HB29 – Social Security Income Tax Exemption
This bill was recently tabled in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee. Bills that are tabled in committee often fail to proceed. But in a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, House Republicans are asking the governor to publicly express support for this bill or use her line-item veto power to repeal a state tax on Social Security benefits. The members argue the Social Security income tax discourages retirees from coming to New Mexico.
HB44 – The New Mexico Work and Save Act
This bill creates a system of voluntary state-sponsored Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that private sector workers can contribute to through their jobs using automatic payroll deductions. We could enact this at the Chamber and any of your businesses could also sign on. Participation is completely voluntary for both businesses and workers. Businesses choose whether they would like to offer the IRAs to their workers, and workers choose whether or not to participate and how much they would like to save from each paycheck. Employers pay no fees and provide no matching contributions. All a participating business has to do is share information about the program with their employees and set up the automatic payroll deductions. This bill passed the house 62-1. It was sent to the Senate Corporation & Transportation Committee where it received a Do Pass recommendation. It is being heard today on the Senate floor.
HB 117 – Lodger’s Tax Exemption
This bill passed the House 60-5 on Feb.11 and was sent to the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee who gave a Do Pass recommendation on Feb. 15th. It now goes to the Senate. This bill proposes clarification and changes to the exemptions from and uses of the Lodger’s Tax. Specifically it redefines taxable premise to be hotels, motels “or other premises used for lodging that is not the vendee’s household or primary residence.” This redefinition serves to maintain and expand the types of premises subject to the Lodger’s Tax. It also defines “temporary lodging” to mean lodging for the purpose of housing a vendee near to a job location; It allows electing local governments to collect the Lodgers’ Tax after thirty days, if the premises rented are not the vendee’s household or primary residence. Revenues collected on the first 30 days of a vendee’s rental of a taxable premise is restricted in use by section 3-38-15, however, Lodgers’ Tax revenue from the 31st day and subsequent days may be used for any municipal or county purposes so long as the uses are stated in the ordinance imposing the tax; It removes the automatic exemption for rental for over 30 consecutive days. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2020.
HB 229 – Election Laws Clean-Up
The House passed HB 229, 46-17 that makes several technical changes to election law dealing with precinct boundaries, same-day voter registration and requirements for mailing envelopes on returned ballots, among other changes. It clarifies that those registering to vote on the same day they intend to vote have until 5 p.m. on Election Day to do so in special elections and clarifies what identification is necessary to register: a government-issued ID or other documentation containing an address that matches the address on the registration certificate. This bill is now in the Senate Rules Committee.
HB 278 – Health Insurance Tax & New Fund
The bill passed the House in a partisan vote of 41-25. The measure will create a large tax increase on New Mexico health insurance premiums. Rep. Armstrong contended that New Mexico should divert the federal tax cut given to New Mexicans and use it to bolster the state budget and create a yet undefined health fund. It had gained a Do Not Pass recommendation from House Health & Human Services Committee. It now heads to the Senate.
SR 2 – Photography in Senate Committees:
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution Saturday night that would allow members of the public and the media to record video and audio in committee hearings without having to get permission. The vote on Senate Resolution 2, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, came after state senators kicked a television reporter out of a public committee meeting this month. The prior Senate rule stipulated that photography, video or audio recording of committee meetings “may, upon request, be allowed with the permission of the chair and ranking member.” Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, who asked KRQE reporter Rachel Knapp to leave Feb. 6, said on the floor she thought it was “very, very important that the media always have access.”
SB 5 – Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act
This bill provides for the issuance of court orders to require the relinquishment of firearms, for some period, under certain circumstances as outlined in the bill. It passed the Senate 22-20 and the House of Representatives 39-31. It will now go to the desk of the Governor to await her signature.
SB 29 – Solar Market Development Income Tax
This bill provides a personal income tax credit of 10 % of the cost of equipment and installation of residential, business (commercial or industrial) or agricultural solar thermal system or a solar photovoltaic system. It passed the Senate and has been sent to the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.
SB 115 – Cannabis Regulation Act
The Senate Judiciary Committee stopped the latest effort to legalize recreational cannabis use in New Mexico, voting 6-4 to table the bill. The vote followed extensive public testimony, as well as questions and arguments for and against from committee members. It’s hard to imagine the bill being revived and “fixed” during this session with only 4 days left, but it is sure to be resurrected during the 2021 session.
SB 139 – Medicinal Marijuana Qualified Patient
The Senate approved a bill, 33-6, that will prohibit out-of-state residents from obtaining medical marijuana licenses in New Mexico. The proposal comes after a state district judge ruled last year that qualifying out-of-state residents could participate in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program. State officials and proponents of the bill argued the Legislature made a drafting error last year when it removed the residency requirement while tweaking language in the 2007 law that created the medical marijuana program. It now goes to the House Health & Human Services Committee.
For those interested and want to search for and keep up with bills, watch live webcasts, find committee schedules, contact information for legislators, etc. etc. visit New Mexico Legislation