Final Wrap-Up NM Legislature
The 2021 New Mexico Legislative session will be known for being conducted virtually, for its political changes, and for some major bills that passed and did not pass.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced this year’s legislative session to be a virtual session. Both legislative chambers adopted specific rules that governed this 60-day session. The legislative session was predominantly conducted via Zoom. The Roundhouse was closed to everyone, except lawmakers, media members, and some legislative staffers. The Roundhouse was off-limits to members of the public and lobbyists for the entirety of the session. In addition, some lawmakers in the House participated in committee hearings and floor debates from their homes or other off-site locations. The Senate required participation in floor sessions from at least the Capitol building.
Because this session was a 60-day session, all introduced bills were considered germane for the session. Due to the pandemic, there was an attempt to limit the number of pieces of legislation that were introduced. For this reason, there was a lower number of bills, memorials, and resolutions introduced during the session, specifically nine hundred and sixteen (916). The total number of bills, memorials, and resolutions that passed the House of Representatives and Senate was one hundred ninety-nine (199). NMAR tracked a total of 94 bills.
With this new Legislature,several measures were passed that had failed in past sessions.
Lawmakers did pass a $7.4 billion dollar budget and approved $517 million in capital outlay (HB285). Both Houses also passed a resolution (HJ1) that when signed by the Governor, will see a constitutional Amendment on the 2022 general election ballot calling for a percentage of the State’s permanent fund to support early childhood education.
Lawmakers passed, and the Governor signed, a liquor law reform bill that includes, among other things, delivery of alcohol.
Both chambers passed the End-of-Life Options Act that allows terminally ill adults the option of having medical assistance in bringing about their death.
Legislators passed a redistricting bill, SB304, which sets into motion redistricting of all political subdivisions in the state.
The Governor will have until April 9th to act on all bills. She can sign them, veto them, or pocket veto them (not sign them).
All bills can be found on the New Mexico Legislature website here: https://www.nmlegis.gov/