Issues at stake at Legislature 2022 - Albuquerque Journal

Issues at stake at Legislature 2022

New Mexico lawmakers return to the Roundhouse at noon Tuesday, Jan. 18, for the start of a 30-day session. Per the state’s Constitution, the issues considered will be limited to budgetary and revenue bills, along with items added to the agenda by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Important dates
Jan. 18: Opening day (noon)
Feb. 2: Deadline for bill introduction
Feb. 17: Session ends (noon)
March 9: Legislation not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed
May 18: Effective date of legislation not carrying an emergency clause or other specified date

 

These are some issues that could be debated.

BUDGET / TAXES
• Eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits for all but the wealthiest New Mexicans and offset the lost revenue with a tobacco tax increase.
• Reduce the state’s gross receipts tax base rate by 0.125 percentage points.
• Create tax deduction for purchase of tampons and other feminine hygiene products. Establish new income tax credit for electric vehicles.

CRIME
• Abolish life in prison without parole for juveniles sentenced as adults.
• Prohibit “chop shops” that strip and dismantle stolen vehicles.
• Remove statute of limitations on prosecution of second-degree murder charges.
• Add more crimes to list of crimes that trigger life sentence upon third violent felony conviction.

 

ETHICS / TRANSPARENCY
• Require legislators and lobbyists to disclose more information, including lawmakers’ sources of personal income.
• Create public works commission to vet proposed capital outlay projects.
• Mandate that recipients of state economic development initiatives provide more job-creation data

 

EDUCATION
• Boost starting teacher pay to $50,000 annually.
• Increase stipends for those participating in teacher residency programs.
• Provide funding to increase number of school nurses.
• Limit increases in spending on administrative expenses so that more money goes into classrooms.
• Make taking a financial literacy class a high-school graduation requirement.

 

COURTS
• Change state’s pretrial detention laws to make it easier for individuals charged with violent crimes to be kept in jail until trial.
• Spend $45 million to bolster retirement system for judges.
• Allow prison inmates age 55 and older with chronic medical conditions to apply for parole.

HEALTH / COVID-19 PANDEMIC
• Earmark $60 million in federal relief funds to purchase high-quality face masks and at-home COVID-19 test kits for state residents.
• Expand nursing programs at New Mexico higher education institutions.
• Limit an emergency declaration by the governor to 90 days unless the Legislature is called into special session to address the emergency.
• Convene a task force to make recommendations for paid family and medical leave.

ENVIRONMENT
• Propose $50 million in general obligation bonds for forest thinning, watershed restoration and other conservation projects.
• Approve “Green Amendment” making a clean and healthy environment a constitutional right.
• Set up state reforestation center to address impact of climate change on forests.
• Boost funding by $12 million for state engineer to carry out water planning, administration and management.
• Add $60 million to the water trust fund.

ENERGY

• Establish legal framework for making New Mexico a hydrogen energy hub.
• Offer income tax credits for energy storage systems.
• Require extra registration fees for electric and plug-in vehicles, with revenue directed to roads improvements.
• Enact new clean fuel standards.

 

VOTING / ELECTIONS
• Allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections.
• Expand early and absentee voting.
• Automatically restore voting rights of felons who aren’t incarcerated.
• Make it easier to register to vote online.
• Create option for straight-party voting.
• Expand timeline for Indigenous nations to request alternate voting sites.
• Make Election Day a state holiday.
• Allow independent voters to participate in primary elections.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Former lobbyist finds new calling in cannabis
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque man gives up $90,000 salary ... Albuquerque man gives up $90,000 salary for local budding industry
2
I want an electric car but … what about ...
From the newspaper
Most people understand we have to ... Most people understand we have to electrify transportation to get to net-zero emissions. Annually ab ...
3
Are 4-day work weeks feasible? Business leaders weigh in
ABQnews Seeker
The concept and feasibility of four-day ... The concept and feasibility of four-day work weeks has been discussed in recent weeks, but it' ...
4
New Mexico front and center in nationwide debate over ...
ABQnews Seeker
Taken together, two forthcoming bills would ... Taken together, two forthcoming bills would create a suite of government-funded incentives to help companies construct everything from hydrogen production and hydrogen-based electric generation ...
5
Editorial: MLK was more than his famous 'Dream' speech
Editorials
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was ... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a master of the soaring rhetoric of the conscience. His most thought- ...
6
Coalition will power move to a carbon-neutral New Mexico
From the newspaper
Coalition will power move to a ... Coalition will power move to a carbon-neutral New Mexico
7
At 470 killed, traffic deaths return to the bad ...
ABQnews Seeker
Pedestrian death tally reached 99, breaking ... Pedestrian death tally reached 99, breaking record set back in '94
8
Natural resource agencies request funding boosts
ABQnews Seeker
Climate change bureau would tackle emissions Climate change bureau would tackle emissions
9
University of Va. holds largest collection of cartoonist's art
ABQnews Seeker
School's library gifted almost 7,000 pieces ... School's library gifted almost 7,000 pieces of artist's works