Signed by the governor

House Bill 216: The Fair Pay for Women Act, sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, will prohibit wage discrimination based on gender and make it easier for women to seek injunctive relief and damages in such cases. The bill also will prohibit employers from retaliating against a person making a claim under the act.

Senate Bill 447: This establishes a Native American Suicide Prevention Advisory Council.

SB 139: Under this bill, K-9s — police dogs or dogs used by corrections officers — will be offered for free to their trainers or handlers when the animals retire from service.

SB 141: This will allow local law-enforcement agencies to use funds from the Law Enforcement Protection Fund to buy protective vests for K-9s. The bill doesn’t earmark any extra money for doing this.

HB 493: Sponsored by Rep. Stephen Easley, D-Santa Fe, the bill creates a public clearinghouse for GIS data in the state at The University of New Mexico’s Resource Geographic Information Center. The center will use environmental statistics and geologic data to create maps and other graphics that show a wide range of information about the state, from fire impacts to soil conditions.

SB 2: Sponsored by Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, it will make permanent a distribution of the 0.046 percent of General Fund gross receipts tax to the State Aviation Fund, which expired June 30. The bill also defines the eligible uses of this revenue to include: planning, program administration, construction, equipment, materials and maintenance of a system of airports, navigation aids and related facilities.

What passed

Economic development

HB 641: An assortment of tax cuts, including the “Breaking Bad Bill” (named after the Emmy-winning cable series shot in Albuquerque), sponsored by Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, would increase the size of rebates for money spent on film production in the state to 30 percent for a television series that shoots at least six episodes in a single season.

SB 240: Sponsored by Rep. James White, R-Albuquerque, the bill would limit lawsuits against firms that supply parts for spacecraft used in Virgin Galactic’s operation at the $209 million spaceport in Southern New Mexico. Gov. Susana Martinez supports this.

Workers

SB 416: Sponsored by Sen. Richard Martinez, D-Española, the bill would raise the statewide minimum wage for most employees to $8.50 an hour from $7.50 an hour. The governor has said she will veto this.

SB 371: Sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelario, D-Albuquerque, this would prohibit employers from demanding from job applicants’ passwords to Facebook and other social media sites.

SB 128: Sponsored by Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Albuquerque and Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert, R-Corrales, this would prohibit employers from using credit information as a basis for denying an interview to a prospective employee. There would be exceptions for employers when credit is a bona fide occupational requirement.

Pensions

SB 27: The Public Employees Retirement Association “pension fix,” sponsored by Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, would increase the employee contribution rate by 1.5 percent for workers who earn $20,000 a year or more; reduce the cost-of-living adjustment from 3 percent to 2 percent for most retirees; and would delay eligibility for cost-of-living adjustments from two to seven full years.

SB 115: The Educational Retirement Board “pension fix” would increase employee contribution rates by 2.8 percent over a two-year period for certain employees and would create additional eligibility requirements for benefits and cost-of-living adjustments for new employees hired after July 1.

Education

HB 460: Sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, this will stop charter schools from contracting with out-of-state private companies to manage a charter school or its educational programming.

HB 392: Sponsored by Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces, this would eliminate the authority of the secretary of the Public Education Department to review charter school appeals and places the duty of approving charters with the Public Education Commission.

HB 562: Sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, the bill would create the Technology Research Collaborative, which would establish advanced technology centers and develop new intellectual property for the state. The institutions participating in the collaborative include all national laboratories, other major research institutes and all of the post-secondary educational institutions in New Mexico. The New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology would act as fiscal agent for the collaborative.

HB 300: Sponsored by Rep. Doreen Gallegos, D-Las Cruces, the measure would allow 10 excused absences from school for pregnant and parenting teens.

SB 587: Sponsored by Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, this creates a 21-member committee to study and make recommendations to alter the state’s current A-F school-grading system, while initiating a series of changes in the current system.

Health

SB 221: Sponsored by Sen. Benny Shendo, D-Jemez Pueblo, the measure would create the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange to institute a competitive market for the purchase of health insurance. The exchange would offer a choice of different health plans, would certify plans that participate in the exchange and would provide information about health insurance options.

HB 22: Sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith, R-Cedar Crest, and Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Albuquerque, this would provide autism insurance benefits for the state’s municipal employees.

