2016 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard on the steps of the State Capitol on the final day of the 2016 Legislative Session. Courtesy photo
Dist. 43 Democratic State Representative
Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe

With the 2016 Legislative Session behind us, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the highlights. 

The two main agenda items on this session’s calendar were a balanced budget and a fix for our Real ID law. I’m pleased to say that both passed with broad bipartisan support. 

With New Mexico facing significant budget deficits, my role on the House Appropriations and House Education committees has become even more critical for our communities. This session we were faced with falling oil revenues and the responsibility of producing a balanced state budget within 30 days.  What this means is having to make hard decisions about dire needs with limited resources. 

Fortunately, we were able to fund the most critical of services in our state including child protective services, Medicaid and public schools. Unfortunately, we may not yet be out of the woods and may have to return for a special session to revisit revenue projections.

My own legislative initiatives were fairly successful. I was able to pass three bills out of both chambers and as of this time, two have been signed by the governor. HB 17 allows New Mexico’s veterans to take advantage of federal tuition assistance and HB 139 allows local governments to use their own local economic development act money to grow and improve their retail sector.

This is a project I have been working on for the past few years with the county in order to improve the quality of life for our local citizens, as well as make the community more attractive to visitors. Additionally, the Los Alamos legislative delegation was able to secure $275,000 in funding for our county broadband initiative.

I also introduced bills relating to DWI (HB 74), increased funding for domestic violence services (HB 244) and public corruption offenses (HB 260). While these bills did not quite make it through the process, I plan to remain committed to working on these issues should I be re-elected.

Finally, I am honored to report the successful passage of HM 3, a memorial I sponsored requesting the Secretary of the Navy to name a US Navy nuclear submarine the “USS Los Alamos”. It was encouraging to see the support Los Alamos received during the debate of this memorial.

I will be holding a series of post-legislative town hall meetings throughout the district. Please join me if you have questions or want additional details on the legislative session.

Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, or stopped by the Roundhouse to discuss your views on legislation and critical issues facing our communities. My goal is to always remain committed to representing the needs of our district over a political party and appreciate your support as we continue to weigh solutions and pass legislation. Please feel free to contact me any time, my email is stephanie.garciarichard@nmlegis.gov.


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