Dear New Mexicans, The NM Legislative Session ended on March 18th. THANK YOU to all of you who took action during the session. By working in collaboration with many other groups, there were OVER 1 MILLION calls and emails to Legislators! Although some very bad Bills were passed, there were also many others that failed in large part due to all of our efforts. Donations to support our ongoing work are gratefully accepted here : https://www.givesendgo.com/NMFA THANK YOU to the legislators who stood against the bad bills and aimed for good bills to be passed, including (but not limited to) Senators Gregg Schmedes, David Gallegos, and Greg Baca, and Representatives Stefani Lord, Ryan Lane, Bill Rehm, and John Block. We'd also like to give a special THANKS to Better Together New Mexico, including Carla Sonntag, Larry Sonntag, and Cindi Runyon, who facilitated pulling together the numerous quick-and-easy calls to action put together by leaders from across the state. Below is a recap of some important Bills that passed and failed in the 2023 New Mexico Legislative Session. There were over 1,200 Bills introduced this session, so these are just some highlights on what occurred.
The Bad News First
PASSED: HB7 Gender Affirming and Reproductive Care - This Bill strips municipalities and parents of their rights regarding restricting access to abortion and gender transitioning services.
PASSED: HB4 Election Changes - It allows convicted felons to vote immediately upon release (even if still on parole). It mandates increased use of drop boxes, and creates a permanent absentee voter list, completely eroding secure and verifiable absentee voting practices.
PASSED: SB180 Election Changes - This substantially revises New Mexico’s election code including forcing counties to use internet-connected ‘poll books’ at voting locations (with no provision that these be secure, opening the door for potential hacking from outside sources), removing safeguards around having a minor serve on an election board, etc.
PASSED: SB13 Reproductive Health Provider Protections - Free clinics for abortion and transgender medical treatment on school property (without parental awareness or consent)
PASSED: HB9 Unlawful Access by Minors to Firearms - Creates criminal liability for gun owners if a minor gains access to a firearm that was not securely stored.
PASSED: Tax Increases in HB547 and HB505
FAILED: Two Bills to limit the Governor's Emergency Powers (HJR3 and SB65)
FAILED: Bills for addressing NM's rising crime, such as HJR9
FAILED: HB110 Voter ID Protection
And Now for the Good News
FAILED: HB217 16- and 17-Year-Olds as Qualified Electors - This Bill would have allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.
FAILED: SB 11 Paid Family and Medical Leave Act - Would have increased taxes on employees and employers, decimating many businesses across the state.
FAILED: HB 25 and HB28 Minimum Wage Increases - Would have given NM the highest minimum wages in the nation.
FAILED: Many anti-gun Bills, including ones that would have banned semi-automatic weapons, banned guns with magazines greater than 9 rounds, prohibited 18-20 year olds from owning firearms, 14-day waiting period to purchase firearms, etc.
FAILED: HB444 Dietician and Nutritionist Licensure - This Bill would give extensive new control over nutrition services to a dietician oversight board.
FAILED: HB263 Overdose Prevention Program - Would give drug users “safe spaces” where they can do illegal drugs under the supervision of a person who is trained to treat drug overdose.
FAILED: HB426 Clean Fuel Standard - Would raise gas prices up to 80 cents per gallon.
FAILED: SB218 Low-Income Public Utility Rates - This would force hard-working families struggling to pay their own bills to help pay for others’ utility bills.
Thanks again for all of your support during the 2023 Legislative Session! Standing with you in solidarity, Sarah Smith, Karen Larré, and Melanie Rubin New Mexico Freedoms Alliance National Coalition for Health Integrity