Legislative Roundup: 6 Days Remaining In Session

Legislative Roundup
SFNM News:

PERA bill: A key House panel approved legislation on Friday that aims to erase the state pension system’s $6.6 billion unfunded liability. After clearing the full Senate earlier this week, Senate Bill 72, sponsored by Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, was passed 11-4 by the House Appropriations and Finance Committee and now heads to the House floor.

Under the proposed model, annual cost-of-living adjustments would range between 0.5 percent and 3 percent, depending on investment returns, rather than the 2 percent annual raises retirees currently get. 

The bill,


Bill Investing Millions In Native Students Passes House

House Appropriations and Finance Chair Patricia Lundstrom


SANTA FE — Today House Bill 4 a bill to provide the equivalent amount of the full federal Impact Aid to schools and school districts that serve Native American students, passed the House floor. Sponsored by House Appropriations and Finance Chair Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup) and Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe), House Bill 4 seeks to address decades of imbalance in the distribution of federal education funding.

Currently, instead of distributing Impact Aid funds to the neediest districts in full,


State House Panel Unanimously Passes Bill To Extend Statute Of Limitations On Child Sexual Abuse Cases


A House panel unanimously approved legislation that makes changes to the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases.

House Bill 302 — legislation meant to allow more time to file lawsuits against sexual abusers when the perpetrator was in a position of authority over children — will now move on to the full House floor.

A survivor of childhood sexual assault currently has three years after disclosing the incident to a health care provider to file a lawsuit. The legislation would change that and instead grant three years after the survivor “knew or had reason to know”

Legislative Roundup: 10 Days Remaining In Session

Legislative Roundup
SFNM News:

Comeback for ex-senator: The Senate voted 37-5 Monday to confirm former Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez to the State Board of Finance.

Senators from both political parties praised Sanchez, D-Belen, during a congenial discussion on the Senate floor. This differed from a debate in the Senate Rules Committee, where Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, gave a blistering critique of Sanchez as a senator.

“You did not treat the minority [party] well. You were incredibly vindictive,” Moores said.

The committee chairwoman, Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque,


The Safer Communities Act Passes House Judiciary

The Roundhouse in Santa Fe. File photo


  • Public safety package supports first responders and increases penalties for repeat offenders

SANTA FE – In response to communities around the state pushing for more to be done to curb violent crime in New Mexico, Saturday The Safer Communities Act, a bipartisan public safety package, passed the House Judiciary Committee.

House Judiciary Committee sub for House Bill 6, introduced by Rep. Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque) and sponsored by Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque), consists of four public


League Of Women Voters Honored At State Legislature

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham reads a proclamation honoring the centennial of women’s suffrage and the founding of the League of Women Voters during League Day at the Roundhouse Thursday in Santa Fe.  Photo by Akkana Peck

League of Women Voters scarecrow mascot ‘Vicky the Voter’ sits on the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos table while League members assemble with Rep. Christine Chandler, center, Thursday at the Roundhouse. Photo by Dody Richardson


Members of the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos gathered for League Day at the New Mexico Legislature Thursday in Santa Fe.



PRC Commissioners Vote To Oppose HB11


SANTA FE — The Public Regulation Commissioners voted Wednesday to oppose HB11: Reorganizing the Operating Structure of the PRC during the Commissioners weekly open meeting.

“Staff shouldn’t be punished for the decisions we make as a commission as we do our job to protect the public interest and 3 commissioners voted to oppose the bill,” Commissioner Valerie Espinoza said.

The three commissioners who voted to oppose HB11 are Espinoza, Theresa Becenti-Aguilar and Jefferson Byrd.

PRC experts on the subject matter have been excluded from the deliberation process up to the drafting


Educators Serving In The Legislature

Rep. G. Andrés Romero

New Mexican

G. Andrés Romero offered up granola bars he paid for out of his own pocket while his students compared after-school jobs tossing pizza dough and waiting tables. After asking a transfer student about where his last history class left off, Romero divided the class into groups to examine U.S. involvement in World War I.

“Mr. Romero, he’s chill,’ junior Jaiden Smith said. “He’s got snacks. When we work, he plays music.”

At Atrisco Heritage Academy, Albuquerque’s largest high school with nearly 2,500 students, Mr. Romero teaches American history


The New Mexico Legislature … A Tangled Web Of Relationships And Potential Conflicts Of Interest

Lobbyist Scott Scanland

The New Mexican


Scott Scanland, one of the most influential lobbyists in the New Mexico Legislature, recently surveyed a Senate committee room during a hearing on a bill aimed at more stringently regulating electronic tobacco products.

Scanland represents Altria Client Services Inc., parent company of tobacco giant Phillip Morris USA and a variety of other tobacco and cigar brands. Altria also has a 35 percent ownership stake in JUUL Labs Inc., a leading e-vapor company.

The lobbyist happens to be married to state Rep. Doreen Gallegos,