Our 2023 Legislative Priorities

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Bills we support this year are listed below with links to available info about the bill. Our highest priority bills are listed first, then second-tier-priority, followed by bills we oppose. We’re still working on talking points for several bills.

Bills We SupportHigh Priority

Our high-priority bills will be tracked daily, we will inform our followers when they come up for a hearing, we will provide talking points, our observers will take notes at hearings, and we will post bill progress here throughout the session.

Energy & Environment

  • SB 165 Local Choice Energy Act. Introduced by Senator Carrie Hamblen, SB 165 changes the law to allow municipalities the option to choose their electricity generation sources and expand energy options for tribal nations while saving money for ratepayers. Read the text of the bill at this link. Click below to read and download a two-page summary of LCE from Public PowerNM.
  • HJR 4 – SJR 6 Environmental Rights (Green Amendment). This legislation would amend the constitution of New Mexico by adding a section that provides people with environmental rights including the right to clean and healthy air, water, soil, and environments, a stable climate, and self-sustaining ecosystems, and direct the state, counties and municipalities to serve as trustees of the natural resources of the state for the benefit of all people. Learn about the benefits of the Green Amendment to New Mexico here.
  • Water Protection. There are multiple water bills this session, so we are prioritizing the top three bills recommended by the Middle Rio Grande Water Advocates. Check out other good water bills in our Tier 2 list below.
    • SB 337 Water Security Planning Act, introduced by Senator Stefanics and Rep. Herrera to establish a long-term framework for robust State-funded regional water security planning — community driven, science-based and focused on resilience, sustainability and equity. The bill directs the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) to establish state rules to fund and approve plans and recommend the appropriation of state-matching funds to implement them.  Click here for a one-pager with talking points. Click here for the bill’s committee assignments and a link to the bill language.
  • SB 53 – HB 122 Storage/Disposal of Certain Radioactive Waste. Introduced by Senator Jeff Steinborn SB 53 would amend the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Act (RHMA) to prohibit the state from approving permits for storage or disposal of spent nuclear fuel and/or high-level radioactive waste in New Mexico. Read the talking points here. You’ll find a link to the bill itself at this page. Watch Paul’s 2-11-23 interview with Senator Steinborn at this link.
  • HB 142 would require the state to obtain a thorough and independent assessment of the threat posed by coal ash is essential to protect the communities that rely on the San Juan River and its tributaries. Click here for a one-page summary with speaking points

Check our Second-Tier Bill List below for more on Energy & Environment.


  • Health Security. Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign has decided to not publish a Health Security bill this year and instead advance two bills that if funded would allow the health security design process to proceed while providing invaluable information to allow for making mid-course corrections to the NM health system prior to adoption of the Health Security Plan. Click here to learn about the Health Security for New Mexicans 2023 legislative plans and speaking points for the two bills they support.
    • HB 264 Study Medicaid Managed Care Structure. Sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Chavez and Rep. Patricia Roybal-Caballero, appropriates $250,000 to Legislative Council Service (which will then provide these funds to the year-round Legislative Health and Human Services Committee). The Medicaid managed care program accounts for almost 80% of Medicaid spending. The program contracts with three managed care organizations (aka insurance companies), each with different business operating rules and provider networks. While our budget currently has a surplus, as the cost of Medicaid coverage increases we cannot count on federal dollars and oil and gas revenues to provide the needed revenue. Current strategies to address Medicaid Managed Care’s rising cost increases focus on cutting the number of enrollees, reducing benefits, and lowering provider payment rates. These are not “acceptable” solutions. This is one of the important drivers of cost increases in our healthcare system. HB 264 will allow us to study why that is and what we can do to contain Medicaid costs. Funding this bill would enable the state to learn how other states are controlling Medicaid managed care costs. Read HB 264 here
    • SB 290- HB 293 Healthcare Cost Drivers Analysis, introduced by Sen. Jerry Ortiz Y Pino, and Reps. Christine Trujillo and Liz Thomson, calls for directing $400K to the Legislative Council Service to hire a contractor to analyze healthcare cost drivers and identify ways the state could reduce healthcare costs. Read SB 290 at this link. 
  • HB 7 Reproductive & Gender-Affirming Healthcare Freedom Act. Introduced by Reps. Linda Serrato, Charlotte Little, Kristina Ortez, Reena Szczepanski, and Janelle Anyanonu, HB 7 would protect access to reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare. This includes psychological, behavioral, surgical, pharmaceutical and medical care to support a person’s gender identify and that same care related to pregnancy prevention, abortion, pregnancy loss, fertility, STDs, and more. It prohibits discrimination against a person’s use or refusal of reproductive healthcare services, and restricting or interfering with a person’s access to reproductive or gender-affirming healthcare. It also prohibits prosecution or punishment for accessing these types of healthcare, and prohibits the creation of any law, ordinance, policy, or regulation that conflicts with the provisions of this Act. Read HB 7 at this link.
  • SB 13 Reproductive Health Provider Protections. Senate Bill 13 protects providers of reproductive care and/or gender-affirming care from civil or criminal liability and discrimination by the licensing boards of their specialties and by other states where activities protected in New Mexico are not protected. Read this bill and the FIR here.
  • HB 42 – SB 5 – Public Health & Climate Resiliency. This bill would create a statewide Climate & Public Health Program within the state Health Dept. to develop a comprehensive plan of action to ensure that public health experts collaborate with agencies responsible for emergency responses. The program would research best practice public policies to help build local resilience to climate-generated events that have health implications. It would also create a Public Health and Climate Resiliency Fund to assist local communities in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies related to climate change and extreme weather, as determined by county and tribal emergency managers and/or health councils. Read the fact sheet here.

