2021 Legislative bills signed by Gov. Lujan Grisham

Legislature

Governor signs historic recreational marijuana bill into law

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has already signed many bills from the 2021 Legislative Session. Bills that were not signed by April 9 have been pocket vetoed.


Bills signed from 2021 Special Session

Senate Bill 2 – Expungement of Certain Criminal Records (Signed April 12)

The signed legislation will authorize the expungement of old low-level cannabis convictions from the record.

House Bill 2 – Cannabis Regulation Act (Signed April 12) 

New Mexico will join 16 states that have legalized marijuana and will go into effect in April 2022. The recreational marijuana bill will allow people 21 years or older to buy and use marijuana but can only buy no more than two ounces of cannabis. There will be limits on extracts and edibles. 


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Under the advancing legalization package, New Mexico would levy an initial excise tax on recreational marijuana sales of 12% that eventually rises to 18%. That’s on top of current gross receipts on sales that range from roughly 5% to 9%.

The bill also reconsiders criminal drug sentences for about 100 prisoners and gives the governor a strong hand in licensing the industry and monitoring supplies. Possession of up to 2 ounces (57 grams) of marijuana would cease to be a crime, and people would be allowed six plants at home — or up to 12 per household. The Cannabis Control Division falls under the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department and will regulate and license cannabis across the state.

Senate Bill 1: LEDA Changes (Signed April 7)

Senate Bill 1, will allow 50% of state and local tax revenue to be used as public support for economic development projects. The money placed into the LEDA fund will assist businesses with land, building and infrastructure costs.


Bills signed from 2021 Legislative Session

House Bill 2: General Appropriation Act of 2021 (Signed April 9)

New Mexico state budget for Fiscal Year 2022, a $7.4 billion package for key state investments in public education, early childhood well-being, economic development and pandemic relief, behavioral health and infrastructure. The budget for the year beginning July 1, 2021, maintains 24 percent of recurring expenditures in reserves, or $1.7 billion, and 1.5 percent raises for public school and higher education personnel, as well as state employees and front-line health and social service workers.

House Bill 4: New Mexico Civil Rights Act (Signed April 7)

The Civil Rights Act will bar the use of qualified immunity in state court. Qualified immunity protects public employees from being sued personally. It would also make it easier to bring civil rights suits by allowing those employees to be sued in state court instead of federal.

House Bill 222- Special Education Ombud Act (Signed April 5)

Under House Bill 222, the measure will establish an office within the Developmental Disabilities Council to advocate for the educational rights of students seeking special education services. According to a news release, the special education ombud will serve as a watchdog for public school students and provide support for families.

Senate Bill 17 – Family Income Index Act (Signed April 5)

Senate Bill 17 will help the state more evenly distribute money to schools. The Family Income Index allows the Public Education Department to access information from other agencies and census data to identify the household income of every public school students in the state.

Senate Bill 140 – Child Support Changes (Signed April 5)

Senate Bill 140 updates the state’s statute to align with federal rules that are based on the combined parents’ actual income and the non-custodial parents’ ability to pay. It will also allow the state to focus on providing employment opportunities and job security to help non-custodial parents meet their obligations.

House Bill 29 and Senate Bill 80 – No School Discrimination for Hair (Signed April 5)

The “Crown Act,” as it’s known nationally, was conceived as a measure to protect African Americans from discrimination based on natural or traditional hairstyles. Under the new law, traditional hairstyles and religious coverings cannot be prohibited in work or school dress codes or used as an excuse to turn someone down for a job.

House Bill 6 – State Equalization Guarantee Distributions (Signed April 5)

House Bill 6, will end credits for impact aid payments in the public school funding formula, providing school districts with federally impacted land access to more than $60 million. The bill will also have a recurring $67 million appropriation from the general fund so that ensures that no district will be financially harmed from the change.

House Bill 183 – No Fines or Fees for Some Juvenile Crimes (Signed Mar. 30)

Under House Bill 183, the measure removes eliminates fines for the possession of cannabis by a minor and modifies the requirement for community service to a maximum of 48 hours. The bill would also remove a nonrefundable “application fee” for public defender representation for any child subject to the provisions of the state Delinquency Act.

Senate Bill 35 – Minimum Wage For Secondary School Students (Signed Mar. 18)

Under Senate Bill 35, all high school-aged workers would make the state’s $10.50 an hour minimum wage instead of their current $8.50 an hour. Many argued it was unfair to pay kids less for the same work.

