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February 9th, 2024

HB98: Accounts for Disabled Eligibility (02/09/2024, Y:63, N:0, Yes) 

Current law allows tax-free savings accounts under Internal Revenue Code Section 529A

to be set up for eligible persons. This expands the list of eligibles based on blindness or

disability to those whose blindness or disability occurs before the age of 46 (currently

26). Also, forbids, unless required by federal law, the state from seeking payment from

the account, or from an estate, benefits provided to the beneficiary under Section 529A;

current law requires repayment from the estate. 

HB253/a: Capital Outlay Changes (02/09/2024, Y:63, N:0, Yes) 

Requires preparation of two different estimates for severance tax bonding capacity and

the selection of the lower. Creates the Capital Development and Reserve Fund and the

Capital Development Program Fund, gives priority to Capital Development Program


HB148/ec: Water Project Fund Projects (02/09/2024, Y:64, N:0, Yes)

Authorizes the NMFA to make loans or grants from the water project fund to qualifying 

water projects on terms and conditions established by the water trust board and the 

NMFA. Lists 55 projects for which the NMFA is authorized to make loans or grants from 

the Water Project Fund. 

HB232/a: Infrastructure Planning and Development Division (02/09/2024, Y:65, N:0, Yes)

House Bill 232 creates the Infrastructure Planning and Development Division (IPDD) 

within the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) and moves certain 

infrastructure and capital related functions of the Local Government Division (LGD) to 

IPDD. The rural equity ombudsman and local government infrastructure capital 

improvement plan functions of LGD would move to the new division along with other 

short- or long-term programs and funds of other divisions of DFA as determined by the 

Secretary. Additionally, the bill assigns IPDD the duties of providing assistance to local 

governments, councils of governments, and tribal governments in identifying and 

accessing funding for infrastructure development from available sources and 

administering funding to complete capital projects and of providing guidance on project 

plans and development. This bill does not contain an effective date and, as a result, 

would go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, or May 15, 2024, if enacted. 

HB196/cs: Government Accountability Trust & Fund (02/09/2024, Y:39, N:28, No)


This really should be titled “The Governor’s Slush Fund”! 

This legislation creates a new government accountability expendable trust for the 

purpose of funding pilot programs across state agencies. The bill establishes the process 

for appropriation requests of new pilot programs to be funded from the newly created 

trust. In its original form this legislation would create reporting and evaluation 

requirements that will be conducted by the Legislative Finance Committee staff. It 

presumes that, if after the three-year pilot a positive evaluation would allow for 

continued funding. 

Sounds like a great idea! Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Committee Substitute 

deleted all the requirements for oversight and guardrails (aka – performance metrics). 

The 16 projects listed within this year’s list total over $216M in expenditures to seven 

departments which have failed and continue failing in several areas of their agreed upon 

Accountability Performance Metrics. It appears only in New Mexico Government do we 

reward departments that are failing in their current responsibilities by giving them more 

money and more responsibility! 

All of these 16 projects come from the Governor’s office for departments that report 

directly to her. Beyond this piece of legislation there are no bills submitted by 112 

legislators to support the pilot project descriptions. Once again the governor’s office is 

not only playing the role of the executive but also the role of the legislature. 

HB141/a: Supreme Court Justice Salary Increase (02/09/2024, Y:52, N:0, Yes)

Mandates that justices of the state Supreme Court receive an annual salary of $232,600

beginning July 1, 2024. Removes formulas in statute setting magistrates’ salaries at a

percentage of other judges’ salaries. 

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