Economic Justice

  • SB 11 Paid Family & Medical Leave Act, introduced by Senators Mimi Stewart and Michael Padilla and Reps. Christine Chandler, Linda Serrato and Patricia Roybal Caballero. SB 11 creates paid family and medical leave in our state, using employer and employee contributions to pay employees up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year for reasons such as childbirth, bereavement for the loss of a child, and situations of domestic abuse. It would require employees to pay $5 for every $1,000 earned in wages and employers to pay $4 for every $1,000 paid in wages. Employers with fewer than five employees (66% of most businesses in NM) and self-employed contractors would not be required to pay into the fund. Read the bill itself at this link.
  • Tax Reform. Read the general talking points about why we need tax reform in our state.
    • HB 119 Income Tax Bracket Changes and HB 120 Limit Capital Gains Tax Deduction, both introduced by Rep. Christine Chandler. Get the talking points for both bills at this link. Read HB 119 here. And read HB 120 here.
    • HB 144 Increase Certain Child Income Tax Credit, introduced by Rep. Christine Chandler, increases the child tax credit per qualifying child as follows: Income $25K or less, increase to $600 from $175; income $25K – $50K, increase to $400 from $150; income $50K to $75K, increase to $200 from $125 beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Increases will rise each year based on the consumer price index. Read HB 144 at this link. NOTE: SB 52 is a similar bill in the Senate but it offers a much lower increase, so we’re putting our support behind HB 144.
  • HB 25 Minimum Wage Increase and Indexing, introduced by Reps. Christine Chandler and Patricia Roybal Caballero. The latest Committee Substitute for HB 25 would increase the state minimum wage to $13.50/hr. (currently $12) beginning Jan. 1, 2024, $15.50 on Jan. 1, 2025, and annually thereafter provide an adjustment based on inflation. Read here about why New Mexico needs HB 25. Find a link to the bill itself on this page.

Criminal Justice & Public Safety

  • SB 19 Law Enforcement & Public Safety Telecomm. Indivisible SOS Santa Fe partnered with leaders in law enforcement professions across the state to create legislation to establish a system for law enforcement training, oversight, and accountability. Read the bill summary from Indivisible SOS Santa Fe at this link. Read the bill language at this link.
  • Gun Violence Prevention
    • SB 116: 21 Years Old to Purchase or Possess Firearms, introduced by Senator Carrie Hamblen. SB 116 would raise the legal age from 18 to 21 to purchase or possess an automatic or semiautomatic firearm or a large-capacity firearm. Read the text of SB 116 at this link.
    • HB 101 Large-Capacity Magazines & Assault Weapons, introduced by Rep. Andrea Romero, would prohibit the possession, manufacture, purchase, or sale of large-capacity firearm magazines and assault weapons in New Mexico, making it a 4th-degree felony. Read HB 101 at this link.
    • HB 100 14-Day Waiting Period for Firearm Sales. Introduced by Rep. Andrea Romero, HB 100 would require a 14-day waiting period before a gun purchaser can take possession of the weapon. Read HB 100 at this link.

Check our Second-Tier Bill List below for more on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.


