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March 1, 2023

Updated: Jan 26

HB 269/a – Federal Information for Commercial Driver’s Licenses

Directs the Motor Vehicle Division of the Taxation and Revenue Department, under the New Mexico Commercial Driver’s License Act, to receive and use records from the Federal Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a federal maintained database, to evaluate and renew, upgrade, downgrade, or transfer commercial driver’s licenses and commercial learner’s permits. Requires the initials “CLP” (commercial learner’s permit) to be printed on the physical license, along with accompanying language that states that the permit is invalid unless accompanied by a New Mexico driver’s license.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 365 - Geothermal Center & Fund

Expands and provides funding for the development of geothermal resources in the state by including them in the Centers of Excellence at specific higher education institutions and by the creation of a Geothermal Projects Development Fund and a Geothermal Projects Revolving Loan Fund. Appropriates $26.1 million (GF) for the Funds and for geothermal research and development.

This bill passed the house 63 – 3. I voted no, and will continue to vote no on green energy bills until Natural Gas is included as a clean fuel in the state of New Mexico.

HB 173 – Child Forensic Interviews

Changes the name of the Uniform Child Witness Protective Measures Act to the Child and Adjudicated Incapacitated Adult Witness Protective Measures Act and amends it to clarify witness protections for child or adjudicated incapacitated adult witnesses who are victims in criminal or noncriminal cases.

This bill passed the house on a 63 – 3 vote. I voted yes.

HB 209 – Health Professional Loan Repayment

Amends the Health Professional Loan Repayment Act to update the requirements for receiving loan repayment. The act, which provides for loans to health professionals who declare an intent to practice in areas of the state designated as underserved, is administered by the Higher Education Department (HED). The bill does two things: it provides for HED to consult with the Department of Health in designating areas as underserved; and it changes the definition of “health professional” to include all physicians, not only primary care physicians, thereby qualifying physicians for loan repayment provisions of the act.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 234 – Robbery and Organized Crime

Creates the crime of organized retail crime carrying a penalty of a second-degree felony and adds organized retail crime to the definition of racketeering. Also amends the elements of robbery and authorizes separate prosecution for separate incidents of shoplifting.

This bill passed the house on a 62 – 3 vote. I voted yes

HB 271 – Car Accidents Requiring Reports

Raises the threshold amount of damages to a vehicle from $500 to $1,000 or more to trigger the requirement for a written accident report to be submitted by the driver of the damaged vehicle to the Department of Transportation. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury or death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more shall, within five days after the accident, forward a written report of the accident to the Department of Transportation.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 286 – Motor Vehicle Sun Screen Materials

Amends the Motor Vehicle Code to provide that the sun screening material permitted for use on a motor vehicle window must have a light transmission of at least 70 percent. This aligns with federal law.

This bill passed the house on a 66 – 1 vote. I voted yes.

HCR 1 – Publication of Amendments & Agency Analysis

Proposes a new legislative joint rule that proposed committee amendments and substitutes be made publicly available on the legislature’s website as soon as is practicable and maintained there, whether adopted or not. Analyses of legislation submitted by executive agencies to the Legislative Finance Committee are to be made publicly available on the legislature’s website as soon as is practicable after the Fiscal Impact Report has been posted.

This bill passed the house on a 66 – 4 vote. I vote yes for transparency.

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