SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Tuesday, March 7, legislators are working to debate bills before the end of the session, which is a little less than two weeks away. Among the bills on the agenda are a bill to let the state offer more “free fishing days” and a bill to prohibit undocumented people from owning firearms

Free fishing days

Tuesday, legislators are scheduled to debate House Bill 197. Sponsored by Democratic legislators, the bill would let the state’s game and fish director to double the number of free fishing days.

Currently, the director is allowed to designate two Saturdays as days when you can fish without a license. The bill would expand that so that there might be four days total where residents and nonresidents alike can fish without a license.

Undocumented individuals and firearms

Legislators are also set to debate a bill to limit access to firearms for certain individuals. House Bill 514, sponsored by Republican legislators, would make it illegal for undocumented people (i.e. people not legally allowed to be in the U.S.) to own or transport a gun.

This session, debates over gun bills have been fairly heated, so it’s hard to say how this bill will fare in committee discussion. But if the bill does make it through as proposed in the initial draft, there’s no clearly laid out penalty for violating the bill, according to a Legislative Finance Committee analysis, so it’s not clear what impact the bill might have.

In case you missed it: Omnibus tax bill

Monday, March 6, legislators revealed a big piece of tax legislation. House Bill 547 seeks to change New Mexico’s income tax structure, offer another round of tax rebates, and create a variety of credits and incentives.

A key point of debate around the bill is the proposed rebate. In 2022, most New Mexicans were eligible for cash rebates between $500 and $1,000. This time around, the proposed rebates range from $300 to $600, and not everyone is happy with the decrease. For more info on the debate, check out this KRQE News 13 story.