State Senator Bill B. O'Neill (D)
- Lifetime Score:
- 2022 Score:
- 2021 Score:
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- District #:
- Legislative Link:
- View on nmlegis.gov »
- Office Phone:
- (505) 986-4260
- Email address:
343 Sarah Lane NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
2013: Senator O'Neill began serving in the State Senate as of Jan. 1, 2013. His lifetime score reflects his votes during his time in both the State House and State Senate.
- = Pro Conservation Vote
- = Anti Conservation Vote
- A = Absent
- E = Excused
- R = Recused
- W = Abstain
- Air Quality
- Energy &
- Wildlife & Habitat
Community Energy Efficiency Dev Block Grant more
Summary: HB 37 creates new state grant program for low-income households, including requirements, selection criteria, administration; creates reporting requirement for public utilities related to energy efficiency efforts, due by end of 2023.
Outcome: HB 37 passed the House 44-24, and the Senate 26-14 and was signed by the Governor on February 28, 2022.
Uranium Mine Cleanup more
Summary: HB 164 outlines Department of Environment duties for clean-up and reclamation of former uranium mine and mill sites; tasks other departments, offices, and agencies to collaborate (EMNRD, Indian affairs, office of natural resources trustee, state land office; depts. of fish and game, cultural affairs, health, workforce solutions, and economic development); duties include the development of a strategic plan and a mechanism for consultation and coordination with the federal government and directly impacted communities; requires annual reporting to the radioactive and hazardous materials committee and the creation of a Dept. of Environment uranium mine reclamation coordinator position; creates the uranium mining reclamation revolving fund; appropriates $350,000 general fund dollars to Dept. of Environment for FY23 for purposes outlined.
Outcome: HB 164 passed the House 64-0, and the Senate 26-0 and was signed by the Governor on March 1, 2022
Voters' Rights Provisions more
Summary: SB 8 (1) Enacts digital voter registration; (2) aligns tribal polling place changes to Native American Voting Rights Act; (3) allows sixteen-year-olds to vote in local and municipal elections; (4) expands voter registration ability at DMV; (5) allows tribal government buildings to be used as tribal land residents’ voter registration mailing address; (6) allows driver’s license or state ID number to be used in addition to SSN for digital voter registration; (7)allows public sharing of eligible but unregistered voters by SOS upon request; (8-9) expands Election Day voter registration; (10) further outlines digital voter registration process; (11-12) grants voting rights to residents with past felony convictions; (13-15) repeals, replaces, and creates new programs relating to voter registration at DMV, on tribal land, at state agencies; (16-19) expands absentee voting; (20-21) makes minor changes to language on election funding and presidential electors; (22-31) enacts new Native American Voting Rights Act; (32) ensures minimum of $20M be maintained for state funding of elections; (33) makes Election Day a state holiday; (34) makes Election Day a school holiday; (35) allows residents with previous felony convictions to hold elected office; (36) repeals Sections 1-3-7.2, 1-4-5.8 and 1-6-5.8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2021, Chapter 107, Section 1, Laws 2019, Chapter 67, Section 2 and Laws 2009, Chapter 251, Section 2, as amended); (37) sets effective date of July 1, 2022.
Outcome: SB 8 passed the Senate committees, but died on the Senate calendar.
Enacting the Clean Fuel Standard Act more
Summary: SB 14 establishes a state clean fuel standard aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in NM; sets specific reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions - 20% of 2018 levels by 2030, 40% by 2040; outlines related rules NMED must implement within two years of the bill's effective date; creates a credit system and a clean fuel standard fund in order to fund the administration of the clean fuel standard.
Outcome: SB 14 passed the Senate 25-16, but failed and died on the House Floor.
Sustainable Building Tax Credit more
Summary: HB 15 extends and expands the sustainable building tax credit and adds incentives involving LEED. The existing tax credit is applied to construction begun prior to 2021 and completed by the end of 2021.
Outcome: HB 15 passed the House 48-22 and the Senate 29-6. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2021.
Environmental Database Act more
Summary: HB 51 creates a centralized, map-based, searchable website to provide various geographic data, information on public health, wildlife status, and other interrelated environmental and energy industry data in order to enhance transparency and interagency cooperation.
Outcome: HB 51 passed the House 44-25 and the Senate 29-12. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 7, 2021.
