CVNM’s 2019 Legislative Agenda

We urge all of our Representatives and Senators to SUPPORT these measures:

HOUSE BILLS:

HB 63: Study Industrial Hemp Production and Sales (Ch. Trujillo/Roybal Caballero)
HB 63 would fund a study to examine how to incentivize industrial hemp growth and sales in the state of New Mexico. Hemp is a sustainable and highly eco-friendly product that can be used to develop clothing, paper and other goods as well as create another local farming economy at the state level. SUPPORT

HB 84/SB 50: Auto Voter Registration at MVD and Elsewhere (Ely/Sariñana/Roybal Caballero/Garratt/Hochman-Vigil; Steinborn)
HB 84/SB 50 allow people getting a driver’s license or identification card, and people using a public assistance office or office for services to people with disabilities to be automatically registered to vote, unless they are ineligible or specifically decline. This is a bill that will expand voting access to more New Mexicans. SUPPORT

HB 86: Election Day and Early Voting Registration (Ely/Sariñana/Roybal Caballero/Garratt; Steinborn)
HB 86 allows people to register to vote at a polling location on election day or during the early voting period. This is a bill that will expand voting access to more New Mexicans. SUPPORT

HB 118: Benefit Corporation Act (Cook)
HB 118 establishes the means by which a business or professional corporation may become a benefit corporation, defines and describes the duties of its directors, benefit director, benefit officers and their liabilities. A benefit corporation is one that creates a general public benefit, including protecting and restoring the environment. SUPPORT

HB 174: Lower Rio Grande Water Management and Planning (T. Salazar)
HB 174 would require the state engineer to promulgate rules in coordination with the Interstate Stream Commission to better manage water rights in the Lower and Middle Rio Grande. Some rules would require measuring all diversions of water and reporting the measurement results, establishing priority of water rights and developing alternative approaches to achieve interstate river company compliance. SUPPORT

HB 175: Regional Water Utility Authority Act (T. Salazar; Wirth)
HB 175 establishes regional water authorities, which may regulate and restrict the use of domestic water within the authority’s service area. This would provide for more coordination in the use of water, may restrict the indiscriminate drilling of private wells and would provide for the proper disposal of waste water. SUPPORT

HB 185/SB 333: Electric Motor Vehicles Fees and Tax Credits (J. Trujillo)
HB 185/SB 333 grant a tax credit to purchasers or lessors of all-electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, with larger tax credits to lower income individuals. This would incentivize use of electric vehicles which contribute less to air pollution. The bills offset some of the cost of tax credits with registration fees, to be distributed to the road fund. SUPPORT

HB 186: Regional Water Planning Act (T. Salazar; Wirth)
HB 186 grants reformed powers to the Interstate Stream Commission to include conducting water planning and establishes guidelines for that planning. Among these guidelines it requires that planning be science and fact-based and cognizant of climate change impacts, requires meetings held for water planning to be subject to the Open Meetings Act and requires participation by indigenous communities. SUPPORT

HB 187: Water Law Evaluation and Review (T. Salazar)
HB 187 tasks the Utton transboundary resources center of the University of New Mexico with evaluating and recommending amendments to state water law. Provides those recommendations should take into account climate change and warming temperatures and actions for greater oversight of water resource planning issues. SUPPORT

HB 204/SB 218: Healthy Soil Act (Small/Stansbury; Stefanics)
HB 204/SB 218 creates a healthy soil program within the Department of Agriculture which would promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, carbon content, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the health, and yield and profitability of the soils of the state. SUPPORT

**HB 206: Environmental Review Act (Chasey; Stewart)
HB 206 requires non-federal government agencies to consider the impacts of a state-funded project that may affect public health, ecosystems and the environment. Specifies that environmental assessments must be done and provides for input from indigenous communities and the general public. SUPPORT
**PRIORITY BILL – votes on this bill may be weighted

**HB 210/SB 281: Community Solar Act (Roybal Caballero/A. Romero; Stefanics)
HB 210/SB 281 establish rules for community solar facilities and specifically reserves a portion of shares for low-income customers. The bills would allow renters, low-income utility customers and persons without suitable locations for solar generation on their premises to participate in local solar generation facilities by allowing subscription in community solar generation. This would stimulate the growth of the solar industry and expand the number of New Mexicans who have access to solar energy. SUPPORT
**PRIORITY BILL – votes on this bill may be weighted

