Former State Senator John M. Sapien (D)
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- District #:
- Bernalillo, Sandoval
- Legislative Link:
- View on nmlegis.gov »
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
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.
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.
Carbon Pollution Amendment more
Summary: The product of extensive negotiations among diverse stakeholders during the recent interim, HB360 and SB30 represented a consensus set of reforms to New Mexico’s administrative procedures for rulemaking.
Outcome: HB360 died in the House Judiciary Committee. SB30 was tabled on the floor by the sponsor (Keller) after the Senate adopted an amendment that would have hamstrung the state’s ability to reduce carbon pollution.
Colleges in Energy Efficiency & Bonding Act more
Summary: SB237 amends the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bonding Act to allow post-secondary institutions to access resources for efficiency and renewable projects, and service the debt by dedicating 90% of their utility bill savings.
Outcome: SB237 passed both the Senate (30-3) and the House (66-0), but was pocket vetoed by the Governor.
Study Exporting Coal more
Summary: From toxic levels of mercury in our waterways to global warming, the consequences of using coal as an energy source are obvious. By pushing a coal export study, SJM 26 sought to offset the environmental gains of reduced reliance on coal here in the US with the potential of exporting coal—with all of its associated public health and environmental damages—to Asia. SJM 26 would have been better-suited to exploring ways to stimulate the Navajo economy outside of continued coal mining, including solar and other renewable energy development.
Outcome: SJM 26 died on the Senate calendar.
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.
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.
Underground Gas Storage Tank Compliance more
Summary: In order to maintain state primacy in the regulation of petroleum storage tanks, New Mexico’s laws must be at least as stringent as federal law. SB16 is a fix that amends state statute to be consistent with federal law, allowing us to access millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to clean up underground storage tanks that threaten water quality.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
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. HB81 (and its companion SB61) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Water Quality Control Commission Members more
Summary: Dramatically altering the composition of the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC), SB607 reduces the membership of the commission from 14 to 5, and makes it entirely a public board. Currently, Secretaries (or their designees) of relevant agencies serve on the WQCC alongside public members. Eliminating these positions, while not requiring any qualifications of the public members, creates a political body ill-equipped to address the highly technical issues for which the WQCC is responsible.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
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.
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.
Water Quality Act Rulemaking Limits more
Summary: SB206 would put a stranglehold on water quality regulations, preventing agencies from meeting their responsibilities to protect public health, safety, and welfare. The bill prohibits the state from imposing conditions on discharge permits under the Water Quality Act. The result may be that permits will be issued without the necessary conditions to protect human and environmental health. Alternately, permits will simply be denied because the agency can't tailor the approval to reflect site or project-specific conditions.
Outcome: After negotiations, the bill was amended in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to the point that CVNM withdrew our opposition, but the votes scored re?ect the original, anti-conservation version. PASSED both chambers and signed into law.
Conserved Water Put to Beneficial Use more
Summary: SB394 would have merged two existing water conservation incentives to allow water rights holders to ‘double-dip’. Under current law, water rights owners can choose between two incentives for conserving water: putting the water to beneficial use (including selling or leasing it) or receiving a tax credit for the conserved water. This bill would have allowed owners to put conserved water to beneficial use while still collecting the tax credit, which essentially meant that taxpayers would have been paying an individual to reallocate water instead of conserving it.
Outcome: SB394 died on the Senate floor (19-20).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Emission Standards to Take Effect in 2015 more
Summary: SB548 (and its companion HB340) 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.
Severance Tax Investment in Green Industries more
Summary: SB420 promotes state investment in New Mexico’s green industries by authorizing the State Investment Council to invest up to 6% of the market value of the Severance Tax Permanent Fund in qualifying companies.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
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.
Economic Development Utility Rates more
Summary: SB 283 (and its companion HB 296) 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. SB 283 and HB 296 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: SB 283 died on the Senate calendar. HB 296 passed the House (47-17) and was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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.
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.
