ACTIONS LAST WEEK:
- SB 86 (Cisneros) Online Notice of Water Transfers: Passed Senate this week, not yet scheduled in House.
- SB 222 (Stefanics) Exemption from Local Public Body: Passed Senate Conservation Committee.
ACTIONS THIS WEEK:
- SB 157 (Wirth) Interstate Stream Commission Membership: Scheduled for Senate Conservation Tuesday, 8:30am, Room 311.
- SB 222 (Stefanics) Exemption from Local Public Body: Scheduled for Senate Finance TODAY.
ACEQUIA LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Protect Capital Outlay/Infrastructure Funding for Acequias: NMAA is working with acequias who received Capital Outlay in recent years to assist with audit and budget compliance as well as coordinating with agency partners to troubleshoot issues relating to their funding. NMAA has also worked with acequias on developing Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plans to have well-prepared funding requests with designs or cost estimates as well as a funding plan with multiple sources of funding. Additionally, NMAA advocates for continuation of funding for the Interstate Stream Commission 90-10 Program from the Irrigation Works Construction Fund (HB 2 contains $1.9 million for the ISC Acequia Program).
- HB 5 (Dodge/Lundstrom) Capital Outlay Project Changes: This bill is part of a package of bills to address solvency for FY17, the current fiscal year by sweeping funding from certain projects or funds. As introduced, the bill had language to "claw back" Capital Outlay funds from nine acequias but that language was amended out of the bill. The bill is in conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions.
SB 86 (Cisneros/T. Salazar) Online Notice of Water Transfers: This legislation promotes
transparency relating to water right applications before the State Engineer. The bill amends existing statute, which currently requires newspaper publication, by requiring that the same notices be posted online on the State Engineer's website. The bill passed the Senate Conservation Committee unanimously but there was an agreement to address issues raised by the OSE. A substitute with compromise language was approved by Senate Judiciary. The compromise language requires notice but specifies that posting online is a "public service" and not legal notice with a remedy. The bill passed the Senate Floor unanimously and will soon be given committee assignments in the House.
SB 222 (Stefanics) Increase Threshold for Budget Reporting: This bill will amend the definition of "local public body" for purposes of budget reporting to DFA changing the threshold from $10,000 to $50,000 such that any entity under $50,000 would be exempt from reporting. This bill passed Senate Conservation Committee unanimously.
SB 12 (Ortiz y Pino) Legal Services for Land Grants and Acequias: NMAA supports this bill to create a legal internship at UNM to train attorneys to practice law relating to land grants and acequias. The bill passed Senate Conservation Committee and is not yet scheduled for its second committee, Senate Finance.
HM 1 (T.Salazar) Regional Water Planning Process Improvements: NMAA supports this memorial which asks the Interstate Stream Commission to appoint a task force to make recommendations to improve the regional water planning process. This passed House Agriculture and Water Resources without Recommendation and has not yet been scheduled on the House Floor.
HJM 3 (Maestas-Barnes-M.Garcia) Alternative Designations for Forest Land near Pecos: This memorial requests the USFS consider alternative designations to wilderness instead of expansion of the Pecos Wilderness to protect access and traditional uses. This memorial is passed the House Local Government, Land Grants, and Cultural Affairs Committee and is scheduled for the House Floor.
SB 157 (Wirth) Interstate Stream Commission Membership: NMAA supports this bill which repeals the current statute defining membership and replaces it with new language. The Commission would remain at nine members (including State Engineer) but broadens representation to require representation from irrigation district (2), acequias (1), tribes (1), conservation (1), universities (1), hydrologist (1), and WRRI (1). By requiring an acequia representative as a member, it improves acequia representation over the status quo. This bill is scheduled for Senate Conservation Committee, Tuesday, February 14, 8:30am Room 311.