**HB 220: Determination of Discharge Effect on Water (McQueen)
HB 220 makes technical changes to the law to clarify that discharges’ effect on ground water shall be determined at the place where the discharge enters groundwater, and state and federal groundwater standards shall apply throughout the aquifer affected by the discharge. This is a legislative fix for the “Copper Rule” which currently allows copper mines to exceed groundwater discharge limits. SUPPORT
**PRIORITY BILL – votes on this bill may be weighted

HB 221: Home Energy Efficiency Income Tax Credit (McQueen)
HB 221 creates a tax credit for individuals who make certain energy efficiency modifications to their homes. Incentivizes conservation of energy. SUPPORT

HB 233: Uranium Mine Cleanup Workforce Study (Johnson)
HB 233 appropriates $250,000 to research the economic effects associated with uranium mine cleanup, the capacity of the current labor force and the training needed for that labor force to engage in the cleanup. This bill is a first step toward cleaning up abandoned and inactive uranium mines. SUPPORT

HB 249: Native American Voting Task Force (Lente)
HB 249 establishes the Native American voting task force, which makes findings and recommendations to the Secretary of State regarding Native American voting education and information. This bill would serve to encourage voting by Native Americans throughout New Mexico. SUPPORT

HB 255: Mining Permit Corporate Guarantees (McQueen)
HB 255 requires that financial assurance for mining operations must be filed by the original applicant and cannot be a guaranteed by an affiliated corporation or person. The bill prevents the shifting of costs to affiliated entities who may contest requirements for reclamation. SUPPORT

HB 263: State Game Commission Changes (McQueen)
HB 263 establishes requirements and qualifications for the members of the State Game Commission to lessen the politicization of the commission and establishes professional qualifications for four of the seven members. SUPPORT

HB 266: Forest and Watershed Restoration Act (Bandy; Wirth)
HB 266 establishes the Forest and Watershed Advisory Board, which will evaluate forest and watershed restoration projects and recommend them for funding. The act specifies the board will work cooperatively with other governmental entities and interest groups and solicit funding as well as administer funding from the forest land protection revolving fund and the Rio Grande income fund. It specifies priorities for projects that leverage byproducts of forest restoration activities for economic benefit. SUPPORT

HB 281/SB 277: Strategic Water Reserve (Small; Neville/Stewart)
HB 281/SB 277 appropriate $5 million to the Interstate Stream Commission for the purpose of the strategic water reserve. The strategic water reserve is an important tool for helping the state to meet interstate water compact obligations, Endangered Species Act obligations and protect rural New Mexico communities that rely on robust in stream flows. SUPPORT

HB 283/SB 275: Increase Renewable Portfolio Standards (Small; Stewart)
HB 283/SB 275 increase the required amount of renewable energy that rural cooperatives and public utilities must use to provide electricity to their customers in a gradually increasing amount over the next 20-25 years. The bills establish thresholds for the cost of renewable energy for the purpose of not unduly burdening the utilities in a given year but does not relieve them of the responsibility of meeting the standards in subsequent years. The bills require that rural cooperatives give customers the option of purchasing electricity generated by renewables. SUPPORT

HB 284: Free Sunday State Park Admission (Herrera/A. Romero/L. Trujillo/DY. Gallegos/Akhil)
HB 284 provides that New Mexico residents have free admission to state parks on Sundays. This would promote the use of state parks and alleviate some of the cost, protecting New Mexicans’ access to public lands. SUPPORT

HB 287: No Use of State Resources for Border Wall (Rubio)
HB 287 prohibits the use of state trust lands or state financial resources to build a border barrier, exempting barriers that would prevent the movement of livestock. A border barrier would have extreme impact on the movement of wildlife and would be prohibitively expensive to the state to fund any aspect of its construction. SUPPORT

HB 289: Fund Investment in Renewable Energy (Stapleton)
HB 289 provides that no less than one percent of the market value of the severance tax permanent fund be invested in New Mexico renewable energy. SUPPORT

HB 291/SB 136: Efficient Use of Energy Act Changes (A. Romero; Ortiz y Pino)
HB 291/SB 136 establish thresholds for energy efficiency programs. The bills also provide for the removal of regulatory disincentives to energy efficiency programs. SUPPORT

