SB 54 would have required the publishing of all capital outlay projects that are approved and appropriated funding on the legislative website, in a user-friendly format with specific details for each project. It would have allowed the public to keep track of capital outlay projects, including those that affect conservation and the environment.
HB 98 proposes scheduling changes to elections so that local elections occur at the same time as general elections. It also makes provisions for certain elections to be conducted by mail ballot and prohibits advisory-only questions on ballots. Having all elections scheduled together would most likely result in higher turnout for local elections, resulting in more accurate representation of voters’ support for conservation issues.
SJR 16 would have amended the constitution to provide for a three member board of Public Regulation Commission (PRC) commissioners, appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate, rather than the current five member board. This would have overly politicized the make-up of the PRC.
This bill would have granted, but would not have mandated, the commissioner of public lands the authority to raise the royalty rate and its point of application (for all oil and gas extracted, not just that saved) for oil and gas extracted from public lands to enhance revenue for beneficiaries. It also gave the authority to require reporting of gas venting and flaring.
SB 413 would have limited the use of the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund for agency employee salaries. The bill provided that beginning in fiscal year 2023, 85% of the expenditures from the fund would be used to pay for contract services for plugging, remediation and restoration work.
SB 70 would have provided for free State Park passes for people over the age of 65. It would have facilitated more public use of public lands.
HB 275 would have allowed state and local governments to enter into partnerships with private sector partners to facilitate public projects. This was a sweeping measure that would have privatized projects that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities such as water and sewage systems. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, water treatment, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term.
HB 73 prohibited statewide elected officials, PRC members, former legislators and cabinet secretaries from accepting compensation as lobbyists for two years after public service.
This resolution would have provided for the creation of an independent redistricting commission to develop redistricting plans for state and congressional offices; provides for a largely bipartisan commission. Reducing the impact of gerrymandering will improve the responsiveness of elected officials to their constituents, allowing them to more accurately represent conservation values.
SB 107 would have required post-contract audits of state agency contracts of $10 million or more. This would have encouraged more transparency in government and helped assure New Mexico is getting a good value for the dollar on contracted projects, including conservation projects.