New Mexico First Blog

2018 Legislative Session

The legislative session is underway, and New Mexico First is actively following economy, water, agriculture and education policy. We are supporting legislation that aligns with town hall recommendations from the Statewide Town Hall on Water (2014) , the Statewide Town Hall on Economic Vitality (2016)and the Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan (Ag Plan).

We are watching legislation that impacts K-12 education funding and distribution, student assessments, next step graduation requirements, funding for soft skills training, and funding for student organizations that accelerate career technical education, leadership training and experiential classroom learning. These items may impact the upcoming Statewide Town Hall on Higher Education and Workforce.

Economy

SB 219: JOB GROWTH AND ECONOMIC FORECASTING RESEARCH STUDY

Would appropriate funds to the Legislative Council Service for economic research that identifies and prioritizes new and emerging industries in New Mexico.

SB 17: GROSS RECEIPTS FOR CERTAIN NONPROFITS

Would impose gross receipts tax on nonprofits, but only when they operate within a national laboratory. This will protect the state from losing millions of tax revenue if Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by a nonprofit.

SB 68: TAX CODE CLEANUP & REPORTING

SB 68 will allow certain tax information to be revealed to the N.M. Finance & Administration Department and Legislative Finance Committee economists to aid in their tracking, forecasting and tax-revenue analysis.

SB 241: CLIFF EFFECT AMELIORATION PROGRAM

Relating to public assistance; establishing a "cliff effect amelioration program" at the human services department to create policies to encourage public assistance recipients to decrease dependence on public assistance while reducing or removing the cliff effect.

SB 20: SOLO-WORKER PROGRAM

This bill makes an appropriation from the general fund to the Economic Development Department (EDD) in the amount of $1.5 million for the Solo Worker Program.

HB 207: LIBRARY BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

House Bill 207 proposes to create the nonreverting Library Broadband Infrastructure Fund to be managed by the Department of Information Technology and used to match grant money, support grant application preparation and compliance and for mapping and support materials for broadband at public, tribal and school libraries.

HB 298: NM CATALYST FUND JOB CREATION REPORTING

Requiring the economic development department to report to the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee on the job-creation effects of the state's investment in the NM catalyst fund, lp.

Agriculture and Water

MEMORIAL ON REAUTHORIZATION OF THE FEDERAL FARM BILL (HM 61: PROTECT PROGRAMS VITAL TO NM ECONOMY)
This memorial, authored by New Mexico First, outlines the economic importance of the federal Farm Bill to New Mexico, and calls on legislators to protect New Mexico’s interests in the drafting of the next Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is highly relevant to multiple goals and recommendations within the Ag Plan.

HB 62: NM-GROWN PRODUCE IN SCHOOL MEALS

Would appropriate funds to the N.M. Public Education Department for NM produce for school meal programs. New Mexico First supports this work as it implements recommendations from the Ag Plan to increase local procurement in our state.

SB 92: NM GROWN PRODUCE FOR SENIOR SERVICES

Would appropriate funds to the aging and long-term services department for using New Mexico grown produce in nutritional planning in senior centers. New Mexico First supports this work as it implements recommendations from the Ag Plan to increase local procurement in our state services for seniors.

SB 5: STATEWIDE WATER RESEARCH

Would appropriate funds to NMSU for the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI).New Mexico First supports this work as it implements recommendations from the water town hall to pursue research of water resources in NM. It also implements recommendations from the Ag Plan to pursue research of water resources in our state, and better understand their accessibility for agriculture.

SB 55: STUDY NORTHEASTERN NM WATER RESOURCES 

Would appropriate funds to study of quantity and quality of groundwater resources in northeastern New Mexico counties. New Mexico First supports this work as it implements recommendations from the Ag Plan to pursue research of groundwater resources in our state, and better understand their accessibility for agriculture. It also aligns with our water town hall recommendations.

HM 55: REDUCE SCHOOL FOOD WASTE

Requests the LESC and the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee to review existing programs to reduce school food waste, and to study ways to create and expand policies allowing unused food to go to the benefit of hungry children.

HB 249: EXPAND BERNALILLO & NM AGRICULTURE

House Bill 249 appropriates $300 thousand to the Economic Development Department to contract with Bernalillo County to promote the expansion and sustained growth of local farms, ranches and food entrepreneurs and the production, marketing and distribution of New Mexico agriculture products.

HM 32: IMPORTANCE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY & RETA

House Memorial 32 requests the state legislature provide $250 thousand for RETA in the General Appropriation Act of 2018 to fund its operations. A copy of the memorial is to be transmitted to RETA, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president pro tempore of the senate, and the chairs of the finance committees of the two houses.

SB 55: STUDY NORTHEASTERN NM WATER RESOURCES

Senate Bill 55 appropriates $350 thousand dollars from the general fund to the board of regents of New Mexico state university for expenditure in FY19 and FY20 for the department of animal and range sciences to study the quantity and quality of ground water resources in Colfax, Harding, Mora and Union counties, with a focus on Colfax and Harding counties, for the purpose of determining appropriate land use in rural agriculture areas of those counties.

HB 246: ESTABLISH ADVANCED MAPPING FUND

House Bill 246 appropriates $1 million from the general fund to the newly-created advanced mapping fund administered by the OSE for water resource mapping.



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2 Comments

Betty Chavez Commented on 31-Jan-2018 10:00 AM

Great work New Mexico First. Thank you for your hard work!

Charles Long Commented on 31-Jan-2018 10:01 AM

Thank you so much for the update. I am a member of the Gallup McKinley County Schools Board of Education and also President of the Becenti Navajo Chapter. Good job.
Charles Long

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