HB 294/SB 140/SB 243: Licensure of Certain Motor Vehicle Dealers (Akhil; Ortiz y Pino)
HB 294/SB 140/SB 243 amends the law to allow manufacturers of all-electric vehicles to sell vehicles directly to the public under certain circumstances. This bill would make all-electric vehicles more accessible to the public. SUPPORT

HB 332: Special Method of Valuation for Certain Land (Gonzales/J. Trujillo/Herrera; Cisneros/Wirth)
HB 332 would value unimproved land at 25 percent of its assessed value if the landowner develops a management plan, approved by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, that will achieve agriculture and natural resource management priorities including: 1) forest management practices that reduce risks to timber resources and agricultural water supplies; 2) restoration of soil health and agricultural productivity; 3) water resource conservation; 4) protection of wildlife habitat; and 5) protection of sensitive lands, including erosive soils, wetlands and riparian areas. SUPPORT

HB 366: Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act (McQueen/Chandler/Gonzales)
HB 366 prohibits the use of traps and poisons designed to kill animals on public land and establishes penalties for violations. SUPPORT

HB 381/SB 234: Pollinator Protection License Plate (Thomson/Allison/Stansbury/Bash; Rue)
HB 381/SB 234 create a special license plate for pollinator protection. A portion of the funds raised would be used to promote pollinator-friendly roadside and special plantings. SUPPORT

HB 398: Oil, Gas and Vented Gas Royalties (Lente)
HB 398 establishes a threshold over which oil and gas production is taxed at one fourth percent. The bill also establishes that vented and flared gas is also subject to royalties. SUPPORT

SENATEBILLS:

SB 5: Interstate Stream Commission Membership (Wirth)
SB 5 specifies how appointments are to be made to the Interstate Stream Commission and provides for less politicized and more professional membership. A less political membership would enhance conservation outcomes at the ISC. SUPPORT

SB 33: High School Water Management Project (Padilla)
SB 33 creates an elective high school course to teach students about water management and conservation. Water management and conservation are highly important conservation issues in New Mexico. This provides an early start to educate future professionals in the subject. SUPPORT

SB 38: Wildlife Trafficking Act (Stewart)
SB 38 makes trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction a misdemeanor and establishes penalties and enforcement guidance. SUPPORT

SB 39: Solar Market Development Tax Credit (Stewart)
SB 39 reinstates and extends the tax credit for residential and commercial construction of solar systems. While similar to a bill introduced in 2017, changes from that bill include a $6,000 tax credit rather than $10,000, along with a five year carry forward instead of 10. It also caps the program at $10 million rather than $5 million.  SUPPORT

SB 45: Low-Income Energy Conservation Program (R. Martinez)
SB 45 makes an appropriation to fund a residential energy conservation program to increase the energy efficiency and reduce energy expenditures of homes occupied by low-income persons in New Mexico. SUPPORT

SB 50: State Agency Automatic Voter Registration (Steinborn; Ely/Sariñana/Roybal Caballero/Garratt/Hochman-Vigil)
See HB 84. SUPPORT

SB 51: Renewable Energy Services – State Facilities (Steinborn)
SB 51 requires the general services department to use rules, issue requests for proposals and acquire, where appropriate, renewable energy sources for state facilities. This would increase renewable energy use in the state and save on operating expenses. SUPPORT

SB 52: Register to Vote Three Days Prior to Election (Steinborn; Roybal Caballero)
SB 52 allows qualified people to register to vote and vote at early voting sites up to three days prior to an election. This is a bill that will expand voting access to more New Mexicans. SUPPORT

SB 53: Accessible and Affordable State Parks (Steinborn)
SB 53 provides rulemaking authority to make state parks more affordable and accessible to all New Mexicans. This would allow more people to enjoy nature and outdoor activities, likely enhancing their appreciation for conservation values. SUPPORT

SB 54: Radioactive Waste Oversight and Disposal (Steinborn)
SB 54 expands the radioactive waste consultation task force to include a member from homeland security and emergency management, and expands the definition of radioactive waste disposal facility to include privately operated disposal facilities, ensuring opportunities for state participation in all radioactive disposal projects in New Mexico. SUPPORT

SB 76: Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests (Moores/Steinborn)
SB 76 prohibits organized or sponsored competitions with the objective of killing coyotes for prizes or entertainment. SUPPORT

