Summary of 2021 Legislature Accomplishments

This summary of key bills briefly describes the results of bills introduced in the 2021 legislative session for which those of you who were on the PDA Legislative Action Alert team received Action Alerts.  We were so pleased that 250 of you participated by telling committee members that we supported those bills, and why.  The members of our bill tracking team (see their names at the end of this document) want to express their sincere thanks to you for your willingness to put up with all those Action Alerts in your inbox!

This was a major undertaking.  We sent out 99 Action Alerts on 66 bills as they worked their way through the several committees in the House and Senate.

The summary below includes bills that we considered key accomplishments and that were signed by the governor, and it also includes especially good bills that failed to pass in the Legislature.  For those of you who would like to see the summary of results for all bills that we tracked, see the Excel document here.

Climate Crisis/Renewable Energy

  • Key accomplishments
    • SB 84, Community Solar Act, signed by governor.
    • SB 112, Sustainable Economy Task Force, signed by governor. The task force will be attached to the department of economic development and will be responsible for developing and implementing a plan to transition the state economy away from reliance on fossil fuel extraction to a more sustainable economy.
  • Special Disappointments
    • HB 9, Climate Solutions Act, died in the State Government, Elections, & Indian Affairs Committee
    • SB 113, Wiring for Photovoltaic System, failed on Senate floor. The wiring would accommodate solar power and supply of electricity for electric vehicles.
    • SB 132, Photovoltaic Systems in New Homes, Died in the Tax, Business, & Transportation Committee. Similar to SB 113.
    • SBS 149, Prohibit New Fracking licenses, died in the Judiciary Committee.
    • SJR 3, Environmental Rights. Died in the Judiciary Committee.  This proposed constitutional amendment would have established the so-called “Green Amendment”, that includes the right of the people to a clean and healthy environment.

HealthCare

  • Key accomplishments
    • HB 47, Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act, signed by governor.
    • HB 67, Primary Care Council Act, signed by governor.
    • HB 122, Health Insurance Premium Surtax, incorporated into SB 317 and signed by governor. The bill would establish a health care affordability fund to reduce premiums.
    • HM 2, Public Health Task Force, passed and signed by the House.
    • SB 71, Patients’ Debt Collection Protection Act, signed by governor.
    • SB 317, No Behavioral Health Cost Sharing, signed by governor. The content of HB 122 was folded into this bill.
  • Special Disappointments
    • HB 154, Prescription Drug Affordability Act. Tabled in first committee.  There is, however, a commitment to take this up in the Interim Health & Human Services Committee.
    • HB 272, Health Easy Enrollment Program, time ran out on Senate floor.
    • SB 198, Paid Sick Leave, not scheduled by a committee.
    • SB 351, Global Hospital Budgets Task Force, died in the Finance Committee.

Social & Economic Justice

  • Key accomplishments
    • HB 4, NM Civil Rights Act, signed by governor. Among other things, this bill eliminates qualified immunity of police and other members of state and local government
    • HB 10, Broadband Development Division, signed by governor.
    • HB 12, Cannabis Regulation Act, no vote on Senate Floor. Provisions from this bill were included in Special Session bills HB 2 Cannabis Regulation Act and Special Session SB 2 Expungement of Certain Criminal Records which were both signed by the Governor.
    • SB 10, Repeal Abortion Ban, passed and signed by governor.
    • SB 32, Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act, signed by governor.
    • SB 93, Broadband Access & Expansion Act, signed by governor. The bill creates a “’Broadband Access and Expansion Fund’ for appropriations, gifts, grants, and donations as subject to appropriation by the Legislature”.  We do not know if there was an appropriation for the fund.
  • Special Disappointments
    • HB 40, Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act, died in the Appropriations & Finance Committee
    • HB 84, HB 85, HB 86, and HB 87, a family of bills to appropriate funds for needed activities in Native American areas. At this time, we don’t know why they all died in the Appropriations and Finance Committee.
    • HB 166, Create New Firearms Crimes, died in HJC. This bill would have included Ghost Guns(3D manufactured guns).
    • HB 236, Public Banking Act, died in the Appropriations & Finance Committee.
    • HB 110, Phased Minimum Wage Increase, died in the Commerce & Economic Development Committee
    • HB 208, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women TF, died in the Appropriations & Finance Committee.
    • SB 56, New Personal Income Tax Bracket. Not heard in a committee.  This bill would have established a new higher rate tax bracket for upper incomes, needed for fairness, and for addressing the loss of revenue as fossil fuels are phased out.
    • SB 224, Crime of Failure to Secure Firearm, died in the Judiciary Committee.
    • SB 227, Inspection of Police Misconduct Investigation. Died in the Judiciary Committee.  This bill would have eliminated qualified immunity, among other things.
    • SB 313, Public Banking Act. This bill was not scheduled in a committee.  The bill is identical to HB 236, which passed its first committee, but was not heard in the Appropriations & Finance Committee.

Voting & Elections

  • Key accomplishments
    • HB 211, Redistricting Act; content moved to SB 304, which was signed by the governor. Not everything we wanted, but SB 304 is a significant improvement.  It does establish a bipartisan redistricting commission.  See more below.
    • HB 231, Native American Polling Place Protection, signed by governor.
    • SB 4, Redistricting Precinct boundaries. Content included in SB 304.
    • SB 15, Redistricting Committee. Content included in SB 304.
    • SB 304, Voting District Geographic Data, signed by governor. This bill, as amended, would establish a Citizen Redistricting Committee that would develop district boundaries for consideration by the Legislature.  We would prefer that the boundaries established by the Committee would not be subject to change by the Legislature.  However, the New Mexico Constitution requires the Legislature to make the final decision.
  • Special Disappointments
    • SB 14, Election Changes, not scheduled for hearing. It would have established Automatic Voter Registration.
    • SB 235, Absent Voter Act. This bill would have allowed a one-time, permanent application for receiving a mailed ballot prior to each state-wide election.

PDA  Legislative Action Alert Bill Tracking Team members were:

  • Melissa Alexander
  • Amy Antle
  • Pat Bartels
  • Lisa Franzen
  • Bill Kass
  • Lora Lucero
  • Deb Marez-Baca
  • Dan McLaughlin
  • Angela Merkert
  • Theresa Palmer
  • Laura Stokes
  • Paul Stokes

 

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