Legislative Update - February 27, 2017 (House Bills)

Legislative Update - February 27, 2017 (House Bills)

Legislative update
Zach Riley
This week in Santa Fe marked a little more than the halfway point and that usually means things are really going to start to shaking out. However, this is not the case this year.   The legislature still continues to squabble about the budget, finances and who is going to take the biggest cuts with little spending reform in the cards. It isn’t all for nothing, as for now a budget has been agreed upon. As for NMFLB and the agriculture industry, there were a few victories. NMFLB has also been hard at work to strike balance and safe guard the items the industry is most concerned with. 

Now that the house passed a somewhat balanced budget it goes to the senate for concurrence. Undoubtedly, there will be complications getting to a final product, but hopefully preclude the possibility of a special session. That’s to say that after all of the chips are down, and the final product passes through the two chambers, that the executive will be a fan of it as written. 

House Agriculture held the hearing this week for Chairman Gomez’s house version of the Beef Council assessment increase bill. This bill would take the Check off to $2 for each head sold with the option of writing in for a refund or opting out of it all together for an extended period of time. This comes as a small windfall due to the fact the federal check off is now subject to voluntarily contributing the entire previous dollar assessed to the federal program.  This is also only a minor victory, it still has a long ways to go and the governor in the past has considered this a tax increase on the heavily burdened industry. 

NMFLB was able to help stave off the legislation in committee that would have changed feral horses to wild horses, forever redefining them and moving them to the management responsibility of the NM Department of Game and Fish. This would have been a tragic blow to the pastures and ranges of the state. 

NMFLB will continue to perform to the best of its abilities to protect the interests of the association and the Agriculture families of NM. As always thank you all for your continued support and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your directors or the home office. Stay tuned with only twenty more days to go.  

NM Farm and Livestock Bureau tracking list: 

Bill: HB24

Sponsors: Ezzell (R58)

Title: STATE TRUST LANDS SURFACE DAMAGE AND WATERSHED RESTORATION AND REMEDIATION FUND

Summary: (Endorsed by the Water and Natural Resources Committee) Creates the State Trust Lands Restoration and Remediation Fund and authorizes the State Land Office to utilize the fund for contractual surface damage and watershed restoration and remediation projects on state trust lands.

Status: 02/01/2017 – House Appropriations and Finance Committee

Position: Neutral


Bill: HB27

Sponsors: Roybal-Caballero (D13)

Title: MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

Summary: (Identical to 2016 HB154; Related to 2016 HB125; 2015 HB20 and SB350; HB138, HB360, SB10, and SB432; 2014 HB213 and HJR9; 2013 HB550, HB668, and SB416.) Beginning January 1, 2018, raises the New Mexico base minimum wage to $15 per hour for all employees, with an annual cost-of-living increase.

Status: 01/18/2017 – House Business and Industry Committee

Position: Oppose


Bill: HB50

Sponsors: Garcia Richard (D43)

Title: CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS ON CERTAIN GUN TRANSFERS

Summary: (Identical to 2017 SB48; relates to 2016 HB51; 2015 HB44) Requires criminal background checks by licensed firearms dealers for gun transfers to or from unlicensed persons, with certain exceptions. Imposes misdemeanor and fourth-degree criminal penalties.

Status: 02/16/2017 – House Judiciary Committee

Position: Oppose


Bill: HB67

Sponsors: Garcia, Miguel (D14)

Title: INCREMENTAL EMPLOYEE MINIMUM WAGE RATE INCREASES: 2017-2020

Summary: HOURLY WAGE RATE INCREASE. Makes incremental increases in the minimum wage rate from $6.50 to $7.50 on July 1, 2017; to $8.40 an hour for the period January 1 through December 31, 2018; to $9.20 an hour for the period January 1 through December 31, 2019; and to $10.10 an hour as of January 1, 2020. As of January 1, 2018 and on January 1 of each successive year, the minimum wage rate shall be increased by the cost of living according to the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers. The minimum wage for an employee receiving more than $30 a month in tips is increased from $2.13 an hour to an hourly wage equal to 40% of the minimum wage set for other employees.

