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February 23, 2023

Updated: Jan 26

HB 204 – Smithsonite as State Mineral

This bill declares Smithsonite, a mineral mined in Magdalena. Smithsonite is an mineral, according to New Mexico Tech, that is only found in New Mexico.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 127 – Education Assistant Salary Increase

HB 127 increases the minimum annual salary of a licensed educational assistant from $12,000 to $25,000 (approximately $18/hour), effective the 2023 – 2024 school year.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 180 – Electronic Storage of State Records

BB 180 authorizes public records to be stored electronically and maintained in digital format provided the digital copy accurately reproduces the original in all details.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 182 – Add Camino Real as Official Spanish Paper

This bill adds the Camino Real to the list of nine official Spanish newspapers in New Mexico in which state agencies are required to publish legal notices.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 191 – Increase Early Childhood Fund Transfer

This legislation increases the distribution of the Early Childhood Education and Care program fund from $30M to $125M. While I do not have an issue with Early Childhood Care, I do have an issue with the lack of performance of this initiative over the last 10 years. Early Childhood now has the 6th highest budget of 31 major state agencies. With the funding this initiative has had over 10 years, the 3rd grade reading level across the state has not changed.

Like PED and CYFD, the numbers show this department is heading down the wrong path and needs significant re-direction.

This bill passed the house on a 55 – 8 vote. I voted no.

HB 370 – Surprise Billing Protection Act Sunset Date

Delays the sunset date for the reimbursement requirements in the Surprise Billing Protection Act for five years, from a July 1, 2023, repeal to a July 1, 2028 repeal. The Surprise Billing Act facilitates emergency treatment of individuals regardless of provider.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

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