Crime

HB 146: sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, the bill would require New Mexico retailers to implement a real-time “stop-sale” system for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine purchases. These drugs can be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The stop-sale system is available free of charge to retailers in states mandating such a system and would be administered by the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy. The bill would limit ephedrine and pseudoephedrine purchases to 3.6 grams per day and no more than 9 grams every 30 days.

SB 442: Sponsored by Sen. Ron Griggs, R-Alamogordo, this would allow those convicted of great bodily harm or vehicular homicide by DWI to obtain an ignition interlock license after completion of their sentences.

SB 190: Sponsored by Phil Griego, D-San Jose, the bill calls for $300,000 of liquor tax revenues in the local DWI grant fund to be appropriated to the Local Government Division to cover the costs of installing and leasing interlock devices for indigent people. To date, more than 1,345 offenders are eligible for the indigent fund subsidy.

Liquor

SB 154: Sponsored by Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, this would allow Sunday liquor sales to begin at 10 a.m., two hours earlier than the noon starting time under current law.

SB 259: Sponsored by Rep. Bill Burt, R-Alamogordo, the bill would classify the first offense of an alcohol server caught selling to a minor as a misdemeanor, rather than a felony. Alcohol-serving licenses would have to be renewed every three years instead of the current five.

Environment

SB 479: Sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, this would prevent double dipping in water resources. It would require landowners who have sold irrigation rights from their property to obtain new water rights or hook into a community water service before subdividing the land. The bill carries an emergency clause and will take effect immediately if it is signed by the governor.

SB 480: Sponsored by Wirth, it would require developers to provide proof of adequate water supplies for subdivisions of 10 parcels or more, with any one parcel 2 acres or less in size, before county commissioners will approve final plats.

SB 14: Sponsored by Wirth and Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, this extends the sustainable building tax credit for five years. The bill was amended to apply only to houses that meet energy-efficiency and other “green” building standards. The tax credit is nontransferable. Builders say the tax credit is essential to help the state’s still struggling construction industry.

Public Regulation Commission reform

SB 8: The bill requires new qualifications for PRC candidates.

SB 107: The Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act, sponsored by Wirth, provides a simple, one-page form for owners to use to transfer property and avoid probate.

HB 46: This would move the Corporations Bureau from the PRC to the Secretary of State’s Office.

HB 45: This would create an independent Office of the Insurance Superintendent and remove that division from the PRC. A committee would have the power to hire and fire the superintendent.

SB 328: Sponsored by Griego, this would make major changes in the law governing taxis, moving companies, ambulances and buses. The law would ease the way for more competition while keeping in place consumer protections.

Miscellaneous

HB 483: Sponsored by Maestas, this would create an independent Public Defender Commission that would appoint the state’s public defender and oversee department operations.

HB 21: Sponsored by Sen. Jim Smith, R-Cedar Crest, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, the bill would require a 72-hour notice for public meetings by government bodies.

SB 16: Sponsored by Wirth, the measure changes the way public financing works for PRC members and judges in a statewide election. The bill is meant to get the system in line with a court decision that nullified part of the current law.

House Concurrent Resolution 1: Sponsored by Rep. Don Bratton, R-Hobbs, this shields the private emails of legislators from being subject to requests under the Inspection of Public Records Act — even if the emails concern public business.

SB 444: Sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, and Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, this would address horse-doping problems in the horse racing industry in New Mexico.

SB 70: Sponsored by Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, this would rename state monuments as historic sites and add Fort Stanton to the list.

What failed

Guns

HB 77: Sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, the bill would have required background checks for people buying firearms at gun shows.

HB 137: Sponsored by Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, this would have allowed concealed-carry license-holders to take their guns into liquor establishment.

Driver’s licenses

HB 606 and SB 521: Sponsored by Rep. Paul Pacheco, D-Albuquerque, and Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, these measures would have repealed the state law allowing New Mexico to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Both died in committees.

Education

SB 260 and HB 257: Sponsored by Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, and Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, these bills would have mandated retention for third-graders who are not proficient in reading. The bills also would have required that students who are deficient in reading receive intensive remediation and intervention efforts in kindergarten through second grade, before retention becomes a reality.

House Joint Resolution 10: Sponsored by Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, would have put constitutional amendments on the 2014 general election ballot that would have made permanent the 5.8 percent annual distribution from the Land Grant Permanent Fund that goes to public education.