EIB Permit Denial for Poor Performance more
Summary: HB 76 allows the Environmental Improvement Board to revoke permits for projects if companies refuse to disclose information, misrepresent material facts, have prior court convictions, operate without a permit, or have a previous revocation.
Outcome: HB 76 passed the House 42-26 and the Senate 23-15. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2021.
Water Trust Board Projects & NM Unit Fund more
Summary: HB 200 prevents NM Unit Fund monies from being used on any diversion of the Gila River and redirects funding to meet water supply demands in the southwest water planning region of New Mexico.
Outcome: HB 200 passed the House 43-24 and the Senate 26-15. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Local Government Air Quality Regulations more
Summary: SB 8 allows state agencies and local boards to adopt rules that ensure a maximum ozone concentration of 95 percent of the national ambient air quality standard for ozone. It also allows the state to adopt rules that are stronger than current federal standards.
Outcome: SB 8 passed the Senate 23-15 and the House 39-29. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 8, 2021.
Clean Fuel Standard Act more
Summary: SB 11 established a state clean fuel standard, and set specific reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions.
Outcome: SB 11 passed the Senate 25-14, but died on the House calendar.
Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act more
Summary: SB 32 bans the use of non-essential traps, snares and wildlife poisons on public lands in New Mexico.
Outcome: SB 32 passed the Senate 23-16 and the House 35-34. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Community Solar Act more
Summary: SB 84 increases access to renewable energy resources by creating a subscriber-based community solar program.
Outcome: SB 84 passed the Senate 27-14 and the House 44-3. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Restricting Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticide more
Summary: SB 103 would have reduced the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are toxic to pollinating insects like bees, by banning the use of it in certain crop production.
Outcome: SB 103 passed out of committee but failed in the Senate 18-20.
Sustainable Economy Task Force more
Summary: SB 112 establishes a task force that will develop a strategic plan and identify ways to develop a sustainable economy with diversified revenues, especially for communities dependent on natural resource extraction.
Outcome: SB 112 passed the Senate 25-16 and the House 40-25. It was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Environmental Rights, CA more
Summary: SJR 3 would have created a constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment for the people of New Mexico
Outcome: SJR 3 passed the Senate Rules Committee, but died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Electric Vehicle Income Tax Credit more
Summary: HB 217 established an income tax credit for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and capped the electric vehicle value at less than $48,000 MSRP. It also established an income tax credit for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. This bill could have encouraged the sale of affordable electric vehicles and encouraged the development of vehicle charging infrastructure.
Outcome: HB 217 passed the House 40-27 and passed the Senate 23-13. The House failed to concur with the Senate amendments due to filibuster and the bill died.
Solar Market Development Income Tax Credit more
Summary: SB 29 reinstates and extends the tax credit for residential and commercial construction of solar systems and establishes an aggregate cap. This incentivizes installation of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and utilizing renewable resources to produce energy.
Outcome: SB 29 passed the Senate 33-6 and passed the House 51-19. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 3, 2020.
Wildlife Trafficking Act more
Summary: SB 75 made trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction a misdemeanor and establishes penalties and enforcement guidance.
Outcome: SB 75 passed the Senate 22-9 and passed the House 42-22. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 9, 2020.
Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force more
Summary: SB 95 would have made sure that private nuclear waste facilities, such as the one proposed for Lea & Eddy counties, were reviewed by the state in the same manner as federal facilities. It added a level of safeguards for high-level nuclear waste storage.
Outcome: SB 95 passed out of committee but failed to pass the Senate 15-25.
Efficient Use of Energy Act Changes more
Summary: HB 291 establishes thresholds for energy efficiency programs which, at minimum, save 5% of energy costs to customers. The bill also provides for the removal of regulatory disincentives to energy efficiency programs.
Outcome: HB 291 passed the House 58-7 and passed the Senate 27-13. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 3, 2019.
Solar Energy Improvement Assessments more
Summary: HB 440 provides that a customer may voluntarily request a solar energy improvement special assessment be applied to their property in order to access the benefits of solar technology. The bill provides that these assessments may be applied on residential or commercial property within the boundaries of an incorporated municipality in a county if the municipality adopts a resolution approving the application of the county’s ordinance.
Outcome: HB 440 passed the House 35-28 and passed the Senate 31-8. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 28, 2019.