  • UPDATE: The sponsor, Rep. Lente, has decided to hold this bill for a future Session with the goal of getting funding closer to what was originally hoped for, $25M. HB 140 Tribal Education Trust Fund, introduced by Rep Derrick Lente and cosponsored by Reps. Andrea Romero, Javier Martinez, Patricia Roybal Caballero, and Anthony Allison. HB 140 would create the Tribal Education Trust Fund with an appropriation of $50 million, effective July 1, 2023. Tribes would use annual interest earned on trust fund money for language revitalization efforts, resources such as wi-fi, and career readiness programs, and other priorities. It would give tribes greater autonomy over Native children’s education. After generations of neglect, it’s time to make serious investments in the education of Native American children in our state. Read the talking points here. Read HB 140 at this link.

Housing Reform

SB 99 Rent Control Prohibitions. SB 99 was tabled in Senate Health & Public Affairs on Feb. 1, so this bill is dead for this session. Introduced by Reps. Linda Lopez and Patricia Roybal Caballero, SB 99 would repeal the existing statewide prohibition on rent control, leaving it up to local municipalities to decide if they want rent control in their communities. With rising rents putting an undeserved burden on the working people of our state, our most populous communities need rent control. Read the talking points at this link. Read SB 99 bill text here. Legislators who voted to table said it would create a “patchwork” of rent control across the state, and that all the new construction would move to areas without rent control.

SB 140 NM Housing Trust Fund, introduced by Senator Nancy Rodriguez, appropriates $48 million from the General Fund to the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund. With a housing crisis in our state, we need increased funding toward affordable housing projects. Read SB 140 bill text here.

Voting Rights & Election Reform

HB 4 Voting Rights Protections is an omnibus voting rights bill introduced by Reps. Javier Martinez, Gail Chasey, Katie Duhigg, D. Wonda Johnson, and Raymundo Lara. HB 4 would establish automatic voter registration with an option to opt out, create a volunteer permanent absentee voter list, reinstate voting rights for felons as soon as they are released, make vote-by-mail more accessible, protect voting access for Native American communities, make Election Day a state holiday, and more. Read HB 4 here.

See second-tier list below for more voting rights and election reform bills.


  • Modernizing the Legislature. There could be two or three bills introduced, one calling for an amendment to the Constitution to allow legislators to be salaried, another seeking funds to pay salaries for legislative aides, and a third to increase session length and improve functioning. Learn how New Mexico would benefit from a modernized legislature at this link.
    • HJR 2, Legislative Session Changes CA, introduced by Rep. Natalie Figueroa, would amend the state constitution (NM voters to decide) to lengthen the even-numbered sessions to 60 days (currently 30 days), allow bills of all subjects — not only revenue and budget bills or those deemed “germane” by the Gov. — and add a 5-day recess in the middle of sessions (after 30 days). Read HJR 2 at this link.
    • HJR 8 Legislative Salaries, introduced by Reps Rubio, Garratt, Sariñana, Ortez, Herrera. HJR 8, if approved by voters, would amend the constitution to allow for legislative salaries and create a 9-member citizen commission to establish, adjust, and limit salaries. Commission: no more than 2 from same county, no more than 4 from same party; 1 each to be appointed by the Senate Pro Tem, Senate Minority Floor Leader, Speaker of the House, and House Minority Floor Leaders; 5 to be appointed by the State Ethics Commission. Read HJR 8 at this link.
    • NOTE: We are not supporting HJR 14 at this point because it calls for 45-day sessions every year, which doesn’t gain us anything. If HJR 2 should fail, we would consider HJR 14, but with the hope that it will be amended to call for longer sessions.
  • State Public Bank. NOTE: We learned in December that this bill will not be introduced in the 2023 session. In the meantime, AFLEP will focus on supporting legislation that promotes local economic prosperity across the state.

Bills We Support – Second Tier

Please note: We don’t have the capacity to track all the bills we support, provide talking points, and attend hearings, so we’ve created a second-tier list that we encourage you to support on your own! We provide links to the bill pages at nmlegis.gov and brief descriptions of the bills.