House Bill 57 – Prescribed Burning Act (Signed Mar. 18)

The Prescribed Burning Act would clarify liability for private landowners who conduct prescribed burns which makes insurance more available and affordable. 

House Bill 22 – Grow Your Own Teachers Act Scholarship (Signed Mar. 18)

House Bill 22 will expand who can qualify into the Grow Your Own Teachers program which is designed to increase the number of teachers in the state.

House Bill 52 – Bilingual Multicultural Ed Advisory Council (Signed Mar. 18)

House Bill 52 will establish a 15-member Bilingual Multicultural Education Advisory Council.

House Bill 157 – Mining Act Forfeiture Fund (Signed Mar. 18)

The bill gives the state authorization to create a fund to receive and manage financial assurance to pay for long-term reclamation in the rare case that a mine operator defaults.

House Bill 255 – Alcohol Deliveries (Signed Mar. 17)

House Bill 255, a reform bill that has been approved by the Legislature and will provide for home delivery of alcohol. The Governor’s Office states that the alcohol delivery permits can be issued to retailers, dispensers, craft distillers, winegrowers, small brewers, and restaurant licensees and that ID checks are mandatory for deliveries.

Senate Bill 52 – Extended Unemployment Benefits (Signed Mar. 17)

Senate Bill 52 is a technical adjustment to the state unemployment benefit statute that accommodates changes to federal requirements that have come about as a result of pandemic-related unemployment programs.

Senate Bill 122 – Non-Pharmacist Use of Insignias (Signed Mar. 17)

Senate Bill 122 clarifies the use of certain insignias under the state Pharmacy Act.

Senate Bill 2 – Waive 2021 Liquor License Fees (Signed Mar. 9)

The legislation will allow the state to waive annual liquor license fees as businesses struggle to rebound amid the pandemic. The governor said the food and beverage industry is a key piece of the state’s economy. Under the legislation, the next annual fee for renewed liquor licenses and for all new licenses issued in this year will be waived. 

Senate Bill 1 – Restaurant Gross Receipt Tax Deduction (Signed Mar. 3)

Senate Bill 1 will create a $600 income tax credit for people earning less than $31,200 a year who are also claiming the working families tax credit. It also provides a short gross receipts tax break for businesses like restaurants, breweries, food trucks and wineries for four months in 2021. Businesses would be able to pocket that sales tax money while the state would reimburse local government for the loss of that tax revenue. 

Senate Bill 3 – Small Business Recovery Act (Signed Mar. 3)

The bill will provide more than $460 million in low-interest relief loans. It would also make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to receive up to $75,000.

House Bill 11 – GRT and Permanent Funds for LEDA Projects (Signed Feb. 26)

House Bill 11 will provide $200 million from the state general fund to thousands of businesses that experienced income declines in 2020. The bill will also provide individual grants of up to $100,000 without repayment to businesses for the reimbursement of rent, lease or mortgage obligations on property located in New Mexico.

Among the guidelines:

  • Businesses must be operating in New Mexico with fewer than 75 employees per location;
  • Businesses must demonstrate a loss of revenue for at least one quarter between 2019 and 2020;
  • Funding must be used for reimbursement of rent, mortgage or lease obligations;
  • The grant must be accompanied by job creation for each quarter prior to one of the quarterly payments; and
  • The grants will be paid out in quarterly installments.

Senate Bill 10 – Abortion Ban (Signed Feb. 26)

Senate Bill 10 repeals a 1969 state statute that criminalized abortion in New Mexico. Criminalizing abortion became a state law in the late 1960s, but the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade made New Mexico’s abortion ban unenforceable. Since then, abortions have been legal in our state.

Gov. Lujan Grisham said that a woman has the right to make decisions about her own body. “Anyone who seeks to violate bodily integrity, or to criminalize womanhood, is in the business of dehumanization. New Mexico is not in that business – not anymore. Our state statutes now reflect this inviolable recognition of humanity and dignity. I am incredibly grateful to the tireless advocates and legislators who fought through relentless misinformation and fear-mongering to make this day a reality. Equality for all, equal justice and equal treatment – that’s the standard. And I’m proud to lead a state that today moved one step closer to that standard.”

House Bill 1 – Feed Bill (Signed Jan. 21)

House Bill 1 makes a series of General Fund appropriations to cover expenses of the 2021 Session of the Legislature.

Other Signed House Bills

Other Signed Senate Bills

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