CVNM’s 2020 Legislative Outcomes

This memo is divided into seven sections:

  1. Priorities for New Mexico State Budget Appropriations
  2. Pro-Conservation legislation that passed
  3. Pro-Conservation legislation that didn’t pass
  4. Neutral legislation that passed
  5. Neutral legislation that didn’t pass
  6. Anti-Conservation legislation that passed
  7. Anti-Conservation legislation that didn’t pass

**Starred bills are high-priority. Votes on these measures may be weighted on CVNM’s Scorecard.

  1. Priorities for New Mexico State Budget Appropriations

In addition to legislation, CVNM advocated for the following appropriations to be included in New Mexico’s state budget:

  • Funds for the Energy, Minerals and Naturals Resources Department to be the type of regulator that New Mexicans deserve for the oil and gas industry in the state. The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department was allocated $24,030,600, including funding to help implement the Energy Transition Act, and methane rulemaking proceeding. This represents a 20% increase over the previous administration’s budget.
  • Increasing the budget of the New Mexico Environment Department to more effectively protect our state’s water supplies (particularly groundwater) and air quality. The Environment Department was allocated $14,071,300, a 18% increase from previous year budgets.
  • Additional staff to help the new Office of Outdoor Recreation Division achieve its vision and mission to diversify our economy, and foster a booming outdoor recreation industry that is accessible, equitable, local, and sustainable. The Outdoor Recreation Division was allocated $450,000 to address staffing needs.

CVNM also worked in partnership with allies to help allocate $750,000 in capital outlay allocation for the Strategic Water Reserve, a much-needed tool that allows the state to meet its water compact duties and protect threatened and endangered fish and wildlife.

  1. Pro-Conservation legislation that passed

    HB 93: Efficient Use of Energy Act Changes (McQueen/Stapleton; Rue)
    HB 93 clarifies that the rate adjustment mechanism for energy efficiency applies also to natural gas as well as electricity sold. It makes a clarifying change to the Efficient Use of Energy Act, which CVNM supports. HB 93 passed the House 65-0 and passed the Senate 39-0. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 4, 2020.

    HB 118: Designation as Benefit Corporation (Cook/Figueroa)
    HB 118 defines the legal requirements and standard of conduct for benefit corporations. Benefit corporations are those that have a stated purpose to create a positive impact on society and the environment through their business and operations. HB 118 passed the House 63-0 and passed the Senate 26-16. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 6, 2020.

    HB 146/SB 84: Expand Biomass Income Tax Credit & Reporting (J. Martinez; Papen)
    HB 146 would extend until 2030 the income tax credit of $5.00 per wet ton of biomass (manure) sold to facilities to be used for electricity production or to make biocrude or other liquid or gaseous fuel for commercial use. It also requires reporting by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to the Legislature. This bill would encourage the capture of methane from the agricultural sector. HB 146 passed the House 67-0 and passed the Senate 40-0. HB 146 was signed by the Governor on March 4, 2020. (Its companion, SB 84, passed the Senate 33-0 and died on the House calendar.)

    HB 233: Energy Grid Modernization Roadmap (Stansbury/Akhil/Small; Woods/Stewart)
    HB 233 directs the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to establish a roadmap for energy grid modernization and administer a grant program for projects that modernize the energy grid. Eligible projects may improve electrical system efficiency, reliability, resilience and security; lower operations and maintenance costs; incorporate a new technology or a new or innovative application of an existing technology; complement or coordinate with the resource planning of a public utility; and/or stimulate in-state economic development. HB 233 passed the House 61-1 and passed the Senate 42-0. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 3, 2020.

    HB 304: Transfer Outdoor Equity Grant Program (Rubio)
    HB 304 transfers the administration of the Outdoor Equity Grant Program from the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Commission to the Outdoor Recreation Division. It makes an appropriation to fund hiring an outdoor equity grant program manager. This would better align the administration of the program with the intent of the Outdoor Recreation Division and relieve the YCC of the difficulties of administering the program. HB 304 passed the House 59-0 and passed the Senate 39-0. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 6, 2020.

