House Legislative Session Highlights

LEGISLATIVE News:

House Highlights

On the Floor

House Joint Resolution 15 Navajo Nation Gaming Compact Approval, carried by Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 36-30. HJR 15 approves the Gaming Compact negotiated by the Navajo Nation and the governor of New Mexico, which allows for five casinos that can be operated 24 hours a day based on specific parameters. The approved compact addresses concerns that the Department of the Interior had with the compact submitted to the state Legislature in 2013. The renegotiated amendments will go into effect July 1, 2015. HJR 15 now goes to the Senate.

House Bill 215 Education Trust Board Changes, sponsored by Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 64-0. HB 215 amends the Education Trust Act (Act) to expand the manner in which the Education Trust Board (ETB) shall administer the New Mexico 529 college savings program and the Education Trust Fund (Fund). HB 215 now goes to the Senate.

House Bill 271, as amended, Breakfast After the Bell Programs, sponsored by House Speaker W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 63-0. HB 271a would provide requirements and funding for the expansion of the school breakfast program to include public middle and high schools. “Breakfast After the Bell” is served between the first bell, signaling the start of school, and the second or ‘late’ bell. HB 271a now goes to the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 289 Teacher Competency for Advancement, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Bernalillo, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 34-31. HB 289 codifies PED’s current practice of allowing teachers to advance licensure levels using a professional development dossier, along with other requirements including teaching experience. The bill also expands the way a teacher can advance licensure to include an electronic submission showing competence and advancement with specified annual evaluation ratings. HB 289 now goes to the Senate.

House Bill 311, as amended, Nonprofit Organizations Work Group with emergency clause, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D-Bernalillo, has passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 38-26. HB 311a creates the interim legislative Nonprofit Organizations Work Group. The purpose of the group is to study how the state and local governments can work most effectively and efficiently with nonprofit organizations. Specifically, the group is to study ways in which contacts, contacting processes, capacity to meet state programmatic needs and methods to build capacity and relationships between nonprofit organizations and the state can be improved. HB 311a now goes to the Senate.

House Bill 333, as amended, Custody of Abused Children, sponsored by Speaker W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 52-11. HB333a requires CYFD to immediately take custody of children showing specific injuries of abuse, and requires the parents, guardians or custodians to complete counseling before taking custody of a child in certain circumstances. The bill adds language to the Children’s Code that if specific injuries are found on a child’s body CYFD is to take custody of the child immediately. This bill requires mandatory hold and hearing. HB 333 now goes to the Senate.

House Bill 337, as amended, Native Americans in Medicaid Managed Care, sponsored by Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 57-7. HB 337a would exempt Medicaid-enrolled Native Americans from mandatory enrollment in a Medicaid Managed Care program to instead make managed care enrollment optional. Unless a Native American on Medicaid specifically requests to be in a managed care program, they will be enrolled in Medicaid fee-for-service. HB 337 a now goes to the Senate.

House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee Substitute for House Bill 363 Retiree Healthcare Contributions, originally sponsored by House Majority Leader Rick Miera, D-Bernalillo, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 36-29. HB 363 CS amends the Retiree Health Care Act (RHCA) by increasing employee and employer contribution rates paid to the fund. HB 363 CS now goes to the Senate.

Senate Bill 19, as amended, Prohibit Texting While Driving, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth D-Santa Fe, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 62-1. SB 19a prohibits a person from reading or viewing a text message or from manually typing on a handheld mobile communication device for any purpose while driving, except to summon medical or other emergency help. The bill adds a penalty assessment misdemeanor for texting while driving; $25 for first violation and $50 for subsequent violation. 

Senate Bill 49, with emergency clause Co-op Renewable Energy Purchase Reporting, sponsored by Sen. John Patrick Woods, R-Curry, Quay, Union, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 65-0. SB 49 changes the reporting date on purchases and generation of renewable energy for distribution cooperatives. SB 49 now goes to the governor for action.

Senate Bill 119, as amended, Expedited Nurse From Other State Licensure, sponsored by Sen. Benny Shendo, D-Bernalillo, McKinley, Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 65-0. SB 119a provides for expedited licensure for nurses licensed in other states. The Senate Floor Substitute now goes to the governor for action.

Senate Bill 164 Pueblo Lease of Adjudicated Water, sponsored by Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Taos, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 65-0. SB 164 amends the Water-Use Leasing Act, Chapter 72, Article 6; so that state law regarding water leasing conforms to the federal law governing certain Pueblos’ leasing of their water rights recognized in their respective water rights settlements. The Pueblos who have such settlements are Taos (the Abeyta settlement), Nambe, Pojoaque, Tesuque and San Ildefonso (the Aamodt settlement). SB 164 now goes to the governor for signature.

Senate Floor Substitute for Senate Judiciary Committee Substitute for Senate Bills 75 & 165, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 64-0. Senate Floor Sub for 75& 165 would create new sections of the Public School Code and Public Health Act to allow for emergency administration of medication to save a child’s life in cases of potentially fatal asthma and anaphylaxis events. The Senate Floor Substitute now goes to the governor for action.

Senate Bill 307, as amended with emergency clause School District PE & Graduation Requirement, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Doña Ana, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 65-0. SB 307a provides school district-determined ways for students to meet the physical education unit requirement for graduation; limits changes to graduation requirements after students enter ninth grade.

Senate Joint Memorial 5, as amended, Medicaid Services Oversight Council, co-sponsored by Sen. Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo and Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson, D-Bernalillo, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 62-0. SJM 5a requests the NM Legislative Council to establish a Medicaid Disability Services Oversight Council.

In Committee

Senate Joint Resolution 13a, Annually Increasing Minimum Wage, co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Martinez D-Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Bernalillo, received a Do Pass 6 to 4, on a party line vote in the House Voters and Election Committee. Senate Joint Resolution 13a now heads to the House floor. SJR 13a is a constitutional amendment that allows voters to decide whether to raise the minimum wage. The minimum wage increase is tied to the cost of living. If passed in Nov. 2014, New Mexico’s minimum wage would be raised from $7.50 to $8.30 an hour, the proposal would adjust the state’s minimum wage for inflation since 2009. The minimum wage would then increase each year for inflation, but it couldn’t rise more than 4 percent annually. It’s estimated the wage rate would reach $8.40 in July 2016 and $8.60 in 2017, according to the Legislative Finance Committee.

Senate Joint Resolution 4a, Land Grant Fund Care and Investments Constitutional Amendment, sponsored by Senator Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo, received a Do Pass on a 6 to 5 vote in the House Voters and Election Committee. The bill was amended in the committee. The original bill simply added safeguards to the Land Grant Permanent Fund’s management through the 11-member State Investment Council. Currently, 5.5 percent of the $13.1 billion LGPF provides funding for the state’s education programs but ½ percent of the withdrawal sunsets next year thanks to a 2003 Constitutional amendment approved by voters. Speaker W. Ken Martinez amended SJR4/a to remove the sunset, essentially providing continuing funding for education. It and the bill passed on a 6 to 5 vote. It now heads to the house floor.

 

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