SB 104: New Mexico Miners License Plate (Muñoz)
SB 104 establishes a miners’ license plate that generates funding for research around chronic illnesses related to mining. The research is done in conjunction with UNM Health Sciences and the Miners’ Colfax Medical Center (MCMC) in Raton is the provider of services indicated by the research outcomes. SUPPORT

SB 136: Efficient Use of Energy Act Amendments (Ortiz y Pino; A. Romero)
See HB 291. SUPPORT

SB 140: All-Electric Motor Vehicle Sales and Services (Ortiz y Pino;
Akhil)
See HB 294. SUPPORT

SB 161: Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Funds (Tallman)
SB 161 appropriates $350,000 to the New Mexico renewable energy transmission authority in 2020 and in subsequent years. This would make renewable energy more accessible for more people. SUPPORT

**SB 186: Oil Conservation Division Powers & Duties (Martinez; McQueen)
SB 186 allows the Oil Conservation Division to, when responding to a violation of the Oil & Gas Act, issue a compliance order requiring compliance immediately or within a specified time period or assessing a civil penalty, or both. A compliance order may also include a suspension or termination of the permit allegedly violated. It specifies higher civil penalties for violation of the Act and specifies penalties for the violation of a compliance order. It specifies that a person knowingly violating the Act has committed a third degree felony. It further requires the Oil Conservation Division to report on the number of violations annually. SUPPORT
**PRIORITY BILL – votes on this bill may be weighted

SB 195: Electric Vehicle Power as Public Utility (Woods)
SB 195 exempts facilities that solely provide electricity to charge electric vehicles from the definition of “public utility”. This is a practical measure to prevent over-regulation of electric vehicle charging stations. SUPPORT

SB 218: Healthy Soil Act (Stefanics; Small)
See HB 204. SUPPORT

SB 228: Wildlife Corridors Act (Stewart; Louis/Ferrary)
SB 228 charges the Department of Game and Fish, in coordination with the Department of Transportation, with creating an action plan to enhance wildlife corridors (areas of natural wildlife movement and migration) to lessen the impact of roads on wildlife movement and migration and lessen the incidence of wildlife-vehicle incidents. SUPPORT

SB 234: Pollinator Protection License Plate (Rue; Thomson/Allison/Stansbury/Bash)
See HB 381. SUPPORT

SB 243: Motor Vehicle Manufacturers as Dealers (Ortiz y Pino/Tallman; Akhil)
See HB 294. SUPPORT

SB 275: Increase Renewable Portfolio Standards (Stewart/Stefanics/Soules/Wirth; Small)
See HB 283. SUPPORT

SB 277: Strategic Water Reserve (Neville/Stewart; Small)
See HB 281. SUPPORT

**SB 281: Community Solar Act (Stefanics; Roybal Caballero)
See HB 210. SUPPORT
**PRIORITY BILL – votes on this bill may be weighted

SB 333: Electric Motor Vehicles Income Tax Credit (Sedillo Lopez/Woods; J. Trujillo)
See HB 185. SUPPORT

SB 336: Electricity Distribution for Certain Vehicles (Sedillo Lopez)
SB 336 requires public utilities to file an application after 2021 to expand transportation electrification, i.e., charging facilities for electric vehicles. SB 336 makes rules for the approval of these applications, including the facilities’ ability to meet clean air standards and inclusion of low-income people and communities. SUPPORT

SB 361: Limit Use of Oil & Gas Fund for Salaries (Muñoz)
SB 361 limits the use of the Oil & Gas Reclamation Fund for Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) salaries. The Oil & Gas Reclamation Fund is specifically for reclaiming lands affected by oil and gas operations. SUPPORT

SB 374: Local Choice Energy Act (Steinborn/Shendo)
SB 374 would allow municipalities, counties and Indian nations, tribes or pueblos to operate energy generating facilities and sell energy to local customers. Customers would have to opt out of local utilities to remain with a public, investor-owned, energy provider. SB 374 allows customers choice of electric providers, makes it more likely they would subscribe to renewable energy and reduces cost to consumers. SUPPORT

SB 383: Game Commission Fair Chase Rulemaking (Campos)
SB 383 authorizes the game commission to make rules that embody the principles of fair chase, which may include prohibitions on the use of certain technologies for hunting or fishing or may include withholding from the public specific wildlife location data that is collected by the department. This would serve to protect wildlife from unethical hunting and fishing practices. SUPPORT

