NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – This week is expected to be busy for the Legislative Session. Lawmakers still have many high-profile measures to decide on before the session ends on March 20.

Gov. signs Senate Bill 2 – waiving annual liquor license fees

  • License fees can range as high as several thousand dollars annually.
  • It is estimated the waivers will save businesses in New Mexico roughly $3.5 million in total.
  • Senate Bill 2 was sponsored by Sen. Brenda McKenna, Sen. Jacob Candelaria, Rep. Liz Stefanics, and Rep. Matthew McQueen.

As the 2021 session winds down, here are the bill we are keeping on eye on March 9, 2021:

House Bill 12- Cannabis Regulation Act

  • The bill is being heard in the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee
  • If passed, it would make recreational marijuana legal in New Mexico.  
  • People 21-years-old and older will be allowed to buy at least two ounces of cannabis flowers and at least 16 grams of cannabis extract at one time. 
  • Analysts claim legalizing recreational marijuana will create about 1,500 new jobs. 
  • This bill has passed the House, this will be its first Senate committee. 

House Bill 256 – Elder Workforce Development Task Force

  • The bill is being heard in the Senate Indian, Rural & Cultural Affairs Committee
  • The Aging and Long-Term Services Department would create a task force to determine the feasibility of launching elder workforce development opportunities in selected rural and tribal communities. 
  • The task force will look at areas in New Mexico where older adults need home and community-based services or that will need home and community-based services in the future. 
  • The task force will also look at the availability of transportation services for older people to get to medical appointments, grocery stores and even social opportunities. 
  • The task force will look at any barriers rural and tribal committees have to offer adequate services and support for older adults
  • This bill passed the House, this is its first committee in the Senate. 

House Joint Resolution 12 – Public Officer Salary Commission, CA

  • The joint resolution is being heard on the House Floor.
  • This would create a public officer salary commission which will establish and limit salaries for the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and other elected officials. 
  • The commission would also establish salaries for state lawmakers. Currently, state lawmakers are not paid legislators and they only get about $174 of per diem money for food, lodging during a legislative session. 
  • If passed, it will go to the Senate.