SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s only a handful of days left in the 2023 regular legislative session. Over the last few weeks, lawmakers have been putting in hours to debate a wide range of bills, including lots of climate and environment-related legislation. But how far have those bills progressed?
Every session, many bills are introduced or brought up for debate. But it’s only the select few that make it all the way through the legislative process. After all, it’s a long process: Bills have to survive multiple committee debates, as well as debates on the House and Senate floor.
This year, legislators have introduced more than twenty pieces of climate-related legislation. How far have they gotten?
A few of the bills have made quite a bit of progress. In particular, Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Sen. Steven P. Neville (R-San Juan) and Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), has seen a lot of support.
The bill seeks to set up long-term funding for existing conservation efforts. And it’s already survived committee debates and debate on the Senate floor. It still has to make it through multiple rounds of debate by legislators in the House, but the fact that there’s bipartisan support could help keep moving the bill forward.
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(Scroll left and right to see more) So far, some climate and environmental bills have stalled. Others have made progress. Note, this is not a comprehensive list.
Other bills haven’t made it so far. A handful of climate-related bills haven’t really seen any progress in committee debate, the first step in the journey to becoming law.
But even when a bill doesn’t progress, the main thrust of the bill could potentially live on in another bill. For example, House Bill 122, which seeks to give New Mexico more say in where radioactive waste is stored, has stalled out in committee. But the main idea of the bill has made progress in Senate Bill 53, which has already made it past the Senate.
Passing any legislation can be difficult, but legislators say climate and environmental bills can be particularly tough due to the wide range of support and opposition over climate-related issues. For more on what legislators think about the difficulties of debating climate bills, check out this KRQE News 13 story.