PRC Application for Vehicle Electricity more
Summary: HB 521 requires public utilities to file applications to expand transportation electrification, i.e., charging facilities for electric vehicles. HB 521 makes rules for the approval of these applications, including the facilities' ability to meet clean air standards and inclusion of low-income people and communities.
Outcome: HB 521 passed the House 45-17 and passed the Senate 22-12. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 3, 2019.
Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests more
Summary: SB 76 prohibits organized or sponsored competitions with the objective of killing coyotes for prizes or entertainment.
Outcome: SB 76 passed the Senate 22-17 and passed the House 37-30. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 2, 2019.
Oil Conservation Division Powers & Duties more
Summary: SB 186 would have allowed the Oil Conservation Division to, when responding to a violation of the Oil & Gas Act, issue a compliance order requiring compliance immediately or within a specified time period or assessing a civil penalty, or both. A compliance order may have also included a suspension or termination of the permit allegedly violated. It specified higher civil penalties for violation of the Act and specified penalties for the violation of a compliance order. It specified that a person knowingly violating the Act has committed a third degree felony. It further required the Oil Conservation Division to report on the number of violations annually.
Outcome: SB 186 died on the Senate Finance Committee calendar. However, its language and the policies it created were inserted into a House bill, which CVNM did not take a position on, and that bill passed both the House and Senate.
Create Outdoor Recreation Division more
Summary: SB 462 creates a division of outdoor recreation in the Economic Development Department. It establishes that the Outdoor Recreation Division will (1) increase outdoor recreation-based economic development, tourism and ecotourism; (2) work to expand outdoor recreation infrastructure; (3) assist in the promotion and marketing of outdoor recreation opportunities and events; (4) assist New Mexico residents in establishing outdoor recreation-based businesses and connecting them with economic development resources and opportunities; (5) recruit out-of-state based outdoor recreation businesses to locate in New Mexico; (6) promote stewardship and preservation of New Mexico's unique environment and cultural assets; (7) promote education and use of outdoor recreation assets to enhance public health; and (8) support outdoor recreation programs at New Mexico educational institutions. The bill also establishes the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, the Special Projects and Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund and the Outdoor Equity Grant Program and Fund.
Outcome: SB 462 passed the Senate 38-0 and passed the House 52-14. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 2, 2019.
Energy Transition Act more
Summary: SB 489 sets a statewide renewable energy standard of 50% by 2030 for New Mexico investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives and a goal of 80% by 2040 that investor-owned utilities must meet, subject to cost and reliability considerations. In addition, the bill sets zero-carbon resources standards for investor-owned utilities by 2045 and rural electric cooperatives by 2050. The bill establishes a pathway for an energy transition in the Four Corners area while providing relief to workers in San Juan County affected by the closure of coal units. The bill provides for training for these workers and uses low-interest bonds to finance economic relief for communities dealing with closures and directs that replacement power, including renewables, be developed in San Juan County as a means of restoring the community’s tax base.
Outcome: SB 489 passed the Senate 32-9 and passed the House 43-22. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 22, 2019.
Oil, Gas, and Vented Gas Royalties more
Summary: SB 500 (and its companion HB 398) established a threshold over which oil and gas production is taxed at one fourth percent. The bill also established that vented and flared gas was subject to royalties.
Outcome: SB 500 received a do pass in the Senate Conservation Committee, but the committee report was not filed and the bill was not referred to the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee. HB 398 was tabled and died in the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee.
New Solar Market Development Tax Credit more
Summary: SB 518 allowed a taxpayer a tax credit for installing a solar photovoltaic or thermal system. This bill allowed a 10% credit up to $6,000 with a five year carry forward and established an aggregate cap of $10 million per year and was sunset in 2029.
Outcome: SB 518 passed the Senate 29-12 and passed the House Taxation and Revenue Committee, but died on the House Calendar.
Local Election Act more
Summary: HB 98 proposes scheduling changes to elections so that local elections occur at the same time as general elections. It also makes provisions for certain elections to be conducted by mail ballot and prohibits advisory-only questions on ballots. Having all elections scheduled together would most likely result in higher turnout for local elections, resulting in more accurate representation of voters’ support for conservation issues.
Outcome: HB 98 passed the House 51-10 and passed the Senate 25-15. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 7, 2018.
