Former State Senator Cisco McSorley (D)
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Information listed reflects last term served
- = Pro Conservation Vote
- = Anti Conservation Vote
- A = Absent
- E = Excused
- R = Recused
- W = Abstain
- Air Quality
- Energy &
- Wildlife & Habitat
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.
Energy Redevelopment Bonds more
Summary: SB 47 would have allowed a qualifying public utility to seek a financial order from the PRC allowing it to issue "energy redevelopment bonds" to offset the costs of abandoning a coal-fired energy generating facility and replacing it with other energy generating facilities, and established that the cost of those bonds may be passed through to the utilities' customers. It would have allowed PNM to recoup 100% of the cost of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, would not have required them to replace its function with a facility using renewable energy, and would have allowed them to pass costs on to ratepayers. The measure also represented a significant end-run around the PRC, the body intended to regulate electric utilities. SB 47 was replaced by a Senate Conservation Committee sub. The sub included ambitious renewable energy targets, but continued to fall short on guarantees of ratepayer protection, PRC review, closure of the coal plant, and protection of free market competition in the renewable energy sector. HB 325, a dummy bill, was filed late in the session and attempted to address some of the issues addressed in SB 47. To read more about HB 325, visit our website at www.CVNM.org.
Outcome: SB 47 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Southwest NM Water Projects more
Summary: SB 72 would have made appropriations from the New Mexico Unit Fund to the Interstate Stream Commission for shovel-ready water projects in southwest New Mexico that were alternatives to a Gila River diversion, including: $12 million for bulk water supplies to Hurley, Bayard, Santa Clara and Silver City; $34 million for water supply projects in the southwest New Mexico regional water planning area; $3.5 million to contract for collection of new ground water and geologic data; and $500,000 to evaluate and plan alternatives for the city of Deming for a remote well field.
Outcome: SB 72 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
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.
Oil & Gas Act Penalties & Protests more
Summary: SB 135 would have amended the Oil & Gas Act to allow the imposition of civil penalties, established the penalties and provided a method for appeal of those penalties. It changed criminal to civil penalties in the event of a violation of the Oil & Gas Act, making violations reasonably enforceable. However, it only provided for a $1000 per day penalty with a $25,000 cap, so was unlikely to be an effective tool to protect land, air, water and communities that are negatively impacted by violations of the Oil & Gas Act.
Outcome: SB 135 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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.
Uranium Site Workforce Training Study more
Summary: SB 251 would have appropriated $250K to study the education and training programs necessary to build a workforce to meet the demand for uranium site clean-up. While this bill did not pass, the budget that passed contained funding for this item at a level of $200K, ensuring that this important training component is sufficiently studied. Unfortunately, Gov. Martinez line item vetoed this funding.
Outcome: SB 251 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
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.
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.
Extend Solar Market Tax Credit more
Summary: This bill would have reinstated and extended the tax credit for residential and commercial construction of solar systems. The bill provided for gradually phasing out of the tax credit over 8 years and established an aggregate cap. This 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 41 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Free State Park Passes for People Over 65 more
Summary: SB 70 would have provided for free State Park passes for people over the age of 65. It would have facilitated more public use of public lands.
Outcome: SB 70 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
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.
First Right to Build Transmission Facilities more
Summary: This bill would have given public utilities and generation and transmission cooperatives the first right to construct, own and maintain transmission facilities in a regional transmission organization. This bill was intended to counter a specific federal regulation designed to foster competition in the transmission market.
Outcome: SB 169 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Energy & Water Project Financing more
Summary: SB 215 would have allowed a property owner to enter into an assessment contract (financing in their mortgage) with a renewable energy district for purposes of financing energy improvements (including distributed renewable energy systems, energy storage systems or energy efficiency improvements) or water conservation improvements to the owner's property. These types of programs are also called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs.
Outcome: SB 215 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation 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.
Crop Dusting Tanks as Above Ground Storage more
Summary: SB 230 would have excluded fuel storage tanks used exclusively for crop dusting or crop spraying services from being considered "above ground storage" as defined by the Hazardous Waste Act. Above ground tanks pose a risk of leaks and spills that could endanger public health and safety.
Outcome: SB 230 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Utility Acceptance of Gov't Renewable Energy more
Summary: SB 248 would have required utilities and electric cooperatives to participate in solar projects planned by local governments, political subdivisions or state post-secondary educational institutions and to accept the energy generated by those projects.
Outcome: SB 248 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
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.
Oil & Gas Act Powers & Penalties more
Summary: SB 307 would have re-established administrative and civil penalty authority for the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) to pursue violations of the Oil and Gas Act that result in discharge of contaminants. This authority was lost in the Marbob Energy Corp. v. N.M. Oil Conservation Comm. case. The court determined that legislature needed to give the authority to OCD to collect these penalties, and that OCD could not grant the authority to itself. This bill would have addressed a clear need in OCD’s regulatory enforcement scheme.
Outcome: SB 307 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Renewable Energy Requirements for Utilities more
Summary: SB 312 would have increased the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to require that renewable energy comprise 70% of total retail sales to NM customers of rural electric cooperatives by 2040 and requires that renewable energy comprise 80% of total retail sales to NM customers of public utilities by 2040. It also prescribes the formula by which these goals are to be achieved. This would have the effect of reducing the demand for fossil fuel energy, which negatively impacts the environment, climate and public health.
Outcome: SB 312 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Legislative Authorization for NM Unit more
Summary: This bill would have required legislative authorization to expend money from the NM Unit Fund, which consists of money distributed to the state by the federal Colorado River Basin Project Act and the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act. It requires the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) to determine that projects are technically feasible and to approve technical projections of the water to be produced and its intended use.
Outcome: SB 340 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Community Solar Gardens Act more
Summary: This bill would have allowed renters, low-income utility customers and persons without suitable locations for solar generation on their premises to participate in local solar generation facilities by allowing individuals to buy a portion of a community solar installation or "solar garden". This would have stimulated the adoption of solar energy generation by more New Mexicans by making it more accessible to more New Mexicans and reducing our dependence on coal and nuclear fueled energy.
Outcome: SB 342 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
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.
Investor-Owned Utility Procurement Process more
Summary: SB 360 would have required a competitive resource procurement process for electric utilities and required an independent evaluation of proposed purchases of power or sources of power. The bill would have made resource acquisition more transparent and potentially encouraged more purchases of renewable energy.
Outcome: SB 360 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Land Commissioner Review of Nat'l Monuments more
Summary: SB 364 would have imposed restrictions on changing public lands from state to federal jurisdiction, thereby restricting the federal government's designation of national monuments. It added the commissioner of public lands as a party to evaluate these changes and specified that national monuments be described by the smallest possible area needed to protect items of concern.
Outcome: SB 364 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Royalty Rates on State Trust Lands more
Summary: This bill would have granted, but would not have mandated, the commissioner of public lands the authority to raise the royalty rate and its point of application (for all oil and gas extracted, not just that saved) for oil and gas extracted from public lands to enhance revenue for beneficiaries. It also gave the authority to require reporting of gas venting and flaring.
Outcome: SB 375 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Renewable Energy Tax Credit Changes more
Summary: This bill would have increased the amount of electricity that can be produced subject to the renewable energy tax credit, extended the date by which electricity must be generated to quality for the credit and included geothermal as a qualified energy source. It also would have decreased the amount of credit per kilowatt hour for certain tax years and limited the period for which the credit may be claimed to ten years. This was a utility focused tax credit, aimed at benefitting larger, production scale renewable energy projects.
Outcome: SB 432 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.