Former State Representative Sarah Maestas Barnes (R)
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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.
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.
Extend Solar Market Tax Credit more
Summary: These bills would have reinstated and extended the tax credit for residential and commercial construction of solar systems. These bills 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: HB 61 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee. HB 82 was combined with HB 61.
Public Officials as Lobbyists more
Summary: HB 73 prohibited statewide elected officials, PRC members, former legislators and cabinet secretaries from accepting compensation as lobbyists for two years after public service.
Outcome: HB 73 died on the Senate floor calendar.
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.
Biodiesel Standards Suspension more
Summary: HB 245 would have shortened the period of time (from six months to sixty days) that biodiesel requirements could be suspended due to unavailability or cost of biodiesel. A shorter period of suspension would have reduced emissions from pure diesel operations.
Outcome: HB 245 died in the House Labor and Economic Development Committee.
Public-Private Partnerships Act more
Summary: HB 275 would have allowed state and local governments to enter into partnerships with private sector partners to facilitate public projects. This was a sweeping measure that would have privatized projects that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities such as water and sewage systems. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, water treatment, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term.
Outcome: HB 275 died in the House Labor and Economic Development 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: HB 338 failed to pass the House (31-34).
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.
Water Rights Notices Posted Online more
Summary: SB 86 requires the state engineer to post water rights applications on its website, encouraging more transparency in water rights assignments.
Outcome: SB 86 passed the Senate (40-0) and the House (59-0). The bill 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 Changes more
Summary: HB 26 (and its companion SB 13) would have extended the existing tax credit for the installation of commercial, residential and agricultural solar systems that is set to expire December 31, 2016. It provided for gradually phasing out of the tax credit over 8 years. 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: HB 26 died in the House Ways and Means Committee. SB 13 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Reduced Tax Rate For Certain Oil & Gas Wells more
Summary: HB 107 would have given a tax break to operators of oil and gas wells that use certain technologies to separate oil and natural gas, if the price of oil dropped to a designated threshold. This was a bail out of the oil and gas industry at the expense of the tax-paying public.
Outcome: HB 107 died in the House Ways and Means Committee.
Crop Dusting Tanks as Above Ground Storage more
Summary: HB 111 would have exempted above ground tanks used to store airplane fuel from environmental protection laws as long as the size of each tank was less than 10,000 gallons. Regardless of size, above ground tanks pose a risk of leaks and spills that could endanger public health and safety. Nothing in the bill suggested any justification for completely exempting these tanks from state laws; it would have removed common sense environmental protections.
Outcome: HB 111 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Renewable Energy Tax Credit Eligibility more
Summary: HB 175 (and its companion SB 104) would have had the positive effect of encouraging an increase in the production of renewable energy. These bills would have added geothermal energy as a qualified renewable energy source, increased the total amount of electricity that may have been produced by qualified energy generators, and extended the date by which a qualified energy generator must have first produced electricity to qualify for the renewable energy production tax credit. They would have limited the period for which a taxpayer may have claimed the renewable energy production tax credit to 10 years, and added a sunset provision to the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit.
Outcome: HB 175 died in the House Ways and Means Committee. SB 104 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
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.
Convention of States more
Summary: HJR 9 applied for a convention of states under Article V of the United States Constitution. It sought to amend the Constitution of the United States to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and limit the terms of office for its officials and for Members of Congress. By limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, one possibility was that the state may have revoked the jurisdiction of the federal government over public lands, and thus gained control to manage, develop or sell public lands.
Outcome: HJR 9 passed the House (36-27), but died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance Storage Facility more
Summary: HM 40 (and its companion SM 34) 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: HM 40 passed the House (50-17). SM 34 passed the Senate (27-10). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
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.
Water Quality Control Commission Meetings more
Summary: HB 87 would have provided the Water Quality Control Commission with overly broad authority to decide the location of public hearings that they conduct. This would create the possibility for hearings to be conducted in a location that makes attendance difficult or impossible for communities most affected by proposed regulations or water quality standards. There is no provision in this bill to ensure that hearings regarding regulations or water quality standards are held in an area that is substantially affected by the regulation or standard.
Outcome: HB 87 passed the House (43-21) and died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Pesticide Application Notices more
Summary: HB 186 would have required notice of pesticide application in public buildings or on public grounds, except those used for commercial agriculture. This “right to know” measure would have helped protect public health and ensure that people can take the proper precautions to prevent pesticide exposure.
Outcome: HB 186 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
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.
Public-Private Partnership Act more
Summary: HB 299 was a sweeping measure that would privatize public entities that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities such as water and sewage systems. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, water treatment, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term.
Outcome: HB 299 passed the House (38-27) and died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Change Certain Voter ID Requirements more
Summary: HB 340 would have likely disenfranchised voters, especially minority and elderly voters who are often most disproportionately impacted by the effects of pollution and environmental injustice, by requiring a photo ID issued by a government, federal agency, recognized tribe or educational institution.
Outcome: HB 340 passed the House (37-29) and died in the Senate Rules Committee.
Oil & Gas State Preemption more
Summary: Counties and municipalities have the power to adopt local ordinances that best suit community needs and interests. To date, some communities have passed ordinances restricting certain aspects of oil and gas production in response to concerns of water contamination and health risks. HB 366 would have invalidated any county and municipality ordinance relating to oil and gas law, including zoning ordinances--removing the critical flexibility that communities need to protect the public interest on a local scale.
Outcome: HB 366 passed the House (37-28) and died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Reduce Renewable Portfolio Standards more
Summary: The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) prompts utilities to diversify their energy production by investing in renewable energy sources like wind and solar, and holds them accountable to meet modest thresholds. HB 445 sought to weaken the state’s RPS by removing the requirement that utilities produce 20% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.
Outcome: HB 445 passed the House (33-32) and died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Right to Farm and Operations as a Nuisance more
Summary: HB 564 would have weakened a citizen’s right to legally respond when they have been impacted by the effects of pollution caused by agricultural operations.
Outcome: HB 564 passed the House (35-29) and died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Protect State Land from Chicken Listing more
Summary: The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides key protections for vulnerable, threatened and endangered species, like the Lesser Prairie Chicken. The ESA 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 that all actions necessary be taken to shield public lands from ESA protections resulting from 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 74 passed the House (31-22). 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.
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.