    HB 312: Create Environmental Health Fund (Small)
    HB 312 creates the Environmental Health Fund in the State Treasury. The fund consists of fees collected from the regulation of on-site liquid waste systems and water recreation facilities pursuant to the Environmental Improvement Act, food establishments pursuant to the Food Service Sanitation Act and hemp pursuant to the Hemp Manufacturing Act. Money in the fund is used for the administration of regulations pertaining to liquid waste, water recreation facilities, food service sanitation and hemp. This bill would create a single fund from disparate funds for the purposes of regulation and streamline appropriation for these regulations. HB 312 passed the House 64-0 and passed the Senate 37-0. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 4, 2020.

    SB 4: Complete Count in 2020 Census (Burt/Stefanics; Herrera/G. Armstrong)
    SB 4 appropriates eight million dollars for the Department of Finance and Administration to conduct outreach efforts to achieve a complete statewide count in the 2020 census. This will help ensure proper representation for all New Mexicans and will maximize the amount of federal funding New Mexico is entitled to receive. SB 4 passed the Senate 39-0 and passed the House 68-0.  The bill was signed by the Governor on February 10, 2020.

    SB 29: Solar Market Development Income Tax Credit (Stewart; McQueen)
    SB 29 reinstates and extends the tax credit for residential and commercial construction of solar systems; it establishes an aggregate cap. It limits the tax credit to $6000, with an aggregate cap of $8 million, and allows a five-year carryover. This incentivizes installation of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and utilizing renewable resources to produce energy. SB 29 passed the Senate 33-6 and passed the House 51-19. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 3, 2020.

    SB 75: Wildlife Trafficking Act (Stewart)
    SB 75 makes trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction a misdemeanor and establishes penalties and enforcement guidance. SB 75 passed the Senate 22-9 and passed the House 42-22.  The bill was signed by the Governor on March 9, 2020.

  2. Pro-Conservation legislation that didn’t pass

    **HB 9/SB 143: Community Solar Act (Roybal Caballero/Egolf/A. Romero; Stefanics/Sedillo Lopez)
    HB 9 provided for the establishment of a phased-in community solar program to facilitate the development and interconnection of community solar facilities. Community solar provides a way for people who ordinarily could not install solar systems to subscribe to and get electricity from a community-based solar facility. This bill also created a low-income assistance fund to benefit low-income subscribers. If passed, this act could have stimulated the adoption of solar energy generation by more New Mexicans and reduced our dependence on coal and nuclear-fueled energy. HB 9 passed out of committee but failed in the House 28-36. Its companion, SB 143, was not heard.

    HB 11: PRC Reorganization & Transfer Duties (Small, L. Trujillo)
    HB 11 would have turned existing Public Regulation Commission (PRC) advocacy staff into two entities: a Commissioner Resources Division to supplement PRC commissioners and hearing examiners in their understanding, and a separate Office of PRC Regulatory Affairs housed in New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department that will intervene in PRC dockets, and advocate in the public interest. The bill also included some restructuring of the exempt/classified employee structure in order to provide some continuity for existing PRC staff. HB 11 passed the House 36-34, but was tabled and died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.

    HB 48: Furnace Replacement Program Funding (Alcon)
    HB 48 appropriated $2 million to develop and implement a furnace replacement program to replace low-efficiency furnaces for low-income persons in New Mexico with high-efficiency furnaces. This would have resulted in energy savings and benefits to low-income ratepayers. HB 48 was tabled and died in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

    HB 60: Differential Rates for Investments (Stapleton)
    HB 60 provided for the investment of no less than one percent of the market value of the Severance Tax Permanent Fund in renewable energy businesses, projects, and bonds. This would have strengthened the state’s portfolio by investing in renewable energy and would have benefitted renewable energy development in the state. HB 60 was determined not to be germane to the 30-day session and was not heard.


    HB 99: Renewable Energy Investment Policy Funding (Sanchez/Roybal Caballero/Barrone/A. Romero/Akhil)
    HB 99 appropriated $50,000 to develop a strategic plan for state investment in New Mexico renewable energy, storage, and transmission. This was an appropriation linked to HM 9, which directed the State Investment Council to develop a strategic plan for investment in New Mexico renewable energy, storage, and transmission. HB 99 died in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. (HM 9 did pass the House 50-18.)

    HB 124: Prohibit Use of Chlorpyrifos in Agriculture (Ely)
    HB 124 would have prohibited the use of any pesticide containing chlorpyrifos as an active ingredient. Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide that is highly toxic to bees, which are essential for pollination of plants, including food crops. HB 124was determined not to be germane to the 30-day session and was not heard.

