NM – Today, the House passed changes to New Mexico's guardianship system, which has been under fire the past few years for lack of oversight. SB 19 as amended, would provide more transparency and safeguards for protected persons and their families.
"The legislature clearly recognized the need to reform our state's guardianship system. Families must be assured that their family members in need of protection receive everything they need from the legal system and their guardians, so they can have the highest possible quality of life," said Rep. Gail Chasey.
SANTA FE — Tonight, the Legislature approved and sent House Bill 197 to Governor Susana Martinez for her signature. House Bill 197 allows local governments to create industrial air center special economic districts. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell), Rep. Bob Wooley (R-Roswell), Rep. James Townsend (R-Artesia), and Rep. Greg Nibert (R-Roswell).
HB 197 allows municipalities to partner with their home counties to form industrial air center special economic districts. These districts would manage the operations of the special economic district, have the power to issue revenue bonds, and make any facility improvements necessary to attract business tenants.
Santa Fe, NM – A bill to ensure communities have safe drinking water by making it a crime to lie to inspectors from the New Mexico Environment Department is heading to the Governor's desk. HB 142, sponsored by Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) 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.
"Clean drinking water is essential to raise strong families and ensure our communities can grow economically. This bill will help stop a practice that has caused water crises around the country and even in areas of our state, and will ensure the folks who are responsible for ensuring our water is clean are held accountable when they fail to do so," said Rep. Nathan Small.
Santa Fe, NM – Today, a bill to raise pay for New Mexico teachers passed the New Mexico House and awaits the Governor's signature. SB 119, sponsored by Senator Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), would increase minimum salaries for all teacher levels.
"We have seen other bills come up around increasing teacher pay that don't incorporate the proposed raise into the state budget, which makes it really hard to move the legislation forward. I am glad to see a bill that includes an appropriation, so we can lift up our educators who are working hard every day to provide the best education possible for our children," said Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, Chairwoman of the House Education Committee.
SANTA FE—This evening, the Senate unanimously approved Rep. Bill Rehm's (R-Albuquerque) plan to create an auto theft prevention authority within the Office of the New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance. House Bill 173 now heads to Governor Susana Martinez for her signature.
Rep. Rehm offered the following statement after the Senate vote:
Santa Fe, NM – Today, a bill sponsored by Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell) and supported by the Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) to expand the Roswell International Air Center passed the Senate Floor. HB 197 would support the air center, bringing economic growth and development to the area.
"We're one step closer to getting this done for our state. Our statewide jobs tour shed light on many projects, but the Roswell Air Center revealed itself as a gem with the potential to both create high paying jobs and expand opportunities for the entire state," said Speaker of the House Brian Egolf.
Santa Fe, NM – The bipartisan public safety package that passed the House and Senate with overwhelming support now awaits the governor's signature.
The package includes bills sponsored by Representatives Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), Antonio "Moe" Maestas (D-Albuquerque), David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), 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.