Tax RateDifferential For Certain Oil more
Summary: HB 285 (and its companion SB 34) would have extended a reduction in the severance tax to oil and other liquid hydrocarbons removed from natural gas at or near the wellhead produced from a qualified enhanced recovery project that involved the application of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide is carbon dioxide that is produced by human activities such as oil refining. This bill would have subsidized an extremely expensive oil and gas method at the expense of other taxpayer priorities.
Outcome: HB 285 passed the House (59-7) but died in the Senate Finance Committee. SB 34 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Tax Rate Differential For Certain Oil more
Summary: SB 34 (and its companion HB 285) would have extended a reduction in the severance tax to oil and other liquid hydrocarbons removed from natural gas at or near the wellhead produced from a qualified enhanced recovery project that involved the application of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide is carbon dioxide that is produced by human activities such as oil refining. This bill would have subsidized an extremely expensive oil and gas method at the expense of other taxpayer priorities.
Outcome: SB 34 died in the Senate Finance Committee. HB 285 passed the House (59-7) but 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
General Appropriation Act of 2010 more
Summary: When the main budget bill was being debated on the Senate floor, this amendment was proposed to slash the budgets for the Environment (ED) and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources (EMNRD) Departments by almost $6 million. These agencies have already suffered cumulative budget cuts (by the Legislature) disproportionate to those of almost any other agency. With enforcement already seriously compromised, more cuts would further jeopardize public health and safety – something our communities can ill-afford.
Outcome: The scored vote is on the amendment, which failed.
Publish Legal Notices on Websites more
Summary: Sometimes the only way that members of the public learn about proposed hearings in their community is through the notices that appear in the legal section of their community newspaper. SB147 would have changed the requirements to allow these important notices to be posted online on a central website instead. Although this would have been helpful as an additional notice requirement, the public is unlikely to check the website on a regular basis (not to mention the percentage of New Mexicans without access to the internet). Effectively, SB147 negated public notice requirements of hearings – a major disservice to New Mexicans.
Outcome: SB147 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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.
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.
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 votes are Senate votes. Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Amendment to Uranium Hexafluoride Gross Receipts more
Summary: Although SB23 (and HB70) made minor technical changes to existing tax deductions, the deductions are so massive and unique that they warrant the highest degree of transparency and oversight. At the very minimum, these tax deductions worth tens of millions of dollars—to a single uranium enrichment company owned by European governments—should have been amended to include a sunset clause of, at most, 10 years.
Outcome: Although CVNM was neutral on the underlying bill, we urged Representatives and Senators to support a sunset clause amendment. The amendment failed to pass the Senate (16-25), and was not heard in the House.
Opposition to Citizens United Ruling more
Summary: This memorial (and its companion HM4) 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. SM3 and HM4 urge Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the ruling.
Outcome: SM3 passed the Senate (20-9), and HM4 passed the House (38-29). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
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.
Transportation Public-Private Partnerships more
Summary: SB 273 was a sweeping measure to privatize transportation facilities that are most appropriately developed and maintained by 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. Among many concerns with this legislation was that it would exempt such transportation projects from the state procurement code, and allow government to exercise the power of eminent domain for use by private partners.
Outcome: SB 273 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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.
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.
Sand & Gravel Mining Violation Penalties more
Summary: HB 188 would have strengthened penalties for violation of county ordinances regulating the mining of sand, gravel and related materials. Currently, these are some of the more poorly-regulated and least-enforced extractive industries.
Outcome: HB 188 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Landowner Takings of Certain Animals more
Summary: Under current law, landowners can kill any wildlife if they pose an immediate threat to life, property, or crops. SB391 would restrict this authority to predators, including bears, cougars, and bobcats, and require that the Dept. of Game & Fish provide assistance to landowners to prevent or remedy property damage or physical harm resulting from predators or other wildlife.
Outcome: The scored vote is on the amendment, which failed. The bill was Defeated in the House.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
License Application Time Frame Rules more
Summary: Introduced as a “dummy bill”, SB 732 requires that all state entities promulgate rules on time frames for the majority of their operations. This sweeping measure, if enacted, would have brought New Mexico government to a standstill, putting regulatory protections of public health and safety at risk.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.