Solar Market Development Tax Credit more
Summary: SB 79 would have allowed taxpayers to take up to a 10% tax credit for installing thermal or photovoltaic solar systems, for both residential and business installations. It established a $5 million aggregate cap for the amount of tax credits taken in a year, but did not separate out residential and business installations. It was simpler than HB 36, and would have accomplished the same goal of promoting the use of renewable energy.
Outcome: SB 79 passed the Senate 35-6 and passed the House 40-26. The bill was pocket vetoed by the Governor.
Assurance for Plugging Oil & Gas Wells more
Summary: SB 189 increases the cap of the amount of the surety bond a company must post for the plugging of an inactive oil or gas well from $50,000 to $250,000. This increased amount is more in line with the cost of plugging a well and remediating a plugged well that leaks, blows out or otherwise fails.
Outcome: SB 189 passed the Senate 40-0 and passed the House 54-11. The bill was signed by the Governor on February 28, 2018.
Industrial Hemp Research Rules more
Summary: These bills would have allowed the NM Department of Agriculture to issue licenses to permit growing industrial hemp for research and development purposes. Industrial hemp is a versatile, fast growing and drought resistant crop that requires little pesticides or herbicides and would serve to diversify New Mexico farmers' cash crops.
Outcome: HB 144, which was combined with HB 154 and HB 280, passed the House (42-26) and Senate (30-12) and was vetoed by the Governor.
Exempt Hemp from Controlled Substances more
Summary: HB 166 would have exempted industrial hemp from the definition of "marijuana" in the Controlled Substances Act. This was an enabling bill for HB 154.
Outcome: HB 166 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Independent Redistricting Commission, CA more
Summary: This resolution would have provided for the creation of an independent redistricting commission to develop redistricting plans for state and congressional offices, providing for a largely bipartisan commission. Reducing the impact of gerrymandering would improve the responsiveness of elected officials to their constituents, allowing them to more accurately represent conservation values.
Outcome: HJR 3 died in the House Judiciary Committee.
State Ethics Commission, CA more
Summary: HJR 8 will create an independent ethics commission authorized to investigate, issue opinions and adjudicate violations of laws governing standards of conduct of members of the legislative and executive branch, employees, contractors and lobbyists. A strong ethical oversight body will help to ensure that legislators are transparently representing the conservation values of their constituents.
Outcome: HJR 8 passed the House (66-0) and the Senate (30-9). The measure will now be decided by the voters in the next general election.
Industrial Hemp Research Rules more
Summary: This bill would have allowed the NM Department of Agriculture to issue licenses to permit growing industrial hemp for research and development purposes. Industrial hemp is a versatile, fast growing and drought resistant crop that requires little pesticides or herbicides and would serve to diversify New Mexico farmers' cash crops.
Outcome: SB 6 passed the Senate (37-2) and House (58-8) and was vetoed by the Governor.
Wildlife Trafficking Act more
Summary: SB 81 makes trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction a crime and establishes penalties. This will help preserve endangered species and also keep money out of the hands of international criminals.
Outcome: SB 81 passed the Senate (27-12) and the House (42-24). The bill was pocket vetoed (not signed by April 7, 2017) by the Governor.
State Agency Post-Contract Audits more
Summary: SB 107 would have required post-contract audits of state agency contracts of $10 million or more. This would have encouraged more transparency in government and helped assure New Mexico is getting a good value for the dollar on contracted projects, including conservation projects.
Outcome: SB 107 failed on the Senate Floor.
Interstate Stream Commission Membership more
Summary: This bill would have changed the composition of the Interstate Stream Commission in order to more fairly represent communities impacted by the commission’s actions and help remove political bias.
Outcome: SB 157 died in the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee.
Efficient Utility Water Use more
Summary: SB 226 would have required public utilities to include water use efficiency in their integrated resource plans (IRP) in addition to other efficiencies and resources currently required to be included in the plans. It specified the analysis should include impacts to water quality.
Outcome: SB 226 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
State Facility Renewable Energy Use more
Summary: SB 227 requires the General Services Department to adopt rules for and issue requests for proposals (RFP) to analyze and implement renewable energy improvements for state facilities.
Outcome: SB 227 passed the Senate (36-4) and the House (44-19). The bill was vetoed by the Governor.
Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests more
Summary: SB 268 would have prohibited coyote killing contests, which are defined as an organized or sponsored competition with the objective of killing coyotes for prizes or entertainment. It would not have prevented the hunting of coyotes or depredation control of coyotes.
Outcome: SB 268 died on the House calendar.
Agricultural Land Valuations more
Summary: This bill would have allowed land owners to take land valued as agricultural land out of agricultural production and leave it as open space. The open space land then would be valued at more than the agricultural value, but not valued at the much higher developed land rate, and would not be subject to the five year tax claw back. This would have allowed land owners to preserve the land for future agricultural use should they or their successors wish to return it to production, rather than being economically forced to sell off or develop the land, thus contributing to rural sprawl.
Outcome: SB 350 died in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.
Lead in Sale of Recycled Metals Act more
Summary: SB 76 adds lead and lead-based products (such as lead-acid batteries) to the products regulated by the Recycled Metals Act. It helps to ensure that lead is disposed of in a way that minimizes its environmental impact.
Outcome: SB 76 passed the Senate (41-0) and the House (59-0). The bill was signed by the Governor on March 4, 2016.
Eddy-Lea energy Alliance Storage Facility more
Summary: SM 34 (and its companion HM 40) authorizes the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance to construct a consolidated interim storage facility at its site in southeastern New Mexico for the storage of spent nuclear fuel rods from commercial (for-profit) nuclear power generation plants. This facility will pose significant risks to public health and safety both at the site of the facility and during transport of the spent fuel to the facility.
Outcome: SM 34 passed the Senate (27-10). HM 40 passed the House (50-17). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
Industrial Hemp Farming Act more
Summary: Industrial hemp is an incredibly versatile, fast-growing and drought-resistant agricultural product that requires virtually no pesticides or herbicides. It can be used to produce paper, textiles, plastics, fuel and food products, and has proven very profitable for farmers in other countries. This bill would provide for licensing of the growing, selling and processing of industrial hemp in New Mexico.
Outcome: SB 94 passed the Senate (33-8) and passed the House (54-12) but was vetoed by the Governor on April 10, 2015.
Prohibit & Define Coyote Killing Contest more
Summary: SB 253 prohibited contests for the purposes of coyote killing. It would have had no effect on hunting for fur or even trophies—it would simply eliminate the “contest” component, which arises when there are competitions, for example, to see who can kill the most coyotes.
Outcome: SB 253 died in the House Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee.
Extend Solar Market Development Tax Credit more
Summary: SB 391 would extend the existing 10% tax credit for the installation of commercial, residential and agricultural solar systems, which is set to expire December 31, 2016. This 10% tax credit has helped many New Mexicans invest in solar energy for their homes, businesses and farms, improving the environment and public health by reducing the demand for coal-fired electricity.
Outcome: SB 391 passed the Senate (37-5) and passed the House (39-24) but was pocket vetoed by the Governor.
Change Interstate Stream Commission Members more
Summary: SB 467 would have depoliticized water planning and management in New Mexico by limiting the number of appointments from the Governor’s office to the Interstate Stream Commission to four members and by requiring that no single political party have more than four members. Additionally, the bill required professional qualifications of appointees in water resources fields and representation by a variety of water users across the state.
Outcome: SB 467 passed the Senate (28-13) and died on the House calendar.
Community Health Study Fund & Uranium Mining more
Summary: Pollution, like legacy waste sites from uranium mining, not only endangers natural resources but also poses severe risks to public health. However, there is currently no process in place to study the impacts that environmental degradation has on the quality of health over time. SB 610 (and its companion HB 494) began to address this by creating a community health study fund, paid for by fines assessed to companies directly responsible for contamination.
Outcome: HB 494 died in the House Health Committee. SB 610 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Confirmation of Ryan Flynn as Secretary of the Environment Department more
Summary: Since he joined the Environment Department, Flynn has shown a flagrant disregard for best practices, competent management, transparency and the rule of law. Among many other concerns: 1) Flynn allowed a giant mining company to ghost-write a new rule (and the arguments in support of it) on behalf of the Environment Department. Worse, the mining company was a client of Flynn’s law firm when he was in private practice; 2) Flynn hired a new general counsel for the Environment Department who graduated from law school less than 2 years ago—clearly lacking the experience or expertise to perform the duties required of the position; and 3) Flynn led the effort to re-assign agency experts and bureau chiefs from their areas of expertise to new roles for which they had little or no experience. For example, the long-time regulator of WIPP was reassigned to food safety, the long-time head of Air Quality was reassigned to Occupational Health & Safety, and the long-time surface water quality expert was reassigned to Underground Storage Tanks. It was a cynical move to undermine the effectiveness of NMED and drive down morale. Unfortunately, it worked.
