Highlights of New Mexico legislative session

Highlights of New Mexico legislative session
Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A look at proposals that passed and failed during the 30-day session of the Legislature, which ended Thursday.


Passed: $6.2 billion budget with a 5 percent increase in spending on public education and government services next year; $233 million for state and local capital improvements, including $86 million for water systems; $167 million for capital improvements at colleges and other schools, senior citizen centers and libraries; constitutional amendment to provide more flexibility for international investments by a state permanent fund.

Failed: Increase yearly payout from permanent fund to provide more than $100 million a year for early childhood education programs.


Passed: Remove the gross receipts tax from parts and labor for maintaining aircraft; lift the gross receipts tax from dialysis services by for-profit clinics for Medicare patients.

Failed: Expand a tax credit provided to "angel investors" who help finance new companies; stopping Dona Ana and Sierra counties from supporting public school operations with a local tax that helped finance Spaceport America.


Passed: Permit marching band, athletics and some other classes to meet a physical education requirement for high school students; phase in school class limits temporarily lifted because of state budget problems; allow schools to stock and administer emergency medication to treat asthma attacks and allergic reactions; grant a fee waiver for home school or private school students taking dual credit courses at colleges; budget provides 3 percent average pay raises for educators.

Failed: Governor's proposal to end practice of "social promotion" by holding back third graders who can't read proficiently; Democratic alternative allowing struggling students to be retained based on decisions by a team of educators.


Passed: Require counties to contribute to a program for mostly rural hospitals to provide health care to the poor; expedited licensing of nurses who move to New Mexico from another state; state certification of community health workers; regulate third-party pharmacy benefit managers that administer prescription drug insurance plans; clarify appeal right from custody hearing decisions involving children in abuse and neglect cases; test newborns for heart disorders.

Failed: Broaden who must report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect; expand state agency's power to take immediate custody of children when there are certain signs of abuse; criminal background checks for adults in homes where children are placed in an emergency in neglect and abuse cases.


Passed: Increase liquor tax revenue going to local drunken driving prevention programs for three years.

Failed: Legalize recreational use of marijuana; longer prison systems for drunken drivers with four or more convictions; ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors; add mandatory prison time to the basic sentence of drunken driving offenders with previous felonies.


Passed: Establish a one-stop online portal in state government for businesses to pay fees and file forms to operate in New Mexico; create grant program for local economic development.

Failed: Increase minimum wage to $8.30 an hour and adjust it yearly for inflation; allow utilities to offer lower electric rates to certain businesses as an economic development incentive.


Passed: Increase to $250,000 the benefit paid to survivors of firefighters who die in line of duty; create five additional judgeships; revamp retirement systems for judges and magistrates to improve long-term solvency; changes in the composition of the state Water Trust Board; change filing dates for minor political parties and their candidates.

Failed: Ban firearms in parts of the Capitol; prohibit former legislators, statewide elected officials and cabinet secretaries from working as paid lobbyists for two years after they leave their government positions; expand powers of state and local governments to restrict fireworks in times of extreme fire risk.


Passed: Prohibit texting while driving; allow state to tap emergency fund to help schools with rising fuel costs for school buses.

Failed: Governor's proposal to stop the state from issuing driver's licenses to immigrants illegally in the country; provide $40 million over 10 years to pay part of the cost for keeping Amtrak's Southwest Chief route in New Mexico.


Passed: Allow horse racetrack owners and operators to eject any person from the premises if their license has been suspended or revoked for administering a performance-altering substance; create a fund for the State Racing Commission to use in hearing the appeals of horse racing citations

Failed: Tribal-state gambling compact that would have allowed the Navajo Nation to open three additional casinos over 15 years.