Energy & Environment

  • HB 32 Energy Storage System Income Tax Credit. Rep. Debra Sariñana has introduced HB 32 to create an income tax credit for the purchase and installation of an energy storage system, up to $5,000 credit for a residential property and up to $150,000 for a commercial or agricultural property. Read HB 32 at this link.
  • SB 22 Electric Vehicle & Charging Unit Tax Credits, introduced by Sen. Bill Tallman. Creates a EV tax credit of $3,250, and an EV Charging Unit tax credit of $300. Read SB 22 at this link.
  • SB 45 Geothermal Ground-Coupled Heat Pump Credit, introduced by Sen. Bill Soules. Read SB 45 at this link.
  • Water Protection– While these bills are not on our high-priority list, they are still important and we encourage your support by reaching out to your legislators and letting them know that you support these bills.
    • SB 167 Strategic Water Reserves. Read SB 167 at this link.
    • SB 195 Water Protection Permanent Fund. Read SB 195 at this link.
    • HB 121 Protect our Water, Acequias, Rivers, and Aquifers. HB 121 would ensure fairness and due process in water lease applications to the State Engineer. HB 121 clarifies that the State Engineer can approve a permit for a water use lease only after requirements for public notice, opportunity to protest, and mandatory public hearings have been met. It is vital to protect due process and transparency in any proposed changes to water rights that could affect existing and senior water rights as well as our rivers and aquifers. Click here to read the bill language.
  • SB 243 Plastic Waste Reduction Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Steinborn, would prohibit retail establishments, restaurants, or delivery businesses from using single-use plastic bags or other containers that are not reusable or recyclable. You can read the bill text on nmlegis.gov at this link.

Criminal Justice & Public Safety

  • Gun Violence Prevention Package
    • HB 9 Unlawful Access to Firearm by Minor. Introduced by Reps. Pameyla Herndon and Patricia Roybal Caballero, HB 9 would make a misdemeanor of making a firearm accessible to a minor and a 4th-degree felony of making a firearm accessible to a minor, resulting in great bodily harm or death. Read HB 9 at this link.
    • HB 50 Possession of Large Capacity Gun Magazine. Introduced by Reps. Patricia Roybal Caballero and Linda Lopez, HB 50 would make possession or transfer of a large capacity gun magazine a 4th-degree felony. Read HB 50 at this link.
    • HB 72 Possession of Semiautomatic Firearm Converter. Introduced by Reps. Patricia Roybal Caballero and Linda Lopez, HB 72 would make possession of a semiautomatic firearm converter a 4th-degree felony. Read HB 72 at this link.
    • Senator Peter Wirth has introduced a bill to prohibit the carrying of a firearm within 100 feet of a polling place during an election, with an exception for peace officers. Read the Senate bill here (no number yet).
  • SB 61 Liquor Tax to Domestic Violence Fund, introduced by Sen. Bill Tallman, distributes a portion of the Liquor Excise Tax to create and fund the Domestic Violence Victims Fund. Read SB 61 at this link.
  • SB 64 No Life Sentences for Juveniles, introduced by Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, would prohibit the imposition of a life sentence without parole on a child and would provide parole procedures. Read SB 64 at this link.

Economic Justice


  • SB 4 Healthy Universal School Meals Act. Introduced by Senator Michael Padilla, this bill would enact the Health Universal School Meals Act, ensuring free, healthy school meals for ALL students. Read SB 4 here.

Voting Rights & Election Reform

  • HJR 1 Independent Redistricting Commission. Rep. Natalie Figueroa has introduced a joint resolution to amend the state constitution to provide for the creation of an independent redistricting commission to develop redistricting plans for congressional district, state legislative districts, and other districted state offices. Read HJR 1 at this link.
  • The Native American Voting Rights Act, which was buried in the omnibus Voting Rights Bill in 2022 (SB 8) will protect and enhance voting rights for our state’s indigenous population. We hear this is a priority for the Secretary of State’s Office.
  • Protection of Election Workers, a bill introduced by Sen. Katy Duhigg, similar to SB144 from 2022 (Intimidation of Election Workers), amends the crime of intimidation to include acts against employees of the Secretary of State’s Office, County Clerks, and Municipal Clerks. Also a SOS priority. SB144 passed both chambers last year but because it was amended in the House and never made it to a Concurrence Committee for approval it died. Read the Senate bill here (no number yet).
  • A bill to Restore Felon Voting Rights, which was also buried in the omnibus Voting Rights bill last year (SB 8) is also a SOS priority.
  • SB 44 Prohibit Firearms at Polling Places, introduced by Senator Peter Wirth, would prohibit the carrying of a firearm within 100 feet of a polling place during an election, with an exception for peace officers. Read SB 44 at this link.

Bills We Oppose

  1. Hydrogen Production. If the hydrogen production is truly green, if it does not emit methane and carbon dioxide, and if it does not use millions of gallons of fresh water, we are happy to support it. But so far, hydrogen production plans in New Mexico are not green. Learn why hydrogen production is bad for our state and how we can choose clean energy.

