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March 2, 2023

Updated: Jan 26

HB 53/a – Delivery of Necessary Diabetic Resources

Amends the Insurance Code to require insurance plans to provide coverage for persons with diabetes that is the same as that for other benefits covered by the plans with respect to deductibles, cost-sharing, out-of-pocket limits, and prior authorization. Also requires timely delivery of medically necessary equipment and supplies. Appropriates $350,000 (GF) to OSI for use in FY2024 to hire additional personnel to conduct random periodic compliance audits of health care insurers and enforce compliance with the act.

This bill passed the house 65 – 1. I voted yes.

HB 175/a – Crime Reduction Act Changes and Fund

Provides complete authority for administration of the Crime Reduction Grant Act with the New Mexico Sentencing Commission and eliminates the role of a “grant administration agency” from the grant-award process. Creates the Crime Reduction Grant Fund.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 213 – Public Private Partnership Act

Creates the Public-Private Partnership Act, the Public-Private Partnership Board and a non-reverting Public-Private Partnership Project Fund to allow state and local governments to enter into partnerships with private sector entities for construction projects and improvements related to public transportation facilities or infrastructure or improvement, excluding toll roads, or for broadband telecommunications network facilities. Caps total project costs at $10 million absent special Board approval. Exempts such projects from the Procurement Code.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 240 – Acequia & Community Ditch License Plates

Directs the Motor Vehicle Department to issue a standardized special registration license plate to express support for acequia and community ditch organizations at an additional cost of $30 per license plate with proceeds allocated between the acequias and MVD (in addition to the normal registration fee) per plate.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 363 – Smokey Bear License Plates

Directs the Motor Vehicle Division to issue a special registration plate indicating support for Fire Prevention at a cost of $50 to registration fee and a $40 annual renewal fee, $10 of which is appropriated to the Department of Taxation and Revenue for the cost of making and issuing the plates and the Smokey Bear image. Directs the division to apply for a long-term license from the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service to use the image and name of Smokey Bear on a license plate.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 353 – South Campus Tax Increment Development District

Authorizes issuance of bonds not to exceed $267 million in inflation-adjusted net proceeds to be repaid by tax increments under the Tax Increment for Development District Act, including a state gross receipts tax increment. Issuance of the bonds is subject to NMFA approval of the master indenture, and any amendments made prior to the issuance.

This is a great idea for Lea County.

This bill passed the house 53 – 12. I voted yes.

HB 304 – Public Employee Retirement Needs Trusts

A 72-page bill that allows supplemental needs trusts to be set up for disabled members of state retirement plans under the Public Employees Retirement Act, Judicial Retirement Act, Magistrate Retirement Act and Educational Retirement Act.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 342 – Education Savings Plan Uses

Conforms existing language in the Education Trust Act and elsewhere to align the uses of Education Savings Plans to comply with federally allowable uses.

Allows you to use pre-tax income to fund education accounts that, if used appropriately, funds will never be taxed.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 299 Elevator Safety Act

Cited as the Elevator Safety Act, provides for the inspection and registration of elevators by the Construction Industries Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department. Vests the division with rulemaking power to adopt rules for the installation, use or maintenance of conveyors (elevators, escalators, etc.), for renewal of journeyman elevator mechanic’s certificates, and to set the amount of a nonrefundable permit fee. Directs the division to establish fee schedules for licenses, permits and certificates.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HB 277/cs – First Responders Survivor Benefits

Increases the allowable supplemental death benefit for a firefighter killed in the line of duty that is paid to a surviving spouse or surviving children from $250,000 to $1 million; applies to a death occurring on or after January 1, 2022. Applies current supplemental death benefits (already at $1 million) for survivors of peace officers, New Mexico Mounted Patrol and reserve police officers to deaths in the line of duty occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

HJR 5 – Extend Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Proposes an amendment to Article 8 of the Constitution to extend a property tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans and their widows and widowers to veterans with less than a 100% disability (and their widows and widowers). Bases the amount of the exemption on the veteran’s federal disability rating.

This bill passed the house unanimously.

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