Former State Representative Zachary J. Cook (R)
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- District #:
- Lincoln, Otero
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- 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
Community Energy Efficiency Dev Block Grant more
Summary: HB 37 creates new state grant program for low-income households, including requirements, selection criteria, administration; creates reporting requirement for public utilities related to energy efficiency efforts, due by end of 2023.
Outcome: HB 37 passed the House 44-24, and the Senate 26-14 and was signed by the Governor on February 28, 2022.
Storage of Certain Radioactive Waste more
Summary: HB 127 amends the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Act to expand membership on radioactive waste consultation task force; expands duties of task force to include private disposal facilities; adds annual meeting requirement; adds language to NM Stat § 74-4A-11.1 to prohibit storage and disposal of radioactive waste in the state & prohibit permitting for construction or operation of a disposal facility in the state.
Outcome: HB 127 passed the House committees, but was tabled and died on the House Floor.
Uranium Mine Cleanup more
Summary: HB 164 outlines Department of Environment duties for clean-up and reclamation of former uranium mine and mill sites; tasks other departments, offices, and agencies to collaborate (EMNRD, Indian affairs, office of natural resources trustee, state land office; depts. of fish and game, cultural affairs, health, workforce solutions, and economic development); duties include the development of a strategic plan and a mechanism for consultation and coordination with the federal government and directly impacted communities; requires annual reporting to the radioactive and hazardous materials committee and the creation of a Dept. of Environment uranium mine reclamation coordinator position; creates the uranium mining reclamation revolving fund; appropriates $350,000 general fund dollars to Dept. of Environment for FY23 for purposes outlined.
Outcome: HB 164 passed the House 64-0, and the Senate 26-0 and was signed by the Governor on March 1, 2022
Environmental Rights, CA more
Summary: HJR 2 amends state constitution to add a declaration of environmental rights and establishes state “political subdivisions” as trustee of state natural resources; repeals Section 21 of Article 20, which delegates pollution control to the legislature.
Outcome: HJR 2 was tabled and died in House Judiciary Committee
Enacting the Clean Fuel Standard Act more
Summary: SB 14 establishes a state clean fuel standard aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in NM; sets specific reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions - 20% of 2018 levels by 2030, 40% by 2040; outlines related rules NMED must implement within two years of the bill's effective date; creates a credit system and a clean fuel standard fund in order to fund the administration of the clean fuel standard.
Outcome: SB 14 passed the Senate 25-16, but failed and died on the House Floor.
Intimidation of Election Workers more
Summary: As amended, SB 144 would have made significant steps towards modernizing and securing New Mexico's electoral process.
Outcome: SB 144 passed the Senate 38-0, and the House 39-30, but failed on concurrence.
Sustainable Building Tax Credit more
Summary: HB 15 extends and expands the sustainable building tax credit and adds incentives involving LEED. The existing tax credit is applied to construction begun prior to 2021 and completed by the end of 2021.
Outcome: HB 15 passed the House 48-22 and the Senate 29-6. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2021.
Exclude Greenfields from Certain Taxes more
Summary: HB 26 excluded development on undeveloped lands, like forest land, from the Tax Increment for Development Act and the establishment of related Tax Increment Development Districts (TIDD).
Outcome: HB 26 was tabled and died in the House Local Government, Land Grants & Cultural Affairs Committee.
Private Right of Action for Certain Statutes more
Summary: HB 50 enabled private parties to file civil lawsuits for violations of environmental statutes.
Outcome: HB 50 passed out of committee but died on the House calendar.
Environmental Database Act more
Summary: HB 51 creates a centralized, map-based, searchable website to provide various geographic data, information on public health, wildlife status, and other interrelated environmental and energy industry data in order to enhance transparency and interagency cooperation.
Outcome: HB 51 passed the House 44-25 and the Senate 29-12. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 7, 2021.
EIB Permit Denial for Poor Performance more
Summary: HB 76 allows the Environmental Improvement Board to revoke permits for projects if companies refuse to disclose information, misrepresent material facts, have prior court convictions, operate without a permit, or have a previous revocation.
Outcome: HB 76 passed the House 42-26 and the Senate 23-15. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2021.
Water Trust Board Projects & NM Unit Fund more
Summary: HB 200 prevents NM Unit Fund monies from being used on any diversion of the Gila River and redirects funding to meet water supply demands in the southwest water planning region of New Mexico.
Outcome: HB 200 passed the House 43-24 and the Senate 26-15. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Utility Affordability & Relief Act more
Summary: HB 206 prevented utility services from being disconnected for customers impacted by Covid-19, created a bill relief program, and funds for low-income household energy efficiency efforts.