Outcome: Ryan Flynn's confirmation as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department passed 30-11 on the Senate floor.
Designation Of Benefit Corporations more
Summary: HB 40 is a common-sense measure that allows corporations to voluntarily designate themselves as “benefit corporations”, which gives them greater latitude of purpose than simple profit maximization. Benefit corporations can include social and environmental benefits in their purposes, and HB 40 specifies certain responsibilities for reporting and accountability. Protections in the bill ensure that individual shareholders can opt out at the time of designation and receive payment for their shares, and the bill also limits liability if the corporation fails to achieve its stated social or environmental purposes
Outcome: HB 40 passed the House (62-3) and passed the Senate (33-6) but was pocket vetoed by the Governor.
Change Board & Commission Sunset Dates more
Summary: SB 163 extends seven board and commission expiration or “sunset” dates, including the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC). The WQCC is set to sunset on July 1, 2013. The WQCC is the only entity in New Mexico authorized to enact rules pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act or to set water quality standards. The Commission also approves variances for water quality regulations and hears appeals of water pollution permits.
Outcome: After a long and complicated fight in both chambers, efforts to sunset the WQCC in 2013 failed. If signed by the Governor, the WQCC’s expiration or “sunset” will be extended to 2019. SB 163 passed the Senate (42-0) and passed the House (63-4) and was signed by the Governor on April 4, 2013.
City or County Comprehensive Plans more
Summary: New Mexico counties and municipalities lag behind their counterparts around the country in utilizing comprehensive plans to accomplish the long-term goals of their community. SB 315 provides local governments with some structure for the comprehensive planning process, and clarifies the role of a Planning Commission in crafting, approving and implementing the plan.
Outcome: SB 315 passed the Senate (32-9) and passed the House (67-0) but was pocket vetoed by the Governor.
Adequate Subdivision Water Supplies more
Summary: SB 479 protects our limited water supplies from “double dipping”. Currently, large landowners and developers can sever water rights from a property and sell them off at high market values, while constructing major subdivisions that rely entirely on domestic wells for their water supplies. Because domestic wells don’t require a water right, it’s a legal ‘loophole’ that enables double-dipping.
Outcome: SB 479 passed the Senate (35-4) and passed the House (55-13) and was signed by the Governor on April 4, 2013.
Subdivision Water Permits more
Summary: SB 480 strengthens State Engineer evaluation of water availability for new subdivisions by reducing the assessment threshold from 20 parcels or more to 10 parcels or more, where any one of these parcels is less than 2 acres in size. At the same time, the bill makes subdivision water permits from the State Engineer mandatory, and prevents the State Engineer from basing a permit on water supply from domestic wells, which cumulatively may impair senior water rights holders.
Outcome: SB 480 passed the Senate (30-10) and passed the House (41-25) and was signed the Governor on April 5, 2013.
Rulemaking Requirements more
Summary: The product of intensive negotiations among diverse constituencies, agencies, and other interests, HB34 represented a consensus approach to enacting consistent procedures for administrative rulemaking that best served the public interest.
Outcome: HB34 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Public Meeting Agendas 72 Hours Prior more
Summary: New Mexicans face a number of barriers to getting actively involved in public policy. HB35 would have addressed one such obstacle by amending the Open Meetings Act to require that agendas for public meetings be available 72 hours in advance, except in the case of emergencies.
Outcome: HB35 passed the House (57-9), but died on the Senate floor calendar.
Conservancy District Absentee Ballots more
Summary: Turnout in conservancy district elections is notoriously low. HB74 removes the requirement that absentee ballot applications be notarized, making it easier for voters to participate in these important elections, and making the requirements consistent with the standards in the Election Code.
Outcome: HB74 passed both the House (63-2) and Senate (36-0), and was signed by the Governor on March 5th, 2012.
Opposition to Citizens United Ruling more
Summary: This memorial (and its companionSM 3) express deep concern over the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, and the inevitable flood of corporate money into elections—which is almost certain to drown out the voices of individual citizens. HM4 and SM3 urge Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the ruling.
