Legislative Alert: Dems trying to resurrect failed enviro bill, committee considering anti-police bill

Thursday was a busy day in the New Mexico Legislature, with the Senate Tax, Business, and Transportation Committee approving Gov. Lujan Grisham’s radical environmental bill, S.B. 11 carried by Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo) on party lines. This bill would result in a 20 cent or higher increase in gas prices, which would disproportionately harm the poor. Read more here.

A commonsense bill to protect women’s sports, H.B. 304, sponsored by Reps. Zachary Cook (R-Lincoln and Otero), Rod Montoya (R-San Juan), Jim Townsend (R-Chaves, Eddy, and Otero), among others sought to restrict participation by transgender athletes to the sports teams assigned to their “biologic sex.” The bill died on a 3-2 vote in the House Health and Human Services Committee. Far-left dark money groups lobbied against the critical bill, claiming it to be “transphobic.” 

There are many important committee meetings coming up on Friday and Saturday, and it is imperative the public shows up to testify against extreme bills that would harm New Mexico. Here is critical information you need to know about bills rushing through the Legislature: 

New Mexico Senate:

CONSERVATION COMMITTEE
Senator Elizabeth Stefanics, Chair – Saturday, February 27, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

URGENT ALERT: 

S.B. 312 GAME & FISH & WILDLIFE CHANGES by Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D-Doña Ana) and Rep. Nathan Small (D-Doña Ana). The bill previously died in the Senate Conservation Committee, with Democrat Sen. Liz Stefanics (Bernalillo, Lincoln, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Torrance, and Valencia), the chair of the committee, voting with Republicans to table it.

“My district is parts of six counties — it is all rural — and I, in this case, I’m going to have to support my constituents,” said Stefanics.

Now, Sen Steinborn and Rep. Small are looking to resurrect the failed 241-page proposal which would have taken power away from the people and given it to the government. According to liberals, it would give “wildlife conservation” a “modern approach to wildlife management. It directs the state to manage and conserve the public’s wildlife.” This power-grab would mean higher permit prices for many out-of-state permits, harsher restrictions on what wildlife one could hunt, and it would rename the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to the “Department of Wildlife Conservation.” 

The extreme and costly overhaul bill would have further bureaucratized the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and according to the bill itself, “[narrows] conditions for landowners on taking or killing animals on private land.” That means, in part, that it usurps the right for landowners to kill a wild animal on their land, for reasons of immediate threats to human life and for damage of property, including crops. It would now only allow killing the animal for the threat to human life. This would be required to be reported to the Department within 24 hours of disposal of the carcass. 

These burdensome restrictions, among countless other flaws in the bill, such as a large appropriation necessary for its passage, are a detriment to taxpayers, landowners, and hunters in the state. Many landowners and employers testified in opposition while extremist “conservation” groups tried to pass the bill forward. Read the fiscal impact report on the bill for more information. Please 

For spoken public comment register at https://forms.gle/5pgx2bgxGyHEDeCS8  by Friday, February 26 at 5:00 p.m. Submit written comment any time by emailing SCONC@nmlegis.gov with your Name, Entity Represented, Bill #, For or Against. You will be contacted by our Zoom Operator with the virtual meeting instructions.

HEALTH AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Chair – Friday, February 26, 2021 – 1:30 p.m.

H.B. 254 – USE OF DEADLY FORCE REPORTING by Sen. Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez (D-Bernalillo) and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Bernalillo) passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee by a party-line vote of 3-2. 

Note: both of the bill sponsors are currently running for Congress in CD-1. This is the House version of the Senate’s S.B. 274. 

According to the bill, “Within twenty-four hours of a person suffering great bodily harm or death as a result of a peace officer’s actions, the sheriff or the chief of police of the jurisdiction in which the great bodily harm or death occurred shall report the great bodily harm or death in writing to the district attorney of the judicial district in which the great bodily harm or death occurred. The sheriff or chief of police shall report all instances of suspected great bodily harm to the appropriate district attorney, even if a more thorough assessment of great bodily harm will be undertaken at a later date,” 

The bill would put undue suspicion of wrongdoing on the part of the law enforcement officer, overburdening local sheriffs and district attorneys, while not trusting police officers to carry forth their duties. It now moves forward to its final committee, House Judiciary. 

For spoken public comment register at https://ggle.io/3pe5. If there is a high volume of requests for public comment, not everyone may be able to speak. Zoom link to the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89738905182 

SENATE TAX, BUSINESS AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
Senator Benny Shendo Jr., Chair – Saturday, February 27, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

SB 13 CANNABIS REGULATION ACT by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo). This particular bill, which puts a 21% tax on recreational marijuana, is supported by the far-left fringe group the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

SB 288 CANNABIS REGULATION ACT by Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Chaves, Eddy and Otero).

SB 363 CANNABIS REGULATION ACT by Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-Bernalillo). 

All these bills relate to the legalization of recreational marijuana. You can read more about each by clicking on “analysis” and “fiscal impact report” on the above links for each bill.  Read more about these marijuana bills and the big money the weed industry has put into each of these bill sponsors. 

For public participation send an email to SCORC@nmlegis.gov with your Name, Entity Represented, Bill #, For or Against and indicate if you wish to speak. The deadline to respond is Friday, February 26 at 5:00 p.m. You will be contacted by our Zoom Operator with the virtual meeting instructions. Zoom link to the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83239240693 

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