SB 417: State Game Commission Purpose & Species (Steinborn)
SB 417 redefines the purpose of the state game commission as to manage and protect all wildlife, not just game species. SB 417 specifies that management and protection of species not required by statute is contingent on sufficient resources and that the Department of Game and Fish is not required to respond to or mitigate property damage caused by wildlife unless it adopts rules to do so or is otherwise required by law. SUPPORT

Oppose Anti-Conservation Legislation

The following bills pose risks to NewMexico’s families, communities and taxpayers by subsidizing enterprises thatpollute, weakening critical safeguards or encouraging activities that threatenour air, land and water. We urge all Representatives and Senators to OPPOSE these measures:

HOUSEBILLS:

HB 286: Public-Private Partnerships Act (Lundstrom/Gonzales/J.Trujillo/Powdrell-Culbert; Sanchez)
HB 286 provides for a board and funding for the purpose of reviewing and establishing partnerships between private entities and governmental entities. These partnerships would allow private entities to construct public works projects which normally would be constructed by governmental entities and be subject to the procurement code and state transparency and public participation requirements. There have been many examples of privately constructed public works project failing or coming in far over budget and resulting in government partners having to take over at large expense, therefore, we OPPOSE.

HB 288: Rural Infrastructure Tax Credit (Johnson/Lundstrom)
HB 288 would give a tax credit to people investing in rural infrastructure, whose investment would stimulate economic development by providing gap funding for manufacturers, processors and natural resource extractors; encourage private investment in manufacturing facilities; give rural communities an advantage in attracting investment by private industry; and promote job creation. While promoting job creation in rural areas is a good thing, this raises concern that it would encourage rural sprawl and spread of extractive industries in rural areas. Also, since the infrastructure projects would likely be designed primarily to serve private financial interests, they might conflict or compete with public interests, e.g., roads, pipelines, utility infrastructure through culturally important areas. OPPOSE

HB 347: Coal Sales & Processing Gross Receipts (Strickler/Alcon/Garcia/Allison/Bandy)
HB 347 would lower the amount of gross receipts tax charged on the sale and processing of coal. It would encourage production of coal, a polluting fuel source, and prop up a polluting industry at the expense of taxpayers. OPPOSE

HB 353: Reduce Certain Oil & Gas Tax Rates (Strickler/Scott/Nibert/Brown/Bandy)
HB 353 reduces the tax rate for oil produced from a low production “stripper” well by specifying the baseline cost of a barrel of oil used to calculate the rate at which it is taxed and reducing the tax on what is valued below that baseline. The oil and gas industry does not need additional tax payer funded tax breaks to be profitable. OPPOSE

HB 373: New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity (G. Armstrong/Sweetser/Dow; Ramos)
HB 373 creates the New Mexico Central Arizona Project entity, along the same boundaries of Catron, Hidalgo, Luna and Grant counties. It gives the entity authority to plan, design, build, operate and maintain the New Mexico unit of the Central Arizona Project water projects and gives it bonding authority. This would help reinforce the authority of the NM Cap Entity, thereby creating a more robust (and potentially un-needed) agency to carry out an underfunded, unnecessary and unpopular diversion project on the Gila River, even though it would not have the authority to plan it independently. OPPOSE

SENATEBILLS:

SB 232: Public Record Requests Costs and Procedures (Woods)
SB 232 would require a service fee and a fee for time, materials, equipment and personnel as well as a fee for the value of the reproduction of data on the commercial market for any records request intended for commercial use. It also provides that a public body can recover court costs and attorney fees if a requester files in court for the records if the request is found to be frivolous. It provides for penalties if the commercial purpose of the request is not disclosed and further prohibits certain requests from inmates of correctional facilities. This bill would stifle the transparency and availability of public information. OPPOSE

Resolutions:

Manyconservation-oriented resolutions, memorials and appropriations are introducedeach session. CVNM may express support or opposition for such measures subjectto staff discretion but in general there are too many to list individually onour regular legislative agenda.

SJR 17: Right to Hunt & Fish, CA (Pirtle)
SJR 17 proposes a constitutional amendment that would ensure people’s right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife with traditional methods, subject to regulations by the state game commission. CVNM contends this is government overreach. People can hunt and fish without a constitutional amendment to enable those activities. It could also guarantee the right to trapping using traditional methods. OPPOSE

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

Read our 2018 Legislative Outcomes report here.>>

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