Outcome: HM4 passed the House (38-29), and SM3 passed the Senate (20-9). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
Denial of Air Quality Control Permits more
Summary: Under every major environmental statute, New Mexico has the authority to deny a permit to egregious violators of environmental laws--except under the Air Quality Control Act. The effect is that companies can contaminate our air and make our children sick, but we still can’t stop them from operating in our state. HB178 would have rectified this inequity in statute by authorizing the state to deny or revoke permits in instances where the applicant or permittee is guilty of specific bad acts.
Outcome: HB178 died in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
|HB 284/SB 431||
Renewable Energy Facilities in Environmental Services Tax more
Summary: These measures would have expanded the purposes of county-imposed environmental services gross receipts taxes--currently authorized for solid waste, and water and wastewater—to include renewable energy facilities and systems.
Outcome: HB284 passed the House (37-31), but died in the Senate Finance Committee. SB431 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Blanket Plugging Financial Assurance Increase more
Summary: HB297 represented a dangerous effort to undermine safeguards on inactive oil and gas wells that are a major vector for contamination of groundwater—on which 9 out of 10 New Mexicans depend for our drinking water. Although extensive negotiations yielded a version of the bill that was at least neutral from an environmental standpoint, the compromise drew fire from some sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Outcome: HB297 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Endangered Species Act Enforcement Study more
Summary: While CVNM supports protections for farmers, ranchers, and small business owners as needed, HM46 simply blames federal regulation for harm caused to land owners – economic or otherwise. HM46 jeopardizes endangered species programs – and broadly attacks regulation – by challenging the jurisdiction and intent of the federal government. HM46 also fails to acknowledge the many benefits of federal law or recognize other externalities that could cause economic harm to land owners, resulting in an unbalanced and factually incorrect view of federal regulation.
Outcome: HM46 passed the House (43-24). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
Petroleum Storage Tank Definition Changes more
Summary: To maintain state primacy in the regulation of petroleum storage tanks, and to avoid punitive measures by the federal government, New Mexico’s laws must be at least as stringent as federal law. SB61 (and its companion HB81) are ‘fixes’ that amend state statute to be consistent with federal law, allowing us to access millions of dollars in federal money to clean up underground storage tanks that threaten water quality. Similar bills failed to pass in prior years, so this is an important achievement.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Private Action to Enforce Enviro Statutes more
Summary: Currently, New Mexicans can only sue polluters for damages to their health or property after the fact. HB259 would have allowed private citizens who are adversely affected by illegal pollution the right to take violators to court to stop the pollution. Any penalties imposed would have accrued to the state. When we're facing a budget crisis, and agencies already have limited resources for enforcement, this bill would have given New Mexicans a critical tool to protect their families and clean up their communities.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
Air Quality Control Permit Denial more
Summary: Under every major New Mexico environmental statute, the state has the authority to deny or revoke a permit for an egregious violator—with one exception: the Air Quality Control Act. The effect is that the worst of the worst rogue companies can pollute our air, giving our children asthma and our parents cancer, but we still can’t stop them from operating in our state. These measures would have rectified this injustice by authorizing the state to deny or revoke permits in instances where the applicant or permittee is guilty of specific bad acts.
Outcome: Defeated in both the House and the Senate.
Consider Clean Energy Legislation more
Summary: With abundant renewable energy resources, our state is poised for a boom in the clean energy industry. By simply urging Congress to take federal action on climate change and clean energy, HJM 29 sends a message that New Mexico will benefit from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by creating clean energy jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Like many pieces of pro-conservation legislation, this measure should not have been controversial; unfortunately, it was.
Outcome: Passed the House and signed.
Natural Heritage Conservation Act more
Summary: Each year, New Mexico misses out on tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for conservation projects, because we don’t have a fund set up for that purpose. SB186 establishes a fund — with no money attached — that could be used for habitat restoration projects and protection of water quality and quantity, working farms and ranches, forests and watersheds, recreational opportunities, and more.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Sunshine Portal Transparency Act more
Summary: One of the most significant barriers to civic engagement is the inaccessibility of government information. SB195 requires the state to develop, operate and maintain a publicly-accessible internet database that contains extensive information on state government budgets, expenditures and other financial records.
Outcome: SB 195/a votes are House vote. Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Public Building Energy Efficiency Standards more
Summary: A tremendous opportunity exists to save both energy and money in a badly stressed economy by ensuring that public buildings are energy-efficient. SB200 requires efficient design and operation of public buildings through the EPA’s Energy Star Certification program. A 1-2% initial investment premium in new and retrofitted public buildings recovered in two years of energy savings, and generates a 10-fold return on investment over 20 years.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Non-Game Fish Capture or Killing more
Summary: HB68 expands the authority of the Game Commission to regulate the methods and devices used to capture non-game fish species. This bill is intended to reduce the application of cruel and wasteful killing techniques.
Outcome: Defeated in the Senate.
Free Market Energy Restoration Act more
Summary: HB219 expands the notice required to surface owners by oil and gas companies that plan to develop their mineral rights -- providing the surface owner with sufficient time to contract with the mineral rights holder to avert or limit oil and gas operations. HB219 also requires the State Land Commissioner to provide notification to surface owners when offering certain mineral leases for sale.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
New Emission Standards to Take Effect in 2015 more
Summary: HB340 (and its companion SB548) delay the effective date of New Mexico’s “clean cars” rule until 2015. Along with 13 other states representing roughly half of the American population and vehicle fleet, New Mexico has adopted sensible standards for vehicle emissions that are flexible for manufacturers, cost-effective for consumers, and help combat greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change. Delaying the implementation of New Mexico’s rule would be taking a step backwards while the rest of the country is moving forwards. Moreover, any effort to delay the rule should be pursued in the appropriate forum; CVNM’s understanding is that neither the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) nor the Governor’s office has received a formal petition for an executive delay.
Outcome: Both bills passed, but were VETOED by Governor Richardson.
Environmental Board Greenhouse Gas Rules more
Summary: Joining many other states in tackling the climate crisis, HB653 directs the Environmental Improvement Board to adopt rules for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to establish a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.
Outcome: Defeated in the House. The scored vote is on a procedural motion rejecting an unfavorable committee report; it was the only floor vote taken on the measure.
Low Income Energy Utility Fund Distribution more
Summary: HB732 provides funding for home energy assistance and efficiency to help low income families in New Mexico manage rising energy costs. Implementing energy efficiency measures in a low-income home can save families up to 30% on their energy bills.
Outcome: Defeated in the Senate.
Solid Waste Permit Fees more
Summary: HB824 would allow solid waste facilities to choose whether they prefer a 20-year permit or an “active life of the facility” permit, which could extend to 80 or 90 years. Allowing a facility to receive a lifetime permit with only modest agency reviews prevents the state from adequately monitoring or modifying permits to reflect compliance history, changes in the technical merits of the application, or community and public input.
Outcome: Defeated in the Senate.
Westland Tax Increment Project Bonds more
Summary: SB249 authorizes a massive ($408 million) bond issue to provide infrastructure to a sprawl development on Albuquerque’s west mesa. The bond would be serviced by diverting gross receipts tax revenues that would otherwise accrue to the state. Not only are these types of “greenfield” Tax Increment for Development Districts (TIDDs) bad public policy from a land use and water planning perspective, but they also deprive the Legislative and Executive branches from any oversight or discretion over the diverted revenues for more than 25 years.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
|SB 249 (2)||
Westland Tax Increment Project Bonds more
Summary: In addition to the votes on SB249 (the bill itself), a second vote on SB249 in each chamber is included. In the Senate, the second vote is on a failed floor amendment offered by Sen. E. Griego that would have reduced the fiscal impacts of the measure – critically important at a time when state environmental agencies are facing severe budget cutbacks. The second vote in the House is on a failed procedural motion to reconsider the bill after the first vote failed.
Off-Highway Vehicle Registration more
Summary: Recognizing the threats posed by irresponsible use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to private landowners and natural ecosystems, SB379 adds restrictions to the use of OHVs, adds penalty assessments for OHV violations, and makes the Department of Game & Fish responsible for the administration of the Act.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed into law.
Require Development Lease Notice & Bidding more
Summary: Along with its House companion (HB 606, sponsored by Rep. Steinborn), SB 540 is one of several bills that attempts to reform the policies and procedures of the State Land Of?ce to make them more objective and transparent. This measure requires the Land Commissioner to open up business leases of public land for real estate or development purposes to public notice and a competitive bidding process.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed.