TODAY: Legislators scramble to ram through gas tax on the poor, recreational pot bills

On Thursday, legislators stayed up late to duke it out over bills regarding a ballot initiative to raid New Mexico’s permanent fund and pass through a trapping ban on public lands. The question of whether to raid the permanent fund will go to the voters in the next election and the trapping ban bill goes to the Governor’s desk. The body also debated H.B. 20, the “Healthy Workplaces Act,” where Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo) and Pro-Tem Mimi Stewart continued their feud. The bill passed by 25-16.

However, there are many hotly contested bills that Democrats still hope to ram through in their dead-of-night, closed-door legislative process, including initiatives to harvest gender and sexual identity information from citizens, legalize recreational marijuana, and pass a radical gas tax on the poor.

Recreational Marijuana Bill

The extreme pot bill, H.B. 12, finally was pushed through its final committee this week after Chairman Joseph Cervantes was “pushed” by Democrat leadership to hear the bill and fast-track it so it could reach the full Senate before the session closes at noon on Saturday. 

This marijuana legalization bill according to the bill sponsor, Rep. Javier Martinez (D-Bernalillo) “makes for the perfect conditions if you will. I don’t think the opportunity has ever been better than it is now to pass a legalization bill.” He says New Mexico needs the bill to cover for gaps in the budget, despite revenue projections being astronomically lower with recreational legalization of pot in states that have legalized it like the state of Colorado.

The revenue projections from the fiscal impact report claim in 2022 the law will increase state revenues by $15,186,000. Mind you, the state’s projected budget is over $7 billion, meaning pot legalization would only make up 0.2% of revenues. Even with the bill’s higher projections of $35,128,400 in revenues by 2024, that would only be approximately 0.5% of the needed revenues for a state budget projected at $7 billion. 

Pro-family groups such as the Family Policy Alliance are organizing against the legalized pot bills, making the case that, “Since Colorado legalized recreational weed, our neighboring state has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime, traffic fatalities, and marijuana hospitalizations. And usage by minors – sometimes fatal, from eating poorly regulated marijuana “candies” – has soared.” 

The Senate will likely vote on the proposal Friday after a long debate. The bill, if passed through the chamber, would need to make its way back over to the House of Representatives for the lower chamber to approve the amendments made in the Senate before hitting the Governor’s desk. It is unclear if all of this can be achieved in a single day. 

Find and contact your legislator to oppose the bill by clicking here.

Read more about New Mexico legislators bankrolled by the big marijuana lobby. 

Gas Tax on the Poor

The extreme gas tax on the poor, S.B. 11, passed the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee on a party-line vote, despite concerns of New Mexicans’ gas prices being hiked by 20+ cents — harming poor and middle-class New Mexicans the most. 

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo) callously dismissed these concerns, claiming that in other states who have implemented these extreme policies, “Gas is cheaper now than when they started.”

That was a lie.

“When everybody talks about, ‘Oh the poor are gonna be hurt,’ I do believe the poor care about the climate,” said Stewart.

Despite the concerns from poor New Mexicans, the committee advanced her bill, which is scheduled to be heard today on the House floor. 

Find and contact your legislator to oppose the bill by clicking here.

Harvesting Gender and Sexual Identity Info

This extreme bill, S.B. 316, brought forth by Sen. Carrie Hamblen (D-Doña Ana) harvests gender and sexual identity information from New Mexicans, putting more information into the hands of the state government, for them to use for whatever they want. The bill is mostly copy/pasted from a California bill, Assembly Bill 677 from 2017, and would put this private information in the hands of government bad actors who could weaponize this data against New Mexicans.

The House of Representatives will likely consider this bill today

Find and contact your legislator to oppose the bill by clicking here.

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