Legislative Update – February 4

posted in: News | 0

>мебели пловдивNew Mexico State Legislature is in full swing.  The budget is the main topic of concern.  The most recent revenue projections have only worsened such that the state budget shortfall for the current fiscal year could be closer to $1 billion. 

The House passed HB 9 which contained over 90 capital projects to deauthorize as general fund appropriations and reauthorize as severance tax bonds.  It is now in the Senate for their approval or amendment.  HB 9 includes $500k for acequia water storage and another $2 million for dam projects statewide.  It also includes $10 million for the Indian Water Rights Settlements. 

Acequias around the state are wondering if their capital outlay projects will be deauthorized because of the budget crunch.  We don’t know at this point whether the deauthorizations will go beyond what was in HB 9.

In terms of legislation, there was broad support for HB 40 (Limitations on Muncipal Condemnation Powers) in House Health and Government Affairs including groups representing agriculture, such as NMAA, the NM Farm Bureau, and NM Food and Ag Policy Council, as well as environmental groups such as Conservation Voters New Mexico and the Wilderness Alliance.   The sponsor agreed to minor amendments proposed by a municipality and the bill passed unanimously.  It is now on its way to House Judiciary.

SB 17 (Remove jurisdiction from political subdivisions over oil and gas activities) was tabled in Senate Conservation.  A broad range of groups opposed the bill including NMAA, the NM Association of Counties, several individual counties, the Wildlife Federation, and many others. 

HB 108 (Remove some regulatory powers of oil conservation division) will be heard in House Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Friday, February 6 at 8:30am in Room 315.  The same groups that opposed SB 17, including NMAA, will oppose HB 108.

As far as budget requests, SB 95 and HB 307 have yet to have their hearings.  The budget bill will not be finalized by House Appropriations Committee until mid-February.  It is likely to have some substantial budget cuts to state agencies.