2019 Legislative Wrap Up
The 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session concluded in mid March. We followed a number of bills closely that relate to our work of ending violence against women, girls, and Mother Earth:
HB 278: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women
This bill would establish the “missing and murdered indigenous women task force” until the end of fiscal year 2021. The task force will include one person who is a representative of a statewide or local nongovernmental organization that provides legal services to indigenous women and girls who have been victims of violence — an addition to the original version of the bill that we encouraged. Watch TWU executive director Dr. Corrine Sanchez speak about MMIW at Indigenous Women’s Day at the Roundhouse, March 1, 2019.
Status: HB 278 passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and now awaits signature by the Governor.
HB 100: Replace Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
As the title indicates, the bill replaces the Columbus Day holiday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Status: Passed by the House and Senate, signed into law by the Governor.
HB 51: Decriminalizing Abortion
This bill would have removed an antiquated state statute that criminalized an abortion provider for ending a pregnancy. Read this article by Jessica Lujan, our Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice program manager.
Status: The bill passed in the House, but unfortunately failed in the Senate. This was a devastating vote, but our Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice Program as well as other members of the Respect NM Women coalition will continue to do all we can to protect the choices of women in regards to their bodies.
SB 489: The Energy Transition Act
This bill commits the state to 100 percent carbon-free power by 2050, and includes a plan for closing the San Juan Generating Station.
Status: Passed by both House and Senate, and signed into law by the Governor. Unfortunately, Indigenous communities were not consulted during the drafting of this bill, which has a significant impact on our communities. Read more here.
SB 374: Local Choice Energy Act
SB 374 would have empowered community decision making regarding energy choices and allowed any local community in New Mexico to pool their electricity demand and become energy choice providers.
Status: Unfortunately SB 374 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
HB 210: Community Solar Act
This bill would have enabled sovereign Native American tribes, municipalities, and businesses to build the solar facilities, and the utility companies will transmit it on the grid.
Status: HB210 was passed by the House but unfortunately was not voted on by the Senate.
OTHER BILLS OF NOTE
HB 416: Medicaid Buy-in Coverage
Would have provided health coverage for certain uninsured individuals.
Status: Did not receive a vote. However, the legislature did approve funding to further study and begin development of a Medicaid Buy-in coverage option.
SB 227: Non-Discrimination Equality Act
Updates the Human Rights Act to ensure that no business can discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace.
Status: This legislation passed both chambers unanimously – and is the first of its kind in U.S. history. Signed by the Governor on March 28.
SB 328: Orders of Protection and Firearm Ownership
Prohibits people subject to a protection order in a domestic abuse case from possessing a firearm.
Status: Passed by the House and Senate; awaiting the Governor’s signature.