    Bills related to Hydrogen Production so far:

    HB 174 Underground Injection Fund, introduced by Reps. Meredith Dixon and Nathan Small, inserts a new section into the Water Quality Act to create the Underground Injection Control Fund. HB 174 appropriates $2.4 million to support CO2 sequestration projects (used to inject CO2, a byproduct of hydrogen production, deep underground) and the staff needed to operate an underground injection control program. This bill is intended to institutionalize state funding for hydrogen development and facilitate NM in securing federal funds to expand the work.  We strongly oppose this bill, but after somehow getting through House Environment Energy and Natural Resources, it gets a free pass in House Appropriations & Finance where the bill sponsor, Rep. Nathan Small, is Chair of one of the most conservative committees in the Roundhouse. We will begin communicating with House members as soon as the bill gets to HAFC. Get talking points at this link. Read HB 174 at this link.

    HB 12 Advanced Energy Technology Act. This may be one of those wolf in sheep’s clothing bills that take so much time to sort out and verify if there are nefarious forces at play. The bill is being advanced by Power4NM, a coalition that includes some very progressive, people-focused organizations like the Native American Voters Alliance, Olé, and Somos Un Pueblo Unido, so there is credibility there. And the bill is sponsored by Reps. Kristina Ortez an Angelica Rubio, two solid legislators. Unfortunately, and of great concern, it is also sponsored by the two most prominent hydrogen advocates, Reps. Patty Lundstrom and Nathan Small (red flags here). While purporting to set up a fund to be used in support of “advanced energy technology,” a closer review reveals “carbon capture, sequestration, transport utilization and storage systems” buried in the definition of advanced energy technology. CCS is at the heart of all grey hydrogen production, as the economic and environmental viability of hydrogen production rests with successful sequestration of CO2, something that has never worked anywhere in the world. It pays to read the fine print. Click here for our analysis of the bill and speaking points.
  2. HB 431. Local Government Utility Service Restrictions. The NM Political Report broke a story on a disingenuous bill we need to oppose. “Bill preventing cities, counties from banning fuel sources passes committee,” describes how HB 431 is purportedly about preserving local autonomy, while deftly doing just the reverse. This bill that had flown under our radar, but appears to be a bill designed to undermine local jurisdictions from implementing Local Choice Energy, should it pass into law. Click here to learn why we need to oppose this bill.
  3. SB 493 Brackish Water Reuse. This bill would find ways to treat and reuse “brackish” water, but “brackish” is not defined and it does not exclude the toxic byproduct of fracking and drilling, aka “produced water.” We do not want toxic, radioactive water reused for agriculture or injected back into our aquifers! Read Paul’s March 1 blog at this link for details about why we need to oppose this bill. It’s already passed Senate Conservation and Senate Finance, with several Democratic Senators voting for it: Senators Stefanics, Cervantes, Munoz, Campos, Gonzales, Hemphill, and Padilla. If one of these is your Senator, please contact them immediately to urge them to reconsider when HB 493 goes to the Senate Floor. Read the bill itself at this link.
  4. UPDATE: Patrick O’Connell was unanimously approved by the Senate Rules Committee. Oh, well. PRC Appointment: We oppose the appointment of Patrick O’Connell to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. Not exactly a “bill,” but an important position that should not be filled with an executive from the very industry the PRC is charged with regulating. Please contact members of the Senate Rules Committee and your own Senator to urge them to vote against approval of Patrick O’Connell’s appointment. Read the bill language and Financial Impact Report here. Find talking points at this link. Find Senate Rules Committee contact info here.
  5. SJR 5 Constitutional Convention, introduced by Republican Reps. Crystal Diamond and Cliff Pirtle. We oppose a bill to call for a U.S. constitutional convention, which requires the consent of two-thirds of the state, to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to impose fiscal restraints on federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for federal officials and members of Congress. Introduced by Republican Senators Crystal Diamond and Cliff Pirtle. Read SJR 5 at this link.

2022 Legislative Session

2022 Bills We Support/Oppose. For a quick overview of wins and losses, please read our Feb. 22, 2022 Alert at this link.

House & Senate Committee Rosters. Current contact info for the 2022 Session.

Links to 2022 Legislative Alerts, in case you can’t find one.

Recordings of 2022 Retake Legislative Huddles

Get Legislative Action Alerts. Sign up to get Action Alerts during the 2022 Legislative Session.

Sign up for other advocacy roles, including Constituent Zoom Conversations with your legislators.

Our overall Legislative Strategy & criteria we use to identify bills to support.

How to Advocate from Your Couch. All the rules and how to navigate them.

2021 Legislative Session

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