1. HOUSE PASSAGE OF PENSION BILL PUTS NEW MEXICO ON PATH TOWARD SOLVENCY
New Mexico could soon be on the road to pension solvency. The House has passed SB 72, the pension reform bill by a vote of 40 to 28. The legislation is designed to fix the state’s more than $6 billion unfunded liability. SB72 will make our pension system solvent into the future, and it will ensure that over the next 25 years pension obligations are met. This bill will move PERA from 69% funded today to an estimated 97%. The state’s market-based fiscally sound investments will ensure that pensions are paid because cost of living adjustments are well above the rate of inflation. The bill will also protect the poorest, disabled and oldest retirees and will save taxpayers billions by not having to pay the cost of the unfunded liability. It’s about time lawmakers worked to fix our broken pension system.
“People rely on these pensions and we have a duty to fund them,” said.Rep. Phelps Anderson,(R)-Roswell.
The pension reform bill has already passed in the Senate but will go back to the upper house for refinements.
2. ELECTION BILL THAT COULD LEAD TO ABSENTEE VOTER ISSUES HEADS TO SENATE
The election legislation HB 229 is on its way to the upper house. Yesterday the Senate Rules Committee passed the bill which eliminates language that requires that three forms of identification be used for absentee ballots. That’s the law now–you must provide your name, address and year of birth. But progressive Democrats want to remove those requirements.
If this legislation becomes law, it will cause all kinds of problems and could lead to more voter fraud.
CALL TO ACTION: This is your last chance to stop this bill and help keep elections fair in New Mexico. Contact your Senators and tell them NO to HB 229. And tell sponsor Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto this bill is wrong: (505) 986-4270 firstname.lastname@example.org
3. OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE BILL RUSHED THROUGH
Late last night progressive Democrats quickly rushed through SB 137 which allows any person to obtain an occupational license regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Left-leaning Democrats championed this bill to help DACA beneficiaries, but the bill does not have limitations on who may benefit. SB 137 was sent to only one committee for review by the Speaker before it was debated by the House.
“I am very concerned that in their rush to please their special interest groups, Democrats in this body are forgetting about the people in this state who are currently licensed and unemployed,” said Rep. Bill Rehm (R)-Albuquerque. “SB 137 allows illegal immigrants to receive a professional state license. Federal law requires employers to check applicant’s legal status. This license gives an employer the appearance that the applicant is a legal US resident.”
The bill heads to the Governor’s desk.
4. LEGISLATION DEMANDING TRANSPARENCY IN WRONGDOING SETTLEMENTS HEADS TO GOVERNOR’S DESK
The House has unanimously passed SB 64 that makes public any financial settlements that involve accusations of wrongdoing by state officials. The reforms would make public the terms of taxpayer-funded settlements as soon as agreements are either signed, paid out, or mandated by a jury award. It’s time we had more transparency in our government.
The reform bill from Sen. Sander Rue (R)-Albuquerque would also eliminate criminal misdemeanor penalties for improper disclosure of public records that could bar employees from state employment for five years.
Rue said the bill “closes a loophole that could extend the release of information about a claim indefinitely.”Rep. Randal Crowder lives in Clovis and represents Curry County. Rep. Crowder is a business owner and has been in the legislature since 2015.
Committees: Appropriations and Finance, Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvements
Sen. Gregg Fulfer lives in Jal and represents Eddy and Lea Counties. Occupation: Fulfer Fulfer Oil & Cattle Co.
Committees: Corporations and Transportation, Education
The House and Senate will both reconvene at 11am today.
For more information about bills, lawmakers and happenings at the Roundhouse,
go to the New Mexico Legislature website.