HB 50: Sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Hall, R-Albuquerque, this would have prohibited General Fund appropriations to colleges that do not properly teach teachers to teach reading. It died in committee.

Marriage equality

HJR 3: Sponsored by Egolf, this would have allowed voters to decide on a proposed constitutional amendment that would make same-sex marriage a constitutional right in New Mexico.

Election reform

HB 157: Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, this would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in June primaries as long as they would turn 18 by the next November general election.

Crime

HB 465: Sponsored by Rep. Emily Kane, D-Albuquerque, the bill would have reduced penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

HB 87: Introduced by Egolf, this would have modified requirements for ignition interlock licenses to state that a person who is under a court order not to drive without an ignition interlock license is prohibited from purchasing alcoholic beverages.

HB 32 and SB 409: Sponsored by Rep. Tim Lewis, R-Rio Rancho, and Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, these bills would have increased penalties for fourth and higher convictions for DWI. The bills died in committee.

HB 432: Introduced by Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, the bill would have allowed parties to submit certified reports of blood sample analyses in DWI cases without an analyst providing testimony in person. It would authorize the use of interactive video testimony by laboratory analysts in lieu of in-person testimony.

HB 349: Sponsored by Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Albuquerque, this would have required a person whose driver’s license has been revoked for DWI to complete a minimum of six months of driving with an ignition interlock, with no attempts to tamper with the device, before his or her license can be reinstated; during that period, the device must not register a BAC of 0.04 or more, and the person must have at least one test per week. Also, the bill would have allowed the court to order an offender who says he or she does not have a car or is not driving to obtain a home Breathalyzer device and provide morning or evening breath samples.

HB 362: sponsored by Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Rio Rancho, this would have allowed a law-enforcement officer to request a municipal, magistrate or district judge to issue a search warrant for chemical blood testing in misdemeanor DWI cases.

SB 460: Sponsored by Muñoz, this would have banned anyone with a fifth DWI from ever again obtaining a driver’s license.

HB 97: Sponsored by Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Texico, this would have created new crimes of homicide by boat and great bodily injury by boat for someone who kills a person or causes great bodily injury while operating a boat under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

HB 431 and SB 532: Sponsored by Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, and Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, these measures would have provided for the seizure and forfeiture of a motor vehicle driven by a person whose license is revoked for DWI.

SB 262: Introduced by Sen. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, this would have clarified existing law that makes strangling or suffocating someone a third-degree felony. Currently, state district attorneys can charge the crime as a misdemeanor or a felony. Strangulation is frequently used by abusers to control their victims without killing them, experts testified.

Environment

HB 189: This would have penalized people who knowingly make false statements or file false reports to the state Environment Department.

HB 136: This would have required oil and gas companies to disclose more information about the contents of their hydraulic fracturing fluids. Sponsored by Egolf, the bill never made it past the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee. State regulators and industry opposed the bill.

Taxes

HB 521: Sponsored by Rep. Ed Sandoval, D-Albuquerque, this would have allowed county assessors to reset residential property values to 90 percent of market in 2014 — and then limit increases to 5 percent a year. Currently, there are thousands of homes valued way below market because of a law passed 10 years ago that limits increases to 3 percent a year.

Miscellaneous

HB 277: Sponsored by Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, this would have prohibited employers from requiring their workers to attend meetings that have the main purpose of touting the employer’s opinions on religion or politics.

HB 445: Sponsored by Rep. Christine Trujillo, this would have regulated the way hospitals set staffing levels in the state, allowed nurses to refuse to work shifts not staffed to agreed-upon levels. It also would have required hospitals to submit staffing data to the Department of Health for publication annually and would have created whistle-blower protection for people who reported violations of the law.

HB 579: This would have banned leg-hold traps and snares on public land.

Vetoed by governor

SB 395: This would have prohibited a state agency from disclosing the names of people bringing complaints about wage law violations by contractors on public works projects.

HB 155: This would have imposed a $5 fee for newly issued, renewal or replacement disabled parking placards, a service currently provided free of charge.

HB 273: This would have amended the Public School Capital Outlay Act by removing requirements to increase lease-assistance payments to charter schools using the consumer price index.

The New Mexican

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