Status: 01/26/2017 – House Business and Industry Committee


Bill: HB78

Sponsors: Fajardo (R7)

Title: REFRESHER FIREARMS TRAINING COURSE

Summary: Specifies that, to renew a concealed handgun license, a licensee must submit to the Department of Public Safety a certificate of completion of a DPS-approved refresher firearms training course that includes four hours of classroom and firing range instruction. DPS must offer the option of either in-person or online classroom training.

Status: 01/18/2017 – House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee


Bill: HB89

Sponsors: McCamley (D33)

Title: CANNABIS REVENUE AND FREEDOM ACT

Summary: (Related to 2016 HB75 and 2015 HB160) A 122-page bill that proposes the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act, establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework relating to marijuana, industrial hemp and medical marijuana, that allows a person who is licensed, regulated and taxed by New Mexico to legally manufacture and sell marijuana to a person who is at least 21 years of age, subject to the provisions of the act. Creates and allocates tax revenue to the Substance Abuse Prevention and Behavioral Health Fund, the District Attorney Public Safety Fund, the Public Defender Public Safety Fund and the Cannabis Revenue Economic Development Fund, and makes appropriations.

Status: 02/06/2017 – House Calendar


Bill: HB104

Sponsors: Bandy (R3)

Title: LOCAL ELECTION ACT

Summary: (Relates to 2016 HJR 7) Proposes the Local Election Act to provide a single election day and uniform processes for many local government elections; provides for mailed ballot elections for special election ballot measures held at times other than general or local elections and for statewide ballot question elections, and establishes procedures for mailed ballot elections; prohibits advisory questions; eliminates write-in candidates in local elections; creates a fund appropriated to the Secretary of State to pay the costs of local elections, and authorizes the Secretary to assess local governments for the fund; repeals the School Election Law, the Mail Ballot Election law and other conflicting sections of law.

Status: 01/18/2017 – House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee


Bill: HB117

Sponsors: Roybal-Caballero (D13)

Title: SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME TAX

Summary: Phases in over four years a supplemental income tax rate, up to one percent, on high income taxpayers. Supplemental tax first applies to taxable years beginning in 2018.

Status: 01/18/2017 – House Labor and Economic Development Committee

Position: Oppose


Bill: HB123

Sponsors: Trujillo, Carl (D46)

Title: COMMERCIAL PET FOOD FEE FOR SPAY AND NEUTER

Summary: Imposes a fee on each brand name or product name of commercial dog and cat food distributed in the state, which shall be credited to the Statewide Spay and Neuter Sub-account of the Animal Care and Facility Fund. Establishes income limits for individuals with a household income within 250 percent of the current federal poverty level.

Status: 02/14/2017 – Senate Public Affairs Committee


Bill: HB143

Sponsors: Gomez (D34)

Title: APPROPRIATION TO MONITOR BOLL WEEVIL AND PINK BOLLWORM

Summary: Appropriates $50,000 (GF) for FY 2018 to the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University for the Department of Agriculture to monitor the boll weevil and pink bollworm situation in south central and southwest New Mexico.

Status: 01/26/2017 – House Appropriations and Finance Committee


Bill: HB144

Sponsors: Gomez (D34)

Title: INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Summary: (Identical to 2017 SB6; 2016 SB3; almost identical to the final version of 2015 SB94, passed by both chambers and vetoed by the Governor; related to 2017 HB89). Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to adopt rules for research on industrial hemp and to issue licenses to grow industrial hemp for research and development. Defines “industrial hemp,” authorizes the Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules and issue licenses, and establishes a nonreverting fund to be administered by the department.

Status: 02/17/2017 – Senate Judiciary Committee


Bill: HB145

Sponsors: Gomez (D34)

Title: BIG GAME DAMAGE TO LANDOWNERS

Summary: Clarifies Purpose of the Big Game Depredation Damage Fund to Include Compensation of Landowners for Financial Damage Caused by Big Game

Status: 02/02/2017 – House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee


Bill: HB154

Sponsors: Little (R53)

Title: INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Summary: (For the Economic and Rural Development Committee) (Almost Identical to 2016 SB3; 2016 HB148) Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to administer the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Program and a related fund, adopt rules for the program’s implementation, and issue permits to grow industrial hemp for the purpose of studying the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp.

Status: 02/13/2017 – House Calendar


Bill: HB174

Sponsors: Smith (R22); Ivey-Soto (D15)

Title: LOCAL ELECTION ACT

Summary: (Similar to 2017 HB104, relates to 2016 HJR 7) Proposes the Local Election Act to provide a single election day and uniform processes for many local government elections; provides for mailed ballot elections for special election ballot measures held at times other than general or local elections and for statewide ballot question elections, and establishes procedures for mailed ballot elections; prohibits advisory questions; eliminates write-in candidates in local elections; creates a fund appropriated to the Secretary of State to pay the costs of local elections, and authorizes the Secretary to assess local governments for the fund; repealing the School Election Law, the Mail Ballot Election Law, the Municipal Election Code and other conflicting sections of law; making conforming amendments to the Absentee Voter Act, Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act and many other sections of law.

Status: 02/24/2017 – Passed in the House


Bill: HB186

Sponsors: Fajardo (R7)

Title: FUTURE FARMS OF AMERICA SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES

Summary: Authorizes the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the Taxation and Revenue Department to establish a special license plate recognizing the Future Farmers of America. A fee of $35 will be assessed for the plate (and each renewal), in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fee.

Status: 02/23/2017 – Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee


Bill: HB208

Sponsors: Hall, J. C. (R28)

Title: FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FOR SCHOOL MEALS

Summary: (For the Economic and Rural Development Committee) Appropriates $1,440,000 (GF nonreverting) to the Public Education Department for FY 2018 and subsequent fiscal years for the purchase and distribution of New Mexico-grown fresh fruits and fresh vegetables to school districts, charter schools and juvenile detention centers through PED’s school meal programs. Includes a full time person to administer and promote the initiative. Balance remaining at the end of FY shall not revert to the General Fund.

Status: 02/07/2017 – House Appropriations and Finance Committee


Bill: HB210

Sponsors: Ely (D23)

Title: AMEND CRIME OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Summary: Distinguishes crimes of cruelty to animals and extreme cruelty to animals; requires psychological counseling for conviction for extreme cruelty to animals; increases penalty when cruelty to animals causes death or great bodily harm; provides definitions.

Status: 01/23/2017 – House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee

Position: Oppose


Bill: HB219

Sponsors: Hall, J. C. (R28)

Title: ANIMAL SHELTERING REGULATION BY VETERINARY MEDICINE BOARD

Summary: (For the Legislative Finance Committee) Gives the Board of Veterinary Medicine (board) authority to administer and carry out the duties imposed by the Animal Sheltering Act. Transfers powers and duties, personnel, property and contracts from the Animal Sheltering Board in the Regulation and Licensing Department to the Board of Veterinary Medicine. Abolishes the Animal Sheltering Board.

Status: 02/22/2017 – House State Government, Indian and Veteran Affairs Committee


Bill: HB224

Sponsors: Herrell (R51)

Title: LIMITS PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR VOLUNTEERS OF NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Summary: Provides immunity to volunteers of nonprofit organizations from personal liability for any act or omission resulting in damage or injury to any person intended to receive benefit from the volunteer’s service if 1) the volunteer acted in good faith and within the scope of the volunteer’s official functions and duties within the organization; 2) the volunteer was properly licensed, certified or authorized by the state, if appropriate or required, to engage in the activity; and 3) the damage or injury was not caused by the intentional or malicious conduct of the volunteer.

Status: 02/14/2017 – House Judiciary Committee


Bill: HB275

Sponsors: Larranaga (R27); Cisneros (D6)

Title: LONG-TERM PUBLIC-PRIVATE INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIPS FOR PUBLIC PROJECTS

Summary: (Very similar to 2017 SB143) Creates the Public-Private Partnership Act to be administered by the General Services Department (GSD). Allows state and local governments to enter into long-term partnerships (up to 50 years) with private sector partners on public projects. Contemplates the formation of partnerships between private companies and state or local government (municipality, county, or regional entity created by a joint powers agreement between one or more public agencies) for the design, development, financing, construction, operation or maintenance of a public project. Unlike proposed SB 143, cited as the New Mexico Infrastructure Investment Act, does not contain penalties.

Status: 02/17/2017 – House Labor and Economic Development Committee


Bill: HB280

Sponsors: Maestas (D16)

Title: INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Summary: (Identical to 2017 HB144, SB6; 2016 SB3; almost identical to the final version of 2015 SB94, passed by both chambers and vetoed by the Governor; related to 2017 HB89). Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to adopt rules for research on industrial hemp and to issue licenses to grow industrial hemp for research and development. Defines “industrial hemp,” authorizes the Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules and issue licenses, and establishes a nonreverting fund to be administered by the department.

Status: 02/13/2017 – House Calendar


Bill: HB289

Sponsors: Small (D36)

Title: AGRICULTURE IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FINANCE ACT

Summary: Expands the statewide Economic Development Finance Act to include agricultural enterprises in the lists of economic development goals and eligible entities for which revenue bonds may be issued. Agricultural enterprises include new or ongoing agricultural projects and projects that add value to New Mexico agricultural products.

Status: 02/13/2017 – House Business and Industry Committee

Position: Neutral


Bill: HB305

Sponsors: Sweetser (D32)

Title: INSPECTIONS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH FOOD SAFETY LAWS

Summary: Adds to the powers and authority of the New Mexico State University Board of Regents to authorize the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to enter onto public or private property to collect physical or documentary samples and to review records and documents to verify compliance with the federal FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

Status: 02/13/2017 – House Business and Industry Committee

Position: Support


Bill: HB333

Sponsors: Townsend (R54)

Title: GAME COMMISSION REDUCE ELK HERDS

Summary: Requires the State Game Commission to issue hunting licenses, permits, and tags in quantities large enough to reduce elk herd sizes on federal lands in equal proportion to the amount of allotments reduced by respective federal agencies for livestock grazing.

Status: 02/06/2017 – House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee


Bill: HB360

Sponsors: Gonzales (D42)

Title: FIVE PERCENT BIODIESEL STANDARD

Summary: Effective January 1, 2018, revises the existing standard that diesel sold for use in New Mexico contain five percent biodiesel to apply to diesel sold in New Mexico in the months April through September once certain conditions are met. Also requires retailers to maintain records verifying that diesel fuel sold in New Mexico contains at least five percent biodiesel.

Status: 02/21/2017 – House Labor and Economic Development Committee


Bill: HB363

Sponsors: Brown (R55)

Title: HAZARDOUS WASTE GROUNDWATER PROTECTION ACT CONFORMANCE WITH FEDERAL LAW

Summary: Hazardous Waste Groundwater Protection Act Conformance with Federal Law

Status: 02/15/2017 – House Business and Industry Committee


Bill: HB390

Sponsors: Small (D36)

Title: RIGHT TO RESCUE STRAY EQUINES

Summary: (Related to 2017 SB126, SB284, SB349) Creates a new state tax refund donation check-off for the Equine Shelter Rescue Fund; defines “equine” and makes conforming changes throughout the Livestock Code for references to horses; amends the Livestock Code to provide for disposition, impoundment, delivery, and sale of estray equines; and provides right of first refusal to equine rescue or retirement facilities for cruelly treated equines.

