February 20, 2023
HB 105/CS – Freight Locomotive Personnel Requirements
This legislation makes technical changes to to the existing law and adds a new section which outline regulations for railroad safety in New Mexico regarding the operation of freight trains.
In short, the bill states that class 1 or class 2 railroads are not allowed to operate a freight train without a crew of at least 2 people, with exceptions for certain types of operations and as specified by federal law. In addition, it assigns penalties.
Whether or not I agree with the legislation is irrelative. I do not believe the New Mexico Legislature should be getting involved in collective bargaining.
In addition, the details of how this would work with neighboring states that do not have the same requirements. This legislation could easily create lawsuits if the Federal Government creates different requirements.
This bill passed the house. I voted no.
HB 116 – Active-Duty National Guard as State Employees
HB 116 would authorize the New Mexico Adjutant General to use members of the New Mexico National Guard for disaster preparedness, mitigation, or response, with budget from the Department of Military Affairs, on either a full-time or seasonal basis.
In effect, this legislation would grant authority for a consistent team of state active-duty soldiers to respond quickly to emergencies and catastrophic situations statewide.
I was excused from the floor at the time of the vote but would have supported it.
HB 181 – National Board-Certified Program Units
This amends statute of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to replace “teachers” with “licensed school employees to allow additional program units in the public school funding formula in FY2024.
This bill passed the 66 – 2. I voted yes.
HB 160/CS – Broadband Infrastructure
The committee substitute authorizes the State Transportation Commission to prescribe conditions to be placed on the Department of Transportation such as: waiving fees and/or lease costs for broadband infrastructure that will be utilized to provide Internet Services to underserved locations as defined by the Connect NM Act.
This bill passed the house unanimously.