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2020 Legislature: What they did

SANTA FE, N.M. — There were long days, heated debates and dramatic votes. Here is a summary of some of the legislation that passed or failed during the 30-day session of the New Mexico Legislature. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has until March 11 to sign or veto bills passed during the final three days of the session, which ended Thursday.

Early Childhood
Passed: Establish $320 million early childhood endowment fund. Expand spending on childcare assistance and prekindergarten.
Failed: Amend the Constitution to increase distributions from the Land Grant Permanent Fund. Create a new income tax credit for early childhood workers.
Crime
Passed: Prohibit trafficking of wildlife threatened with extinction. Allow increased penalties for brandishing a firearm during a crime and/or being a felon in possession of a gun. Broaden potential funding sources for community policing. Money to hire additional State Police officers.
Failed: Expand sex offender registration requirements. Increase penalties for human trafficking. Make threatening mass violence a felony crime. Crack down on chop shops. Enact a three-strikes rule for violent crime. Set new criminal penalties for drugged driving.
Budget/Taxes
Passed: Authorize $7.6 billion in recurring spending for coming fiscal year. Reinstate tax credit for installation of solar power. Provide emergency funding to boost Census participation. Authorize $528 million in public works spending.
Failed: Increase gas tax to combat climate change. Repeal or reduce taxes on Social Security benefits. Establish tax credit for electric vehicles. Reduce tax break on capital gains. Expand working families tax credit. Delay creation of new top tax bracket for high-earning New Mexicans.
Education
Passed: Give teachers a 4% salary increase. Expedite teaching and other licenses for military families. Require teacher mentorship programs. Establish new financial reporting requirements for schools. Allow school boards to issue diplomas to veterans who left high school in the Vietnam War. Allow some retired educators to come back as substitute teachers without suspending their pension benefits.
Failed: Establish a bilingual teacher scholarship fund. Allow educational assistants who aren’t U.S. citizens to apply for scholarship help to become teachers.
Business/Labor
Passed: Overhaul pension system for public employees. Permit increased state investment in New Mexico-based companies. Revise Public Employees Bargaining Act. Create redevelopment district for site of coal plant near Grants. Confirm that immigrants can get occupational licenses regardless of immigration status.
Failed: Legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 and older and tax its sales. Reorganize staffing structure of Public Regulation Commission. Require job data from state “closing fund” recipients. Overhaul the Public Employees Retirement Association’s board structure. Increase the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024.
Ethics/Transparency
Passed: Eliminate waiting period before state government settlement agreements are made public. Permission is no longer needed to film or take pictures in Senate committees. Publish votes on tabling motions in House committees. Disclose how schools spend certain state funds.
Failed: Require lawmakers’ final capital outlay allocations to be posted. Authorize Ethics Commission to review and set elected officials’ salaries.
Courts
Passed: Allow for court-ordered seizure of weapons from person deemed a threat. Create five additional judgeships, including two in Bernalillo County. Prohibit non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases. Prop up judicial retirement fund by temporarily adding tax dollars.
Failed: Overhaul of probation and parole system. Make it easier to keep those accused of certain violent crimes in jail before trial. Prohibit certain arrests in courthouses.
Health/Family
Passed: Close medical marijuana program to out-of-state residents. Pursue importation of prescription drugs from Canada. Establish senior dignity fund. Prohibit employment discrimination based on pregnancy. Enact new regulations on tobacco. Broaden authority for health insurance exchange. Create voluntary retirement savings plan via web-based marketplace. Impose pet food fee to fund expanded spay and neuter programs.
Failed: Increase a state health-insurance tax and dedicate new revenue to health care affordability efforts. Require parental notification in most cases before a minor can get an abortion.


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