Background Check Legislation Stalls in House Committee

Legislation to help keep guns out of dangerous hands hit a snag in the House Judiciary Committee today where it was tabled on a 7-6 vote. The motion to table ends debate and keeps the bill in committee, essentially ensuring that the bill will not make it to the House floor for a vote. House Bill 50, the original legislation, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 10th and on to the house floor but was sent back by the bill’s sponsor, Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos), to have amendments made. The amendments targeted complications with the bill’s language on ‘gun transfers’ between family members and close friends. The substitute legislation, HB548, scraps the ‘gun transfers’ language and focuses the intention on requiring background checks for gun sales between strangers.

MVD automatic voter registration bill revived

In a move reminiscent of a Walking Dead episode, a previously dead voter automatic voter registration bill came back to live in a House Committee Tuesday, then passed and walked out of committee headed to the House Floor for full consideration. 

Democrats Debbie Rodella (D-Española) and Daymon Ely (D-Corrales) took heat earlier in the week when they voted with Republicans against a previous version of the bill in theHouse Local Government, Elections and Land Grant Committee. But Ely told reporters and Facebook followers that his vote against the bill was strategic, not ideological.  House rules only allow a member who voted to table (voting to stall a bill in committee) to call it back up for a new vote on another day. On Tuesday, Ely recalled the bill and allowed the sponsor to introduce new clarifying language, supported by Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse, giving persons registering for MVD services the opportunity to opt-in to registering to vote.  The previous version did not require MVD to notify persons that they would be registered to vote as well.

House Republicans Stop Solar Tax Credits, Jobs in Committee

From KRWG, Las Cruces: 

 House Republicans Wednesday voted against House Bill 193 in the House Business and Industry committee along a partisan 5-5 vote. HB 193 would have made permanent and expanded New Mexico’s investment in solar energy, creating jobs and diversifying the state’s economy at a time when its over reliance on oil and gas has left us in a deep financial crisis.  Sponsored by Representative Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), HB 193 made permanent the Solar Market Development Tax Credits as well as offering them to both private individuals, low income families as well as commercial businesses. “Never has our state had such a huge need to diversify its economy and to create jobs in industries that are immune to cuts in the federal budget or swings in the price of oil and natural gas,” said Representative Ely. “At a time when New Mexicans are wondering why we aren’t the solar capital of the world, it is really disappointing to see my colleagues across the aisle fail to recognize the job creating potential of solar energy.”

House Bill 193 would have increased the solar tax credit from 10% to 15% of the cost of purchase and installation for families making less than $43,871 per year. The new “solar market development corporate income tax credit” would’ve allowed businesses to claim 10% of the purchase and installation cost of a solar energy system. Currently, there are 96 solar companies who call New Mexico home that employs around 2,000 individuals.

In spite of Trump, Progressives led Democrats to HUGE victories over governor and GOP agenda in New Mexico

While social media seems almost united in calling last night a “disaster” for Democrats nationwide, but here at home the results were a huge disaster for Governor Martinez and the Republican agenda. The State House is now led by a Democratic majority that includes the largest progressive caucus in history. Governor Martinez is now a lame duck forced to work with a larger caucus of progressives in the State Senate. They will decide which issues and bills define her final years in office. And voters finally sent a competent, responsible person to lead the Secretary of State’s Office.