Status: 02/13/2017 – House State Government, Indian and Veteran Affairs Committee


Bill: HB412

Sponsors: Harper (R57); Smith (D35)

Title: TAX REFORM--SALES AND USE TAX ACT

Summary: (For the Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee) This 347-page bill restructures many components of the state’s tax system, but centers on reforming and renaming the gross receipts and compensating taxes.

Status: 02/14/2017 – House Taxation and Revenue Committee


Bill: HB418

Sponsors: Armstrong, G. (R49)

Title: WATER DIVERSIONS: ADDITIONAL APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND PERMIT REQUIRED

Summary: (Similar to 2014 SB77) Requires additional procedures in the application process for the diversion of surface or underground water from the basin of origin for use in another basin. Does not apply to diversions of less than 1,000 acre feet, or certain diversions by a municipality or inter-basin diversion project.

Status: 02/21/2017 – House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee


Bill: HB430

Sponsors: Maestas Barnes (R15); Neville (R2)

Title: MUNICIPAL TAXES ON FOOD OR BEVERAGES PROHIBITED

Summary: Bans municipalities (and indirectly counties) from imposing excise taxes on food or beverages.

Status: 02/14/2017 – House Business and Industry Committee


Bill: HB434

Sponsors: Ezzell (R58)

Title: LIMITED LIABILITY FOR AGRITOURISM PROVIDERS

Summary: (Identical to 2015 HB488 and identical in substance to 2015 SB76) Proposes the Agritourism Liability Limitations Act to provide immunity from liability for agritourism professionals under certain circumstances and requiring posted warnings about agritourism activities.

Status: 02/21/2017 – House Judiciary Committee


Bill: HB442

Sponsors: Rodella (D41)

Title: MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

Summary: (Related to 2017 SB36, HB67, HB27) Proposes to raise the minimum wage level to $7.50 an hour until January 1, 2018, when the minimum wage level rises to $9.25 an hour. Employers are prohibited from lowering the hourly wage rate of an employee because the employee is paid an hourly wage rate greater than the minimum wage proposed above. Does not replace or preempt an enactment of the governing body of a municipality, home rule municipality, county or home rule county that sets a minimum wage rate higher than the minimum wage rates prescribed in this section. On or after January 1, 2018, employees who receive $30 a month in tips shall receive a minimum wage rate equal to 40 percent of the minimum wage rate proposed above.

Status: 02/21/2017 – House Judiciary Committee


Bill: HB446

Sponsors: Ferrary (D37)

Title: WILD HORSES MANAGEMENT & JURISDICTION

Summary: Amends the Wildlife Conservation Act and the Livestock Code to provide for wild horses.

Status: 02/15/2017 – House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee


Bill: HB459

Sponsors: Gomez (D34)

Title: OPT-OUT OF LIVESTOCK COUNCIL ASSESSMENTS

Summary: (Identical to 2017 SB378, 2016 SB65) Changes the rate for reimbursement to the New Mexico Livestock Board by the New Mexico Beef Council for necessary expenses from not more than four cents per head to not more than four cents per dollar collected in the form of council assessments on cattle transfers. Establishes an application process for producers who wish not to participate in the council assessment.

Status: 02/24/2017 – House State Government, Indian and Veteran Affairs Committee


Bill: HB468

Sponsors: Romero (D10)

Title: ALBUQUERQUE-BERNALILLO COUNTY WATER UTILITY AUTHORITY BOARD ELECTION

Summary: (Virtually identical to 2015 HB331 and SB609) Provides for election of a five-member board of directors of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority starting with the 2018 general election. The directors will be elected one each from the five county commission districts and must reside therein. Directors will serve staggered four-year terms and will draw lots following the first election for either two- or four-year terms. Directors will be entitled to receive per diem and mileage.