    HB 166: Healthy Soil Program Funding (Chatfield/Small)
    HB 166 appropriated $300,000 to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to carry out the healthy soil program pursuant to the Healthy Soil Act. The Healthy Soil Act created a voluntary program for agricultural producers to follow to improve the viability of soil for better crop production or better grazing potential. CVNM supported the Healthy Soil Act when it was introduced in 2019 because of its potential to sequester carbon and reduce other environmental impacts of grazing. HB 166 died in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

    HB 173: Gas Taxes, New Funds & Distributions (McQueen)
    HB 173 imposed new gas and special fuel surtaxes that would have funded the new Clean Infrastructure Fund and a new Low-Income Rebate Fund. The Clean Infrastructure Fund would have funded planned infrastructure improvements (including mass transit, electric vehicle charging stations, etc.) to reduce pollution from transportation. The Low-Income Rebate Fund would have funded rebates to low-income taxpayers for their payment of gas and special fuel surtaxes. Although this bill would have applied additional taxes on gasoline and special fuels to fund clean infrastructure, it also allowed for rebates to low-income individuals to ensure against it being a regressive tax. HB 173 was tabled and died in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.


    HB 201: Energy Storage System Tax Credit Changes (Akhil)
    HB 201 allowed a taxpayer to claim a tax credit for up to 40% of the cost of an energy storage system, up to $5000. An eligible energy storage system is one that is installed in a residence that is served by a rural electric cooperative that uses time-of-use billing; is installed for use with a new or existing photovoltaic system; is designed to provide five to ten kilowatts of direct current; has a minimum of two hours of storage capacity; is certified by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department; and meets the permitting requirements established by local ordinance or state law. HB 201 died in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.

    HB 217/SB 2: Electric Vehicle Income Tax Credit (J. Trujillo/Cadena/J. Martinez/Matthews; Woods/Tallman)
    HB 217 established an income tax credit for the purchase of an electric vehicle. It also established an income tax credit for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. It required additional registration fees for electric vehicles, capped the electric vehicle value at less than $48,000 MSRP, and provided for an aggregate cap of income tax credits for electric vehicles and charging stations. This bill could have encouraged the sale of affordable electric vehicles and encouraged the development of vehicle charging infrastructure. HB 217 passed the House 40-27 and passed the Senate 23-13. The House failed to concur with Senate amendments due to filibuster and the bill died. The companion bill, SB 2, passed the Senate 19-18 but died on the House calendar.

    HB 283: Property Tax of Solar Energy Systems (Stapleton/Akhil)
    HB 283 established a method of property tax valuation, including a depreciation schedule, for solar energy systems classified as tangible personal property. This would have applied to those systems installed on a residence and used, produced, manufactured, held for sale, leased or maintained by a person for purposes of the person’s profession, business or occupation. Currently homeowners with leased systems pay drastically higher property taxes than those who own their rooftop systems. This bill would have reduced the property taxes on homeowners with leased solar energy systems. HB 283 died in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.

    HB 293: NMED Greenhouse Gas Evaluations (McQueen)
    HB 293 appropriated $150,000 to the Environment Department to finalize its evaluation of emissions trends and proposed policies to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. HB 293 died in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.


    HB 313: Car Charging Station Tax Credit (Small)
    HB 313 allowed a taxpayer to claim a personal or business tax credit of up to 75% of cost for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. It placed an aggregate cap of $25,000,000 on tax credits allowed in one year. This would have incentivized installation of car charging stations, and expanded the infrastructure needed for more adoption of electric vehicles. HB 313 died in the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee.

    HB 357: Limit NM Unit Fund Uses (R. Martinez/Small)
    HB 357 provided that the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) would have paid from the New Mexico Unit Fund the costs of water utilization projects to meet water supply demands in the southwest water planning region of New Mexico that were categorized as alternatives to the development or construction of a New Mexico unit. It limited use of Unit funds to non-diversion projects. HB 357 would have redirected use of the NM Unit Fund’s remaining $72 million to help southwest New Mexico communities provide secure water supplies. HB 357 died on the calendar in the House Agriculture Water and Wildlife Committee.