Outcome: HB 206 passed the House 39-31, but died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Natural Resources & Lands Protection more
Summary: HB 265 offered technical fixes to the Natural Lands Protection Act and Natural Heritage Conservation Act to allow state agencies to directly acquire and manage lands, and conservation and restoration-focused nonprofits to apply directly for restoration and conservation funding.
Outcome: HB 265 passed the House 40-29, but died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Improvement Special Assessment Act more
Summary: HB 299 authorized special assessment programs to be authorized to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, resiliency, and other implements. It would have also provided more financial tools for homeworkers to make households more energy efficient.
Outcome: HB 299 passed the House 42-26, but died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Local Government Air Quality Regulations more
Summary: SB 8 allows state agencies and local boards to adopt rules that ensure a maximum ozone concentration of 95 percent of the national ambient air quality standard for ozone. It also allows the state to adopt rules that are stronger than current federal standards.
Outcome: SB 8 passed the Senate 23-15 and the House 39-29. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 8, 2021.
Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act more
Summary: SB 32 bans the use of non-essential traps, snares and wildlife poisons on public lands in New Mexico.
Outcome: SB 32 passed the Senate 23-16 and the House 35-34. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Community Solar Act more
Summary: SB 84 increases access to renewable energy resources by creating a subscriber-based community solar program.
Outcome: SB 84 passed the Senate 27-14 and the House 44-3. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Sustainable Economy Task Force more
Summary: SB 112 establishes a task force that will develop a strategic plan and identify ways to develop a sustainable economy with diversified revenues, especially for communities dependent on natural resource extraction.
Outcome: SB 112 passed the Senate 25-16 and the House 40-25. It was signed by the Governor on April 5, 2021.
Community Solar Act more
Summary: HB 9 provided for the establishment of a phased-in community solar program to facilitate the development and interconnection of community solar facilities. It also created a low-income assistance fund to benefit low-income subscribers. This would have stimulated the growth of the solar industry and expanded the number of New Mexicans who have access to solar energy.
Outcome: HB 9 passed out of committee but failed in the House 28-36.
PRC Reorganization & Transfer Duties more
Summary: HB 11 would have turned existing Public Regulation Commission (PRC) advocacy staff into two entities: a Commissioner Resources Division to supplement PRC commissioners and hearing examiners in their understanding, and a separate Office of PRC Regulatory Affairs housed in New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department that would advocate in the public interest. The bill also included some staff restructuring to provide some continuity for existing PRC staff.
Outcome: HB 11 passed the House 36-34, but was tabled and died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Electric Vehicle Income Tax Credit more
Summary: HB 217 established an income tax credit for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and capped the electric vehicle value at less than $48,000 MSRP. It also established an income tax credit for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. This bill could have encouraged the sale of affordable electric vehicles and encouraged the development of vehicle charging infrastructure.
Outcome: HB 217 passed the House 40-27 and passed the Senate 23-13. The House failed to concur with the Senate amendments due to filibuster and the bill died.
Solar Market Development Income Tax Credit more
Summary: SB 29 reinstates and extends the tax credit for residential and commercial construction of solar systems and establishes an aggregate cap. This incentivizes installation of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and utilizing renewable resources to produce energy.
Outcome: SB 29 passed the Senate 33-6 and passed the House 51-19. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 3, 2020.
Wildlife Trafficking Act more
Summary: SB 75 made trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction a misdemeanor and establishes penalties and enforcement guidance.
Outcome: SB 75 passed the Senate 22-9 and passed the House 42-22. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 9, 2020.
Resource Sustainability and Security Act more
Summary: HB 28 would have created a sustainability and resilience council that would have developed a government wide plan to (a) ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of New Mexico and its infrastructure and resources; (b) prepare the state for climate change; (c) reduce the vulnerability of natural and built systems, economic sectors, natural resources and communities to risk; (d) promote long-term water and energy resource security; and (e) support state economic development and diversification. The council would have provided guidance to state agencies and worked with stakeholders in creating agency plans and accomplishing the goals of the plan.
Outcome: HB 28 passed the House 40-23 and passed the Senate Conservation Committee, but died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Community Solar Act more
Summary: HB 210 (and its companion SB 281) established rules for community solar facilities and specifically reserved a portion of shares for low-income customers. The bills 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 subscription in community solar generation. This would have stimulated the growth of the solar industry and expanded the number of New Mexicans who have access to solar energy.
Outcome: HB 210 passed the House 42-25 and passed the Senate Conservation Committee, but died on the calendar of the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 281 died in the Senate Conservation Committee (never heard).
Mining Permit Corporate Guarantees more
Summary: HB 255 required that financial assurance for mining operations must be filed by the original applicant and could not be a guaranteed by an affiliated corporation or person. The bill would have prevented the shifting of costs to affiliated entities who may have contested requirements for reclamation.
Outcome: HB 255 was pulled from the House Calendar and re-referred to the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee where it died on the calendar.
State Game Commission Changes more
Summary: HB 263 established requirements and qualifications for the members of the State Game Commission to lessen the politicization of the commission and established professional qualifications for four of the seven members.
Outcome: HB 263 passed the House 45-20 but was tabled and died in the Senate Rules Committee.
No Use of State Resources for Border Wall more
Summary: HB 287 would have prohibited the use of state trust lands or state financial resources to build a border barrier, exempting barriers that would prevent the movement of livestock. A border barrier would have extreme impact on the movement of wildlife and would be prohibitively expensive to the state to fund any aspect of its construction.
Outcome: HB 287 passed the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee and died on the House Calendar.
Fund Investment in Renewable Energy more
Summary: HB 289 provided that no less than one percent of the market value of the severance tax permanent fund be invested in New Mexico renewable energy.
Outcome: HB 289 passed the House 43-19 and passed the Senate Conservation Committee, but died on the Senate Finance Committee calendar.
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.
Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act more
Summary: HB 366 prohibited the use of traps and poisons designed to kill animals on public land and established penalties for violations.
Outcome: HB 366 was tabled by the House for technical reasons and died there.
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.
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.
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).
Elected ABQ/Bernalillo Water Utility Board more
Summary: HB 468 would have provided for an elected board of directors for the Albuquerque/Bernalillo water utility and established rules for members' election. This would have provided greater transparency and more proportionate representation regarding water issues in New Mexico’s largest and most populous city and county.
Outcome: HB 468 died on the House calendar.
Independent Redistricting Commission, CA more
Summary: This resolution would have provided for the creation of an independent redistricting commission to develop redistricting plans for state and congressional offices, providing for a largely bipartisan commission. Reducing the impact of gerrymandering would improve the responsiveness of elected officials to their constituents, allowing them to more accurately represent conservation values.
Outcome: HJR 3 died in the House Judiciary Committee.
State Ethics Commission, CA more
Summary: HJR 8 will create an independent ethics commission authorized to investigate, issue opinions and adjudicate violations of laws governing standards of conduct of members of the legislative and executive branch, employees, contractors and lobbyists. A strong ethical oversight body will help to ensure that legislators are transparently representing the conservation values of their constituents.
Outcome: HJR 8 passed the House (66-0) and the Senate (30-9). The measure will now be decided by the voters in the next general election.
Industrial Hemp Research Rules more
Summary: This bill would have allowed the NM Department of Agriculture to issue licenses to permit growing industrial hemp for research and development purposes. Industrial hemp is a versatile, fast growing and drought resistant crop that requires little pesticides or herbicides and would serve to diversify New Mexico farmers' cash crops.
Outcome: SB 6 passed the Senate (37-2) and House (58-8) and was vetoed by the Governor.
Wildlife Trafficking Act more
Summary: SB 81 makes trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction a crime and establishes penalties. This will help preserve endangered species and also keep money out of the hands of international criminals.
Outcome: SB 81 passed the Senate (27-12) and the House (42-24). The bill was pocket vetoed (not signed by April 7, 2017) by the Governor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Appointment of PRC Members, CA more
Summary: HJR 8 called for a constitutional amendment to replace the five-member elected Public Regulation Commission (PRC) with a five-member commission appointed by the Governor. It was combined with a portion of HJR 18, which stated that applicants to the PRC are chosen first by the Legislative Council to form a pool of 15, from which the Governor would make a final selection. This may have had the effect of making the PRC overly subject to political manipulation.
Outcome: HJR 8 was defeated in the House Judiciary Committee (8-3).
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.
NM Federal Land Management Study Commission more
Summary: HB 291 (and its companion SB 483) would have created a 17-member commission to study the possibility of transferring federal public lands to state control. Such a study would be a waste of time and resources since any such land transfers are unconstitutional. Under the U.S. Constitution, the federal government has the authority and responsibility of managing all federal public lands. HB 291 and SB 483 attempted to violate the Constitution by promoting the transfer of federal public lands to state control.
Outcome: HB 291 died in the House Judiciary Committee. SB 483 died in the Senate Conservation 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.
State Sovereignty Over State Trust Wildlife more
Summary: HB 468 attempted to unconstitutionally remove the federal government’s ability to protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act or any other treaty or regulation, while establishing “state sovereignty” over the existence and management of the Lesser Prairie Chicken within New Mexico. The state does not have the constitutional right to undermine federal authority under the Endangered Species Act.
Outcome: HB 468 died in the House Judiciary 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.
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).
|HB 292/SB 404||
Transfer Of Public Land Act more
Summary: The U.S. Constitution provides for the federal government to manage, maintain and control federal public lands. HB 292 (and its companion SB 404) attempted to violate the constitution by usurping federal authority and transferring oversight of federal public lands to the state.
Outcome: HB 292 died in the House Health, Government and Indian Affairs Committee. SB 404 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
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).
No Agriculture as a Nuisance more
Summary: Taking defense of unlawful polluters to the extreme, HB 652 (and its companion SB 194) proposed to exempt illegal, improper and negligent agricultural operations from nuisance laws.
Outcome: HB 652 died in the House Judiciary Committee. SB 194 died on the Senate calendar.
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.
Water Quality Control Act Revisions more
Summary: HB225 raised a number of significant concerns. Perhaps most importantly, the measure granted a number of individual political appointees exclusive veto power over rules adopted after extensive public and technical hearings—even though those individuals weren’t part of the rulemaking process. The measure also authorized legislative committees—both standing and interim—to alter the effective date of a rule, which was unconstitutional.
Outcome: HB225 died in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
|HB 284/SB 431||
Renewable Energy Facilities in Environmental Services Tax more
Summary: These measures would have expanded the purposes of county-imposed environmental services gross receipts taxes--currently authorized for solid waste, and water and wastewater—to include renewable energy facilities and systems.
Outcome: HB284 passed the House (37-31), but died in the Senate Finance Committee. SB431 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
Blanket Plugging Financial Assurance Increase more
Summary: HB297 represented a dangerous effort to undermine safeguards on inactive oil and gas wells that are a major vector for contamination of groundwater—on which 9 out of 10 New Mexicans depend for our drinking water. Although extensive negotiations yielded a version of the bill that was at least neutral from an environmental standpoint, the compromise drew fire from some sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Outcome: HB297 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Endangered Species Management Compacts more
Summary: HB543 would have authorized the Governor to enter into interstate compacts for endangered species management, without any public input or involvement before the compact is signed. Many of the advantages that were sought by the legislation are already available through the current Endangered Species Act implementation. The only effect of the legislation would have been to undermine federal jurisdiction over threatened and endangered species.
Outcome: HB543 died in the House Judiciary Committee.
Endangered Species Act Enforcement Study more
Summary: While CVNM supports protections for farmers, ranchers, and small business owners as needed, HM46 simply blames federal regulation for harm caused to land owners – economic or otherwise. HM46 jeopardizes endangered species programs – and broadly attacks regulation – by challenging the jurisdiction and intent of the federal government. HM46 also fails to acknowledge the many benefits of federal law or recognize other externalities that could cause economic harm to land owners, resulting in an unbalanced and factually incorrect view of federal regulation.
Outcome: HM46 passed the House (43-24). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
Petroleum Storage Tank Definition Changes more
Summary: To maintain state primacy in the regulation of petroleum storage tanks, and to avoid punitive measures by the federal government, New Mexico’s laws must be at least as stringent as federal law. SB61 (and its companion HB81) are ‘fixes’ that amend state statute to be consistent with federal law, allowing us to access millions of dollars in federal money to clean up underground storage tanks that threaten water quality. Similar bills failed to pass in prior years, so this is an important achievement.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Private Action to Enforce Enviro Statutes more
Summary: Currently, New Mexicans can only sue polluters for damages to their health or property after the fact. HB259 would have allowed private citizens who are adversely affected by illegal pollution the right to take violators to court to stop the pollution. Any penalties imposed would have accrued to the state. When we're facing a budget crisis, and agencies already have limited resources for enforcement, this bill would have given New Mexicans a critical tool to protect their families and clean up their communities.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
Air Quality Control Permit Denial more
Summary: Under every major New Mexico environmental statute, the state has the authority to deny or revoke a permit for an egregious violator—with one exception: the Air Quality Control Act. The effect is that the worst of the worst rogue companies can pollute our air, giving our children asthma and our parents cancer, but we still can’t stop them from operating in our state. These measures would have rectified this injustice by authorizing the state to deny or revoke permits in instances where the applicant or permittee is guilty of specific bad acts.
