Legislative Update, January 29, 2017

Legislative Update, January 29, 2017

Session is two weeks in and most of the new bills are starting to take shape with more than 600 bills filed at this time. New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau is already tracking and monitoring some 10% of those items filed. In the list below you will see short summaries and current position statements of NMFLB as they align with our policies. 

There are a multitude of new minimum wage increases that we are actively following and providing opposition statements to. However, that said, it is the policy of the NMFLB to oppose all increases to mandatory minimum wages. There is going to be legislation introduced that may bring about compromises in the divided houses. These compromises could involve slight increases in the wages and develop preemption clauses to keep local municipalities from enacting and increasing minimum wage requirements. As with minimum wage NMFLB is also opposed to tax increases, there are many tax changes filed this session attempting to balance deficits and extract changes to our existing tax structure. NMFLB is monitoring all potential increases to taxes on businesses, individuals and property owners. There are many items in the list of introduced legislation that conflict with NMFLB policy such as, changes to animal cruelty laws and increased penalization with criminal convictions of normal animal agriculture practices.

There are also returning items that the NMFLB is supportive of, like the prohibition of unwarranted trespass by drones, decreased regulations for above ground storages in crop dusting refueling tanks, beneficial water legislation and industrial hemp production-studies. NMFLB is working in concert again with other affiliated organizations to provide a united front in support of many different pieces of legislation. 

We will continue to keep you updated as the session progresses and the bills continue to pour in. You are always invited to participate in the process by contacting your legislators directly as they very much prefer to speak with constituents and if NMFLB can facilitate that conversation in anyway please do not hesitate to contact your NMFLB representative. NMFLB thanks you for your continued support and dedication to the traditions of agriculture in the great state of New Mexico.  

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.

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.

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.

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.

Position:      Oppose

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.

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.

Position:      Neutral

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.

Position:      Oppose

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.

Position:      Support

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 ìindustrial hemp,î authorizes the Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules and issue licenses, and establishes a nonreverting fund to be administered by the department.

Position:      Support

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

Position:      Neutral

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.

Position:      Monitor

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.

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 (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 PEDís 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.

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.

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.

Bill:               HB254

Sponsors:    McQueen (D50)

Title:            STATE GAME COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP

Summary:   Amends the State Game Commission enabling statute to change the composition of the commission; provide for three commissioners appointed by the Governor and four by Legislative Council; sets term limits and adds requirements for appointment and removal.

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.

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

Position:      Support

Bill:               SB6

Sponsors:    McSorley (D16)

Title:            INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Summary:   (For the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee and the Water and Natural Resources Committee) (Identical to 2016 SB3; almost identical to the final version of 2015 SB94 as passed by both chambers and vetoed by the Governor) 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 ìindustrial hemp,î authorizes the Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules and issue licenses, and establishes a nonreverting fund to be administered by the department.

Bill:               SB36

Sponsors:    Soules (D37)

Title:            MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE TO $8.45 AND $7.50 AN HOUR

Summary:   Proposes to raise the minimum wage level to $8.45 an hour for employers with 10 or more employees and $7.50 an hour for employers with 10 or fewer employees. Both categories are adjusted annually on January 1 for cost of living increases.

Position:      Oppose

Bill:               SB48

Sponsors:    Martinez, Richard (D5)

Title:            CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS ON CERTAIN GUN TRANSFERS

Summary:   (Identical to 2017 HB50; 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.

Bill:               SB56

Sponsors:    Neville (R2); Rehm (R31)

Title:            NO LICENSE REQUIRED TO CARRY A LOADED CONCEALED HANDGUN

Summary:   Amends the Criminal Code, relating to the unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon, to allow anyone 18 years of age or older to carry a loaded concealed handgun without being required to obtain a concealed handgun license. Only persons prohibited by federal or state law or court order from possessing or carrying a firearm would be required to obtain the license pursuant to the Concealed Handgun Carry Act. For purposes of the act, a ìhandgunî barrel length cannot exceed 12 inches.

Bill:               SB86

Sponsors:    Cisneros (D6); Salazar, T. (D70)

Title:            ONLINE POSTING FOR WATER RIGHTS NOTIFICATIONS

Summary:   Requires online posting by the State Engineer on the website of that office, concurrently with newspaper publication by an applicant, of notice of an application for a permit to appropriate water rights; for ground-water storage and recovery; to lease the use of water; to use underground water; or to withdraw water from any surface or underground source and transport it outside the state.

Bill:               SB95

Sponsors:    Sanchez, C. (D30)

Title:            RAISES GASOLINE AND SPECIAL FUELS TAXES

Summary:   (Similar to 2015 HB58, SB394 and SB656; 2016 SB251, SB284 and SJR22) Raises, effective July 1, 2017, the state gasoline tax by ten cents to 27 cents per gallon and the special fuel (diesel) tax by five cents to 26 cents per gallon. Apportions the additional revenues among the Revenue Stabilization Reserve, Local Governments Road Fund and State Road Fund.

Position:      Oppose

Bill:               SB123

Sponsors:    Sharer (R1)

Title:            TAX REFORM PACKAGE

Summary:   (Similar to 2016 SB145, 2015 SB346 and 2013 SB365) 186-page bill continues the sponsorís effort to reform the state tax system by greatly expanding the gross receipts base to replace the motor vehicle excise, leased vehicle gross receipts and boat excise taxes (which are repealed); lower the state gross receipts tax rate from 5.125% to one percent and governmental gross receipts from five to one percent; provides for a flat-rate personal income tax; repeals the compensating tax, corporate income tax, corporate franchise tax, estate tax and several tax credits; consolidates local option taxes, reducing the maximum permissible rates to 0.5% for municipalities and 0.5% for counties; revises statutes dealing with revenues local governments may pledge to repay indebtedness. All this is effective January 1, 2017.

Bill:               SB126

Sponsors:    Woods (R7)

Title:            LIVESTOCK SUBJECT TO SALE AFTER SEIZURE

Summary:   In the Criminal Code establishing crimes related to animals, clarifies the meaning of livestock subject to sale after seizure for cruelty or neglect, to eliminate generic language, maintain the enumeration of specific species except cats, dogs and feral hogs, and add carcasses thereof, and exotic animals in captivity.

Position:      Support

Bill:               SB132

Sponsors:    Smith (D35); Gonzales (D42)

Title:            GASOLINE AND SPECIAL FUELS TAX INCREASES

Summary:   (Similar to 2015 HB58, SB394 and SB656; 2016 SB251, SB284 and SJR22; 2017 HB63, and SB131) Raises, perhaps by April 1, the state gasoline tax by ten cents to 27 cents per gallon and the special fuel (diesel) tax by ten cents to 31 cents per gallon. Both tax rates are indexed starting July 1, 2019. Apportions the additional revenues among the Revenue Stabilization Reserve, Local Governments Road Fund and State Road Maintenance Fund.

Bill:               SB155

Sponsors:    Candelaria (D26)

Title:            WORKERS COMP CONDITIONS FOR DENIAL OF DISABILITY BENEFITS

Summary:   Amends the Workers Compensation Act to clarify when a worker is not entitled to certain benefits. Applies to sections relating to Temporary Total Disability and Permanent Partial Disability. Provides that if the worker is responsible for the separation from employment and that separation is unrelated to the on-the-job injury, the worker shall not receive disability.

Bill:               SB156

Sponsors:    Candelaria (D26)

Title:            EMPLOYERS RIGHTS AGAINST INJURED WORKERS THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS

Summary:   Relates to workers compensation and damages paid an injured worker or, in the case of the workers death, the workers family or those entitled to damages for injury. Amends the subrogation section of the Workers Compensation Act to expand the employers right of subrogation to collect against a third party for benefits and compensation paid to the worker; the right to intervene in any case brought by the worker; and to give the employer a lien on the amount actually collectable from the third party.

Bill:               SB157

Sponsors:    Wirth (D25)

Title:            CHANGING MEMBERSHIP OF THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISION

Summary:   Repeals and replaces the enabling statute for the Interstate Stream Commission. Changes the composition of the nine members of commission to require that four, rather than eight, be appointed by the Governor and four by the Legislative Council; specifies representation of the appointed members; provides for terms of service; conditions for removal; and procedures; phases in new appointments.

