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March 16, 2023

Updated: Jan 26


Concurrence Calendar

HB 547 – Tax Changes

This bill was not concurred with. From here it will go to a conference committee in effort to come to agreement.


Third Reading Calendar

SB 20/a – Educational Retirement Board Changs

Allows professional services contracts for services required to design, develop, implement, or operate the pension administrative system of the Educational Retirement Board to exceed a term of four years. Allows eligible employees of Southeast New Mexico College to elect to participate in the alternative educational retirement plan within 90 days of the initial date. Requires retirement benefits be distributed in accordance with 26 USC 401(a)(9), as amended, and regulations thereunder.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 131/aa – Public School Funding Changes

Amends the Public-School Capital Outlay Act to change the calculations that determine grant assistance to public and charter schools for facilities construction by the Public-School Capital Outlay Council (PSCOC) from the Public-School Capital Outlay Fund (PSCO Fund). Eliminates offsets in formulas for public schools and charter schools; reduces local match requirements for certain school districts and for pre-K projects; eliminates the Impact Aid Credit; makes extensive clean-up deletions of obsolete provisions; and appropriates $25.0 million (PSCO Fund) to the Public-School Facilities Authority for FY 2024-2027 to improve school security infrastructure, and $75.0 million (PSCO Fund) to the PSFA for FY 2024-2027 for certain other distributions to districts. Distributions are not subject to any local match or offset.

History: I have sat on the Public-School Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force for the last two summers. The offset, simply put, is how much a school district has to fund prior to receiving state funds, in addition, it also defines the percentage the school district has to fund in for any project that receives state funds. For Lea County Districts the school funded percentages have been between 80% to 94% (stated differently $80 to $94 local match vs. $20 to $6 per $100 funded). This bill, if chaptered, will remove that offset for school projects thru 2027.

During interim we debated three different options on how to accomplish this. This option, while not the best option for Lea County, is the option we have.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor's desk.

SB 178/a – Tobacco Fund Not a State Reserve Fund

Declares that the state’s Tobacco Settlement Permanent Fund is no longer a reserve fund of the state. Strikes obsolete language authorizing certain distributions from this permanent fund in some prior fiscal years. Continues language authorizing the Legislature to expend money from this permanent fund under certain circumstances.

This bill passed the house 63 – 1. I was the only no vote. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 84/aa – Probation and Parole Violation Changes

Establishes limits on the Parole Board or the Court for incarceration for technical violations of probation and parole. Applies to a violation of a condition of probation or parole that does not either create a threat to the probationer or released prisoner or others or does not constitute a new criminal charge.

Historically, a parole would normally be arrested again if they were caught with illegal drugs would be sent back to jail and charged with a new violation. This bill removes that.

In addition, House Republicans attempted an amendment to exempt rapists, murderers, and pedophiles from this bill. The amendment was found to be unfriendly by our progressive colleagues.

This bill passed the house 39 – 28. I voted no. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 133/a – Catalytic Converter Sales Records

Forbids a secondhand metal dealer of receiving (in addition to purchasing) restricted metal items, including catalytic converters.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 302 – Judicial Standards Commission Oversight

Strips the Judicial Standards Commission’s authority to regulate the conduct and character of court-appointed commissioners, hearing officers, administrative law judges or special masters when the officials are acting in a judicial capacity. Limits the commission’s oversight to only justices, judges or magistrates.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 16 – Create Health Care Authority Department

Renames the Human Services Department as the Health Care Authority Department; changes its powers and duties; and provides for a transition from the old to the newly named state agency with the stated purpose of serving as the agency for health care purchasing and regulation. The bill appears to contemplate a merging and transfer of unidentified functions that relate to healthcare purchasing among the new Health Care Authority, General Services Department and the Department of Health.

In addition, it provides the Governor the authority to use an executive order to further alter the make-up of the agency.

This bill passed the house 43 – 23. I voted no. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 245 – Rural Emergency Hospital Licensure

Amends the Public Health Act to allow for certain rural health facilities to apply for rural emergency hospital licensure to meet federal health care reimbursement. Directs DOH to adopt rules to establish a rural emergency hospital licensure eligibility requirement.

This bill passed the house unanimously. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 442/aa/fla/fla – Increase Elected Official Salaries

Increases the annual compensation for the Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Attorney General and the Commissioner of Public Lands for terms that begin on January 1, 2027 or later. (Note: By amendment, Governor's salary increase delayed until Jan 21 2027 so it would not apply to sitting Governor.)

Our New Mexico Constitution is clear! Article IV, Section 27 “…, nor shall the compensation of any officer be increased or diminished during his term of office…”

While I don’t disagree with the pay raises. I do disagree with immediate implementation.

This bill passed the house 43 – 23. I voted no. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 41 – Local Telecom Carrier Changes

Amends New Mexico Telecommunications Act to require PRC to regulate all (not just those serving over 50,000 access lines) incumbent local exchange carriers in a manner no more cumbersome than regulation of rural telecommunications carriers.

This bill passed the house 49 – 4. I voted yes. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 69/a – Electric-Assisted Bicycle Definitions

Amends the Motor Vehicle Code and the Child Helmet Safety Act to provide standards for electric-assisted bicycles and regulation of their operation. Permits regulation of electric bike operation by counties and municipalities.

Specifically, it allows Class 1 and Class 2 E-bikes on bike paths and multi-use trails and Class 3 E-bikes only on roadways.

In addition, it allows local municipalities to make ordinances that vary from this legislation.

This bill passed the house unanimously. I voted yes, purely because the bill allows local control. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 143 – Nonprofit Gaming Machine Payouts

Allows a nonprofit organization operating a gambling machine to increase the max award from $4,000 (under current law) to $10,000.

This bill passed the house 59 -5. I voted yes. This bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 81 – Immunization Info Certification

Amends the Public Health Education Act to authorize a physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner to certify that immunization is detrimental to the physical condition of a child. Under current law, this authority is limited to a licensed physician.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 155 – Use of Telecomm Fund for Broadband

Creates opportunities for broadband providers without local exchange services (phone or voice services) to use the State Rural Universal Service Fund (SRUSF). Creates definitions for “access lines” and “consumer broadband-only loops.”

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 216/a – Bankruptcy Exemptions

Makes changes, some extensive, in the provisions for garnishments in bankruptcy law. Raises the general exemption from garnishment to an amount equal to 40 times the highest applicable (federal, state or local) minimum wage at the place where the wages are earned.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 250/a – Firefighter Survivor Benefits

Increases the allowable death benefit for firefighter killed in the line of duty that is paid to a surviving spouse or surviving children from $250,000 to $1 million.

This passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

HB 429 – Cannabis as Contraband in Corrections

Prohibits cannabis as a contraband substance in places of imprisonment unless prescribed by a health care provider. Smuggling cannabis or other contraband into a jail outside of proper channels carries a fourth-degree felony.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the senate.

SB 71/a/ec – Organ Donation Discrimination

Prohibits discrimination against anatomical gift recipients based solely on physical or mental disability; prohibits insurance coverage discrimination against persons with disabilities receiving organ transplants.

This bill passed the house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 145 – State Police Retirement Changes

Extends the same retirement plan offered to State Police, corrections officers, probation and parole officers (referred to as “member coverage plan 1”) to State Police or corrections officers who retired before June 30, 2013.

This bill passed house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 153/ec – Publication of Supplemental Appropriations

Requires the Legislative Council Service to publish, on the legislative website, a searchable list of appropriation allocations contained in a Supplemental General Appropriation Act.

This bill passed house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 192/a – Additional Appropriation and Confidentiality

Senate Finance Committee substitute to SB192 adds additional appropriations to the Legislature, judicial and State agencies for the purposes specified. Requires Legislative Council Service to publish a searchable list of the appropriations, the names of each legislator who allocated a portion of each, and the verified amount. The list shall be published on the Council Service website within a specified time period.

This bill passed house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 523/a – Medical Malpractice Changes

SB 200/a – Regional Water Project Procurement

Creates a carveout allowing a contract for professional services related to regional water projects worth more than $500 million to last for a period of more than four years.

This bill passed house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 210/aaa/ec – National Guard Death Benefit Act

Creates the National Guard Death Benefit Fund to pay a $500,000 death benefit for a member of the National Guard or the State Defense Force Division killed on state active duty. Appropriates $2 million (GF, non-reverting) to the Fund for use in FYs 2024 and beyond for the death benefits.

This bill passed the house 50 -1. It is on its way to the governor.

SB 232/aa – Health Insurer Provider Info and Reimbursement

Requires the Superintendent of Insurance to create rules that set up a 30-day deadline for insurers to upload information on qualified health insurance providers in their provider payment system; requires insurers to reimburse providers if they fail to load that information within 30 days after receiving a valid credential application and sets up a 30-day timeline for assessing and verifying provider credentials.

This bill passed house unanimously. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 251/aa – Metro Development Act Changes

Revises the Metropolitan Redevelopment Code to provide for gross receipts tax increment financing. Permits Code provisions to be utilized for projects constructing (as well as repairing or otherwise modifying) buildings in a metropolitan redevelopment area.

This bill passed the house 60 – 1. I voted yes. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 309/a/ec – Capital Outlay Reauthorizations

A shell for the much larger bill that will be brought forth later in the session, relating to Severance Tax Bond capital expenditures: reauthorizes or reappropriates balances, expands or changes purposes, extends expenditure periods; changes agencies; and establishes conditions for the reversion or transfer of unexpended earlier appropriations.

This bill passed the house unanimously. I voted yes. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

SB 292 – Carlsbad/Eddy County Gross Receipts

Provides a distribution to the City of Carlsbad of $2 million of the net receipts attributable to the gross receipts tax to offset municipal GRT revenue sourced to Eddy County. Appropriates $25 million (GF, non-reverting) to the Local Government Division of DFA for distribution to the city of Carlsbad for use in FY2023 and subsequent years.

This bill passed the house unanimously. I voted yes. It is on its way to the governor’s desk.

Email: rpettigrew@randallpettigrew.com

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