    HM 29 Energy Operation Bonding Amounts (McQueen)
    HM 29 requested the State Land Office, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, and the Department of Environment to conduct a bond adequacy review related to energy production and infrastructure; and that the agencies evaluate how to ensure adequate bonding to fulfill their statutory obligations and avoid having excessive costs for clean-up following energy extraction or production fall to the taxpayers. This memorial would have supported future policy and required energy producers to post adequate surety bonds for cleanup from their operations. HM 29 passed out of committee but died on the House calendar.

    SB 33: Study Funding for Nongame Species Conservation (Soules)
    SB 33 appropriated $200,000 to the Department of Game and Fish for a study to quantify funding needs and identify sources of funding to expand the department’s authority to include the conservation of nongame wildlife species, state-threatened and endangered species, and species of greatest conservation need. This bill would not only have facilitated the department’s ability to manage threatened and endangered species in need of protection, it may also have identified alternate sources of revenue for the department besides hunting & fishing license fees. SB 33 died in the Senate Finance Committee.


    SB 95: Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force (Steinborn; McQueen)
    SB 95 clarified the definition of high-level (nuclear) waste. It added the secretaries of homeland security and emergency management to the Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force. It added private nuclear waste facilities to the facilities for whose license applications the task force reviews for the public safety, environmental, health, infrastructure, and transportation impacts and requirements. It also added a reporting requirement for these reviews. This bill would have made sure that private facilities, such as the one proposed for Lea & Eddy counties, were reviewed the same as federal facilities. It added a level of safeguards for high-level nuclear waste storage. SB 95 passed out of committee but failed to pass the Senate 15-25.

    SB 104: Prohibit New Hydraulic Fracturing Permits (Sedillo Lopez; Roybal Caballero)
    SB 104 would have prevented the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department from issuing new permits allowing hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of extracting oil or natural gas until at least 2024. It also required reporting by multiple state agencies to the Legislature regarding existing hydraulic fracturing permits and their effects on the environment and public welfare. Hydraulic fracturing and its byproducts have deleterious impact on the environment and public health and welfare. SB 104 was determined not to be germane to the 30-day session and was not heard.

    SB 114: Community Energy Efficiency Development Grant (Ortiz y Pino; A. Romero)
    SB 114 created the community energy efficiency development block grant fund to provide grants to counties, municipalities, or Indian nations, tribes or pueblos to fund community energy efficiency projects for low-income and underserved communities. SB 114 died in the Senate Finance Committee.

    SB 134: Study Independent Redistricting Commission (Stefanics/Moores)
    SB 134 appropriated $40,000 to the Secretary of State to convene a task force to study and make recommendations to the Legislature on how to implement an independent redistricting commission. An independent redistricting commission would have helped ensure proper redistricting, and provided for equal and fair representation of New Mexico voters. SB 134 died in the Senate Finance Committee.

    SB 153: Low-Income Residential Energy Conservation (Martinez)
    SB 153 appropriated $2 million over the next two years to fund an energy conservation program to increase the energy efficiency and reduce energy expenditures of homes occupied by low-income persons in New Mexico. This program would have saved energy and helped low-income ratepayers. SB 153 died in the Senate Finance Committee.

    SB 180: Fees for Used Oil Businesses (Stefanics)
    SB 180 would have significantly increased the maximum penalties for violations of and non-compliance with orders related to violations of the Hazardous Waste Act. SB 180 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    SB 219 NMSU Healthy Soil Assessment Program (Stefanics)
    SB 219 appropriated $50,000 to New Mexico State University for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to continue to support the healthy soil assessment and education program created by the Healthy Soil Act. The Healthy Soil Act created a voluntary program for agricultural producers to follow to better the viability of soil for better crop production or better grazing potential. CVNM supported the Healthy Soil Act when it was introduced in 2019 because of its potential to sequester carbon and reduce other environmental impacts of grazing. SB 219 died in the Senate Finance Committee.

    SB 275: Curry & Roosevelt Water Well Testing (Woods/Ingle)
    SB 275 appropriated $700,000 to the Environment Department to conduct water well testing in Curry & Roosevelt counties to determine if water wells had been contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This would have helped private well owners know if their water has been contaminated by the PFAS from fire retardants used by Cannon Air Force Base. SB 275 died in the Senate Finance Committee.


  3. Neutral legislation that passed

    **SB 118: Local & Regional Econ Development Support (Muñoz)
    SB 118 creates the Local & Regional Economic Development Fund under the auspices of the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA). As introduced, it added to the LEDA projects to construct new, or improvements to, water supply systems, wastewater treatment, power transmission, internet connectivity, roads, highways, or rail infrastructure. It essentially created a mechanism for public-private partnerships on important environmental infrastructure projects. While the bill included safeguards for default by the private entity and provided for the taking over of private projects in the event of a default, it still did not address concerns of inadequate private facilities and the potential for higher public expense rather than savings. Language regarding water supply systems and wastewater treatment was amended out in the Senate Finance Committee, therefore CVNM changed position on this bill to NEUTRAL. The amended SB 118 passed the Senate 35-3 and passed the House 68-0. It now goes to the Governor’s desk.

  4. Neutral legislation that didn’t pass

    HB 223/SB 102: Agricultural & Natural Resources Trust Act (Small; Neville/Stewart)
    HB 223 created the Office of Agricultural and Natural Resources Trust and its associated board to administer a grant program to conserve agricultural, wildlife, and natural resources. This bill established a trust fund from which interest would be used to secure federal matching funds that New Mexico is currently leaving on the table. CVNM withdrew support of this bill due to process concerns regarding the development of the legislation. HB 223 died in the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee. SB 102 died in the Senate Committees Committee.


  5. Anti-Conservation legislation that passed

    A number of measures posed great risks to New Mexico’s natural resources – by subsidizing polluters, removing regulations, or encouraging activities that threaten our environment. We urged all of our Representatives and Senators to OPPOSE these bills, and we are pleased to report that they were all DEFEATED.


  6. Anti-Conservation legislation that didn’t pass

HB 276: County Road Fund Donation Tax Deduction (Brown)
HB 276 proposed a tax deduction to individuals and corporations who donate to the county road fund for road or bridge building and/or repair. This bill would have incentivized corporations to contribute toward road building and allowed them to specify road projects. This could have worked as a giveaway to oil & gas corporations to build roads for business/exploration. HB 276 was tabled and died in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.

HB 318: Oil & Gas Tax Changes (Strickler/Montoya/Scott/Townsend/Anderson)
HB 318 created a temporary tax rate differential for oil produced by a qualified recovery project that uses anthropogenic carbon dioxide to displace oil. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide is defined in the bill as that captured from an industrial source. This legislation would have effectively been a tax cut for the oil and gas industry when they used enhanced recovery methods. HB 318 was tabled and died in the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee.


SB 18: Renewable Energy Production Tax (Padilla; L. Trujillo)
SB 18 imposed a tax on a generating facility that uses renewable resources to generate electricity. The tax would have been on the taxable value of the electricity produced. It exempted generation of electricity for personal use, and facilities owned by the federal or state government or pueblos or tribes. Most renewable energy that will be built in New Mexico in the next ten years will be for delivery to New Mexicans under the terms of the Energy Transition Act. As such this tax would likely have been borne primarily by New Mexico ratepayers as opposed to out of state or corporate stakeholders. SB 18 was tabled and died in the Senate Conservation Committee.

**SB 32: Ratepayer Relief Act (Soules)

SB 32 provided for the use of securitization financing on the abandonment of energy generation facilities operated by a utility company in order to lower or stabilize rates paid by the utility’s customers. This bill would have repealed key provisions of the Energy Transition Act, including sections limiting carbon emissions from retired facilities and transition funding for impacted communities and energy workers. SB 32 was determined not to be germane to the 30-day session and was not heard.

**SB 273: Ag & Natural Resources Trustee Act (Neville)
SB 273 was virtually identical to HB 223/SB 102, with the notable exception that it stripped out negotiated provisions for the Outdoor Equity Fund. SB 273 died in the Senate Conservation Committee (was not heard.)

SJR 4: Convention of States (Gould/Woods)
SJR 4 applied for a convention of states under Article 5 of the United States Constitution. It would have given the convened states power to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution and modify federal rules and regulations. This was a “bad government” bill that could have allowed rollback of many regulations, including environmental protections and other protections for the general welfare of the American public. SJR 4 was tabled and died in the Senate Rules Committee.

Share This: