January 25 Legislative Alert

New Hearing Thursday: Use of Water for O&G Ops (AKA Amend the Produced Water Act), Sustainable Economy Task Force, Community Solar, and Photovoltaic Systems in New Homes, four important environmental bills in one hearing.

Good Morning New Mexico Activists:

In addition to the four hearings on Mon-Tues that we told you about in our Saturday Alert, there is another on Thursday. If you missed Saturday’s Alert, you can find it at this link.  Bills include HB 4 Civil Rights Act, SB 10 Repeal Abortion Ban, SB 83 Local Choice Energy, and more. There’s still time to email and call legislators about most of the Mon-Tues hearings and to participate in the hearings if you want to offer public comment.

Before we get to the new hearing info, we want to invite you to volunteer to be a hearing observer for Retake Our Democracy. We need two observers lined up for each hearing and we’ve created an easy-to-use online form that you can use to record votes, arguments raised against the bills, and other info. If you’re interested in becoming a Hearing Observer, please go to this link to give us your contact info and the times you’re available.

We also invite you to participate in our weekly Legislative Advocacy Strategy Meeting via Zoom, every Friday, 3:30-4:30 p.m. We have advocates participating from across the state, and we welcome new participants! Go to this link to register for the next meeting, Jan. 29.

And here is the Thursday hearing info:

Thursday, Jan. 28, 9 a.m. Senate Conservation Committee (SCONC) will hear SB 84 Community Solar Act, SB 86 Use of Water for Oil & Gas Operations, SB 112 Sustainable Economy Task Force, and SB 132 Photovoltaic Systems in New Homes.

At the links above, you’ll find talking points on SB 86 and SB 112, which are on our Transformational Bills list. We don’t have summaries for SB 84 and SB 132 because they’re on our second-tier list, but here’s a brief description: SB 84 Community Solar would enable people who do not have the financial resources to install solar panels on their own homes to make use of New Mexico’s abundant solar power with a low-income assistance fund. Solar power generation facilities could be constructed and operated by subscriber organizations, which could be municipalities, pueblos, affordable housing providers, nonprofits, community-based organizations, or other entities. SB 132 Photovoltaic Systems in New Homes, introduced by Senator Bill Soules, would require all new homes constructed after July 1, 2021 to have photovoltaic systems installed that provide at least one watt per square foot of heated area and at least one electrical receptacle for charging electric vehicles.

Instructions from SCONC: For public participation send an email to SCONC@nmlegis.gov with your Name, Entity Representing, Bill #, For or Against and an email address by Weds., Jan. 27, 3 p.m. You will be contacted by our Zoom Operator with virtual meeting instructions. NOTE: Agenda items might be rolled over to the next meeting.

Whether or not you participate in the hearing, please use the contact info below to call and email committee members to urge them to support these bills. The Roundhouse is still updating contact data, so if a phone number doesn’t work, please email. Thank you!

Senate Conservation Committee (SCONC)

That’s all for now. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to creating positive change in our state!

In solidarity and hope,

Roxanne and Paul

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