Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday ventured to tiny Tierra Amarilla, the rural seat of Rio Arriba County, to sign legislation that creates a revenue stream for about two dozen land grants in New Mexico.

She then arrived at the Town Hall in nearby Chama to put her signature on a measure easing residents’ access to liquid propane in an emergency.

“This legislation came about after the governor visited Chama late last year following a winter storm and heard directly from residents who told her about the struggles they were having getting their propane tanks refilled amid the cold weather,” Lujan Grisham’s spokesman, Nora Meyers Sackett, wrote in an email Tuesday announcing the governor’s plans to sign Senate Bill 141.

“Pretty wonderful example of government action that she was first made aware of the problem just a few months ago and tomorrow she will be enacting legislation solving the problem!” Sackett added. “I call that a win for everyone involved.”

SB 141 says the state can require propane distributors to deliver gas to customers who rely on the fuel for home heat within 24 hours of a request — or authorize another dispenser to fill a customer’s tank — in an emergency situation.

House Bill 8 will distribute 0.05 percent of state gross receipts tax revenue to create the Land Grant-Mercedes Assistance Fund.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Galisteo, said it will generate about



$1.5 million a year for groups that often operate on a yearly budget of a “couple thousand dollars.” He estimated each land grand would be eligible for about $50,000 to $60,000 per year.

“Today was a celebration of our state’s land grant-mercedes, the traditions and values they embody, as well as a recognition of the contributions they make every day,” the governor said in a statement issued by spokeswoman Maddy Hayden.

“The signing of House Bill 8 in Tierra Amarilla was truly a historic moment, providing a stable funding stream that gives New Mexico’s land grant-mercedes the tools they need to continue their stewardship of our natural resources and better serve their communities. The creation of the Land Grant-Mercedes Assistance Fund places resources directly into the hands of communities who have for generations made our state stronger.”

Lujan Grisham signed other pieces of legislation Wednesday as well, Sackett wrote in an email.

House Bill 95, the Easy Enrollment Act, is designed to ease uninsured residents’ access to health coverage.

Under the new law, personal state income tax forms will allow taxpayers to identify any household members who are uninsured and authorize enrollment of any eligible household members in Medicaid.

Senate Bill 35 alters procedures for the appointment of temporary guardians for people who are believed to be incapacitated. The legislation aims to increase protections for people in such circumstances, in part by prohibiting a temporary guardian from selling a person’s property without court approval.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

Popular in the Community