Outcome: Defeated in both the House and the Senate.
Consider Clean Energy Legislation more
Summary: With abundant renewable energy resources, our state is poised for a boom in the clean energy industry. By simply urging Congress to take federal action on climate change and clean energy, HJM 29 sends a message that New Mexico will benefit from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by creating clean energy jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Like many pieces of pro-conservation legislation, this measure should not have been controversial; unfortunately, it was.
Outcome: Passed the House and signed.
Natural Heritage Conservation Act more
Summary: Each year, New Mexico misses out on tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for conservation projects, because we don’t have a fund set up for that purpose. SB186 establishes a fund — with no money attached — that could be used for habitat restoration projects and protection of water quality and quantity, working farms and ranches, forests and watersheds, recreational opportunities, and more.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Sunshine Portal Transparency Act more
Summary: One of the most significant barriers to civic engagement is the inaccessibility of government information. SB195 requires the state to develop, operate and maintain a publicly-accessible internet database that contains extensive information on state government budgets, expenditures and other financial records.
Outcome: SB 195/a votes are House vote. Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Public Building Energy Efficiency Standards more
Summary: A tremendous opportunity exists to save both energy and money in a badly stressed economy by ensuring that public buildings are energy-efficient. SB200 requires efficient design and operation of public buildings through the EPA’s Energy Star Certification program. A 1-2% initial investment premium in new and retrofitted public buildings recovered in two years of energy savings, and generates a 10-fold return on investment over 20 years.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed by the Governor.
Non-Game Fish Capture or Killing more
Summary: HB68 expands the authority of the Game Commission to regulate the methods and devices used to capture non-game fish species. This bill is intended to reduce the application of cruel and wasteful killing techniques.
Outcome: Defeated in the Senate.
Free Market Energy Restoration Act more
Summary: HB219 expands the notice required to surface owners by oil and gas companies that plan to develop their mineral rights -- providing the surface owner with sufficient time to contract with the mineral rights holder to avert or limit oil and gas operations. HB219 also requires the State Land Commissioner to provide notification to surface owners when offering certain mineral leases for sale.
Outcome: Defeated in the House.
New Emission Standards to Take Effect in 2015 more
Summary: HB340 (and its companion SB548) delay the effective date of New Mexico’s “clean cars” rule until 2015. Along with 13 other states representing roughly half of the American population and vehicle fleet, New Mexico has adopted sensible standards for vehicle emissions that are flexible for manufacturers, cost-effective for consumers, and help combat greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change. Delaying the implementation of New Mexico’s rule would be taking a step backwards while the rest of the country is moving forwards. Moreover, any effort to delay the rule should be pursued in the appropriate forum; CVNM’s understanding is that neither the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) nor the Governor’s office has received a formal petition for an executive delay.
Outcome: Both bills passed, but were VETOED by Governor Richardson.
Environmental Board Greenhouse Gas Rules more
Summary: Joining many other states in tackling the climate crisis, HB653 directs the Environmental Improvement Board to adopt rules for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to establish a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.
Outcome: Defeated in the House. The scored vote is on a procedural motion rejecting an unfavorable committee report; it was the only floor vote taken on the measure.
Low Income Energy Utility Fund Distribution more
Summary: HB732 provides funding for home energy assistance and efficiency to help low income families in New Mexico manage rising energy costs. Implementing energy efficiency measures in a low-income home can save families up to 30% on their energy bills.
Outcome: Defeated in the Senate.
Solid Waste Permit Fees more
Summary: HB824 would allow solid waste facilities to choose whether they prefer a 20-year permit or an “active life of the facility” permit, which could extend to 80 or 90 years. Allowing a facility to receive a lifetime permit with only modest agency reviews prevents the state from adequately monitoring or modifying permits to reflect compliance history, changes in the technical merits of the application, or community and public input.
Outcome: Defeated in the Senate.
|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.
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.
Off-Highway Vehicle Registration more
Summary: Recognizing the threats posed by irresponsible use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to private landowners and natural ecosystems, SB379 adds restrictions to the use of OHVs, adds penalty assessments for OHV violations, and makes the Department of Game & Fish responsible for the administration of the Act.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed into law.
Require Development Lease Notice & Bidding more
Summary: Along with its House companion (HB 606, sponsored by Rep. Steinborn), SB 540 is one of several bills that attempts to reform the policies and procedures of the State Land Of?ce to make them more objective and transparent. This measure requires the Land Commissioner to open up business leases of public land for real estate or development purposes to public notice and a competitive bidding process.
Outcome: Passed both chambers and signed.