Bill:               SB162

Sponsors:    Pirtle (R32)

Title:            NMSU REGENTS WITH BACKGROUND IN AGRICULTURE

Summary:   Requires that two of the five regents appointed to the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University have a degree or at least four years of experience in agriculture or related fields, in addition to meeting other requirements.

Bill:               SB167

Sponsors:    Ortiz y Pino (D12)

Title:            FREEDOM FROM UNWARRANTED SURVEILLANCE ACT

Summary:   (Identical to 2015 SB303 as amended by the SJC) Prohibits the use of a drone or unmanned aircraft by a person, state agency, law enforcement agency or political subdivision to gather information pertaining to criminal or other illegal conduct, on private property on which the property owners have a reasonable expectation of privacy, except to the extent authorized by a warrant.

Position:      Support

Bill:               SB182

Sponsors:    Papen (D38)

Title:            EARLY CHILDHOOD LAND GRANT ACT

Summary:   Recognizes New Mexico’s high rate of child poverty and its developmental consequences as well as the extent of un-leased federal subsurface mineral acreage in New Mexico. In so doing, creates the Early Childhood Land Grant Permanent Fund and directs that it be funded by money generated by the Commissioner of Public Lands from un-leased federal subsurface mineral acreage transferred to the state. Exempts money so generated in counties with a population over 140,000.

Bill:               SB230

Sponsors:    Pirtle (R32)

Title:            CROP DUSTING FUEL STORAGE TANKS

Summary:   (Similar to 2016 HB111) Exempts fuel storage tanks used solely by crop dusting or crop spraying services from the definition of above ground storage tank for purposes of meeting the requirements of the Hazardous Waste Act and the Ground Water Protection Act. Differs from 2016 HB111, which required that to be exempted the fuel storage tank must be less than ten thousand gallons and used solely by a crop dusting or crop spraying service.

Position:      Support

Bill:               SJM3

Sponsors:    Pirtle (R32)

Title:            TRANSFER SKI APACHE ACREAGE TO MESCALERO TRIBE

Summary:   Legislature requests that Congress transfer 860 acres currently used by the Mescalero Apache Tribe to operate Ski Apache on Sierra Blanca to the U.S. Department of the Interior for the benefit of the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

Position:      Support

Bill:               SJM4

Sponsors:    Stewart (D17)

Title:            POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY PLANT LABELING PROJECT AND GARDEN

Summary:   Resolves that the Legislature supports the implementation of a voluntary statewide pollinator-friendly plan labeling project, and that, within available resources, the state Department of Agriculture provide technical support implementers of the project. Requests the Legislative Council Service to designate an area at the Capitol as a pollinator garden to help educate the public about the importance of pollinators. Requests that the Governor issue a proclamation declaring the second Bee Aware Day during the school year to further educate the public about the importance of bees in New Mexico.

Bill:               SJR6

Sponsors:    Stewart (D17)

Title:            STATEWIDE MILLAGE FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING

Summary:   Proposes to amend Article 8, Section 2 of the New Mexico Constitution to increase the cap on real and personal property taxes in the state from 20 to 22 mills per dollar of assessed valuation, and to impose a two mill statewide levy for distribution to public schools through the State Equalization Guarantee.

Position:      Oppose

Bill:               SM11

Sponsors:    Woods (R7)

Title:            CELEBRATES FFA YOUTH ORGANIZATION

Summary:   Declares February 22, 2017, as FFA Day in the Senate. Celebrates all that the formerly Future Farms of America has done for youth leadership in New Mexico for more than 80 years. A copy of the memorial will be transmitted to New Mexico’s FFA organization.

Bill:               SM20

Sponsors:    Stefanics (D39)

Title:            REPORT BUSINESS GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS TO COMMITTEES

Summary:   Requests business groups in the state, regions and localities, and special-interest businesses, develop and recommend statutory changes to make doing business in NM easier for NM-owned businesses and encourage business growth; requests that the groups present unified recommendations to appropriate interim legislative committees by November, 2017.

Bill:               SM24

Sponsors:    Campos, P. (D8)

Title:            STUDY OPTIONS FOR WATER SUPPLY IN NE NEW MEXICO

Summary:      Requests the Office of State Engineer, the Interstate Stream Commission and regional stakeholders to study options for addressing water sup