State Senator James P. White (R)
- Lifetime Score:
- 2019 Score:
- 2018 Score:
- 2017 Score:
- 2013 - 2014 Score:
- 2011 - 2012 Score:
- 2010 Score:
2017: Senator White began serving in the Senate as of January 1, 2017. 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Industrial Revenue Bond Changes more
Summary: SB 394 would have provided for county industrial revenue bonds within the Industrial Revenue Bond Act, and made changes to the list of projects that may be funded by these bonds. Significantly, it added mining projects and refineries, treatment plants or processing plants of energy products, subsidizing private for-profit and extractive industries with revenue bonds paid for by taxpayers.
Outcome: SB 394 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Uses of Oil & Gas Reclamation Fund more
Summary: SB 413 would have limited the use of the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund for agency employee salaries. The bill provided that beginning in fiscal year 2023, 85% of the expenditures from the fund would be used to pay for contract services for plugging, remediation and restoration work.
Outcome: SB 413 died on the Senate calendar.
Public Use & "Eminent Domain" more
Summary: SB 452 would have prevented the use of eminent domain for projects that would create an economic opportunity for the party receiving the condemned land. This bill was in response to the Kelo v. City of New London case, but was drafted too broadly and may have prevented use of eminent domain by Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) to facilitate construction of renewable energy transmission lines.
Outcome: SB 452 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Economic Development Utility Rates more
Summary: HB 296 (and its companion SB 283) would have shifted costs for economic development utility expansion (e.g. sprawl development or industry) to other ratepayers, effectively subsidizing the expansion at the expense of small business and lower-income ratepayers. HB 296 and SB 283 were almost identical to HB 183; there were only minor differences, with the addition of an emergency clause in both HB 296 and SB 283.
Outcome: HB 296 passed the House (47-17) and was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 283 died on the Senate calendar.
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.
Oil & Gas Financial Assurance more
Summary: Much has changed since 1935, when the Oil and Gas Act was enacted. The Act is desperately in need of modernization to reflect current realities—particularly the need to adequately enforce the oil and gas industry’s responsibility to protect crucial and declining water supplies. HB 286 would have brought New Mexico’s fines and penalties in line with surrounding states like Texas and Arizona. The legislation also corrected glaring inconsistencies between the Oil and Gas Act and other state environmental statutes, ensuring equal treatment of similar activities under state law.
Outcome: HB 286 died on the House floor (32-36).
Public-Private Partnerships Act more
Summary: Similar to SB 273, but far more sweeping in the types of public projects and resources that could be privatized (e.g. dams, reservoirs, water treatment plants, utility infrastructure, etc.); HB 405 would have facilitated private control of projects that are most appropriately operated by responsive public entities. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term.
Outcome: HB 405 passed the House (50-19) and died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Environmental Private Right Of Action more
Summary: HB 429 afforded landowners or other affected parties a private right of action to pursue enforcement of environmental laws against violators or agencies who are failing to enforce existing law. An example might be the case of a rural landowner whose groundwater is at risk of contamination by a polluting company; if the state refuses to require the company to stop polluting groundwater, the landowner would have recourse in court.
Outcome: HB 429 died on the House floor (30-36).
Preserve Prairie Chicken To Oppose Listing more
Summary: The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides key protections for vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species, like the lesser prairie chicken. The Act also provides states with funding to assist with endangered species program implementation. While the goal of protecting the lesser prairie chicken without federal intervention is laudable, the language resolving opposition to federal listing of the species raises concerns. If the lesser prairie chicken is sufficiently protected through private and local actions, then the issue of federal listing becomes moot: no listing will be necessary. However, security of the species must be demonstrated first. Opposing federal listing before the species has adequate populations, habitat and protections to ensure long-term viability is woefully premature. Moreover, should resources be necessary to support regional and local protection efforts, that funding may best be secured through ESA listing.
Outcome: HM 21 passed the House (39-28). Memorials and resolutions do not require action 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.
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.
|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.
Enforce Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act more
Summary: Irresponsible use of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) poses major threats to wildlife and ecosystems, private property, and the safety of their riders. This joint memorial lacked any attempt at balancing the need for training youth on OHV safety with educating parents and children about the dangers of OHVs -- the mortality and injury rates among youth riders in particular. Of greater concern is that the memorial sought to shift resources from critical enforcement activities to training programs that are already widely offered.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
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.