2018 Legislative Session: A short session doesn’t mean a quiet session

New Mexico’s 2018 legislative session was a short, 30-day session which is intended to focus on the budget. This means the Governor can limit the issues legislators debate and address. Despite this, many important issues that required Conservation Voters New Mexico’s expert advocacy and the voices of community leaders.

We’re excited to share a story of community members speaking up for their families and neighbors at the State Capitol. Many New Mexico parents have seen their children become sick from diesel emissions. School districts across the state have fleets of aging dirty diesel school buses, and New Mexico is receiving an $18 million settlement from Volkswagen to tackle diesel pollution projects. In partnership with community leaders whose kids have been impacted, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) developed legislative memorials to demonstrate the legislature’s support to use those funds to transition to clean electric buses. These community members then worked with Juntos: Our Air, Our Water and their neighbors to travel to the State Capitol on Environment Day and the final days of session to testify in support of the memorials in both Spanish and English. They shared their stories about how their families are impacted by diesel pollution from school buses every day and urged the legislature to use funds earmarked for this purpose to address the issue. Senate Memorial 112 passed the Senate Education Committee but there wasn’t enough time for it to be heard on the Senate floor.

We’ve pulled together a comprehensive synopsis on key legislation and you can read it on our blog at www.CVNM.org/news/blog. There are highlights and lowlights and we want to make sure you know the details, including the much discussed Energy Redevelopment Bond Act (Senate Bill 47) that PNM tried to push through.

For the second time in three years, the legislature passed the Solar Tax Credit with bipartisan support. And for the second time in three years, Gov. Martinez chose to completely ignore the importance of solar to New Mexico’s future and didn’t act on the bill by her bill signing deadline at noon Wednesday, March 7. When the Governor chooses not to act on a bill, it’s called a pocket veto and the bill does not become law.

Gov. Martinez talks a lot about jobs, but when presented with an opportunity to support one of the fastest growing, job-creating industries in the state – she chose to put the private profits of corporate campaign contributors over clean air for our children to breathe. Gov. Martinez will clearly continue to champion polluting industries, who view the renewable energy industry as a threat to their bottom
line, until her last day in office 292 days from now.

With your support, we passed five bills through the legislature and to Gov. Martinez’s desk. Visit our blog to read about the outcomes of each of these measures.

With your support, we communicated positions on 60 bills to our legislators this session and you can read the outcomes of each measure in our comprehensive Legislative Outcomes report on our website, including Gov. Martinez’ actions.

Call Gov. Martinez at 505-476-2200 and tell her how disappointed you are that she vetoed the Solar Tax Credit, choosing to act against improving public health and creating jobs that New Mexico needs. She’s term limited and won’t be in office in 2019 (as far as we know), but it’s important that we hold her feet to the fire until her very last day in office. Call her at 505-476-2200.

We’re so thankful you were on the roller coaster ride with us the whole time, taking action to protect our air, land, water and healthy communities. We really can’t thank you enough!

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