Status: 02/15/2017 – House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee


Bill: HB472

Sponsors: Sweetser (D32)

Title: WATER RIGHT ADMINISTRATION CHANGES, RIGHT TO WATER LIVESTOCK

Summary: Amends the Water Law to provide that a lessor or permitting agency of land may not acquire a water right to water livestock unless they are a beneficial user. For purposes of the bill, the term “beneficial user” is defined as a person who puts a water right to beneficial use and does not mean an owner of leased or permitted land where the beneficial use occurs as a component of the lease or permit. “Permitted land” means land leased through a permit with a government land management agency.

Status: 02/16/2017 – House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee


Bill: HB483

Sponsors: Harper (R57)

Title: ENHANCED CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE

Summary: Directs the Department of Public Safety to develop enhanced concealed handgun license program requirements, which shall include successful completion of a minimum of 18 hours of instruction and testing in prescribed areas in the classroom and at a firearm training range. Provides that an applicant for an enhanced concealed handgun license must meet all requirements to carry a concealed handgun and is also:

Status: 02/16/2017 – House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee


Bill: HJM17

Sponsors: Ferrary (D37)

Title: PROTECTING WILD HORSE HERDS

Summary: Acknowledges New Mexico’s public policy that recognizes the need to protect wild horses and the role of the Conservation Services Division of the Department of Game and Fish in protecting, maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat. Requests the Division to conduct a comprehensive study to determine appropriate numbers, habitat and management policies for the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of New Mexico’s wild horse herds and for lessening the impacts of populated areas on wild horse herds and of wild horse herds on populated areas. The division is to report its findings and recommendations to the legislature by December 2017.

Status: 02/15/2017 – House State Government, Indian and Veteran Affairs Committee

Position: Oppose


Bill: HM1

Sponsors: Salazar, T. (D70)

Title: STATE AND REGIONAL WATER PLANNING TASK FORCE REVIEW

Summary: Proposes that the Interstate Stream Commission be requested to convene a volunteer task force organized into at least three statewide working groups that will focus on public and tribal participation, best available technical data and adjudication to define how future water planning should be accomplished in the state. The ultimate goal is to develop a detailed plan or proposal for statutory, agency and regional action to be presented to an appropriate interim legislative committee no later than July 1, 2018.

Status: 02/01/2017 – House Calendar


Bill: HM8

Sponsors: Roch (R67)

Title: FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA DAY

Summary: Declares February 22, 2017, to be FFA Day in the House of Representatives

Status: 02/22/2017 – Signed by Officers of House


Bill: HM16

Sponsors: Hall, J. C. (R28)

Title: DECLARING 4-H DAY

Summary: Recognizes that 4-H has been a premier youth leadership organization in New Mexico for over 100 years, providing diverse youth development programs to over 50,000 youths statewide helping them to acquire important life skills and successfully transition into productive adults.

Status: 02/08/2017 – Signed by Officers of House


Bill: HM27

Sponsors: Dodge (D63)

Title: DEVELOPMENT OF STATEWIDE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR AGRICULTURAL RESILIENCE

Summary: Recites challenges facing New Mexico agriculture, including increasing competition for water resources and an aging farming and ranching population that an increased amount of New Mexico’s needed food could come from local farmers and ranchers and the organization and efforts of the Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Task Force.

Status: 02/13/2017 – House Calendar


Bill: HM57

Sponsors: Dow (R38)

Title: NEW MEXICO FOOD AND FARMS DAY

Summary: Declares February 20, 2017 as New Mexico Food and Farms Day in the House of Representatives. Recites the virtues of the food and farming culture; asserts that if New Mexico consumers purchased only 15% of their food from the state’s farmers and ranchers, it would increase annual farm income by $392 million and also help stem the rise in childhood obesity where 31% of children are overweight or obese; and increased investment by the Legislature will enable schools to continue to feature home-grown produce and to meet federal nutritional requirements, serve more fresh fruits and vegetables and support the local economy.

Status: 02/20/2017 – Signed by Officers of House