Welcome to the information and action hub of the BCNM’s Christian Life Committee.

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The resources below gives information about bills in the current legislative session.

CLC 2024 Bill Watcher

Bills to Watch

With the deadline for “Introduction of Legislation” passing on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, most measures that might be tracked by the Christian Life Committee (CLC) have been introduced in either the House of Representatives or the New Mexico State Senate.

Bills in the two sections below, Bills Stalled in Committee and Bills Under Consideration have been found by the CLC to match concerns identified by New Mexico Baptists in resolutions passed by messengers at Annual Meetings of The Baptist Convention of New Mexico from 1995 to the present.

New Mexico Baptists may want to contact their representatives and senators to express their views of these bills.

Bills Stalled in Committees

Numerous pieces of legislation dropped into the House or Senate hoppers have been held up by the committees that determine if a bill’s subject matter is germane to the session. Subject matters that are germane include bills that appropriate state money, deal with taxation, are joint resolutions calling for constitutional amendments, or bills that were received because of the governor issuing a message to include them in her call. Additionally, memorials and joint memorials (expressing legislative intent or recognition) are germane to thirty-day sessions.

The bills below, though introduced in either chamber, have not been found to be germane or have been held up, and will die upon conclusion of the 2024 Legislative Session unless a message is received from the governor, or the committee (House Rules or the Senate Committees Committee) charged with determining their status is persuaded otherwise.

HB 57 – Chemical Castration for Sex Offenders

HB 60 – Crime of Desecration of a Dead Human Body

HB 63 – Cannabis School Use Prevention Resource Act

HB 64 – Cannabis Packaging Requirements

HB 66 – Cannabis in Delinquency Act

HB 77 – Reinstate Death Penalty

HB 103 – Child Exposure to Controlled Substance

HB 109 – Crimes Punishable by Death

HB 110 – Limit Certain Abortions

HB 152 – DWI Changes

HB 155 – Three Strikes Law

HB 167 – Healthcare for Babies Born Alive

HB 205 – Women’s Bill of Rights Act

HB 206 – Penalties for Certain Sex Offenses

HB 223 – Voter ID Requirements

HB 296 – Parental Bill of Rights Act

SB 38 – Primary Election Changes

SB 91 – Infants in First Responder Safety Devices

SB 154 – Sexual Assault Investigations

SB 164 – Universal Basic Income & Pregnancy

SB 221 – Diversity Act

Bills Under Consideration

The following bills are listed for your information. Click on the “+” beside a bill’s name to read a brief description. If you want to look beyond the short summary that accompanies each bill, simply click on the bill number hyperlink in the description and you will be able to view all information of each measure at the legislature’s official website.

PAID FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE ACT House Bill 6 (HB6) would codify a 12-week paid family medical leave (PFML) benefit for nearly all workers in the state and establish a state-run PFML program for employees who do not receive a qualifying benefit from their employer. The bill establishes procedures for administering and overseeing the state PFML program, calculating payroll tax contributions and leave benefits, and establishes mechanisms to maintain fund solvency. SB 3 is a duplicate of HB 6.

HOUSING DISCRIMINATION BASED ON INCOME House Bill 25 (HB25) adds a new definition to the New Mexico Human Rights Act making it unlawful for anyone to discriminate against home buyers or renters based on their source of income and defines sources of income. This bill does not contain an effective date and, as a result, would go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, or May 15, 2024, if enacted.

UNM OFFICE OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION House Bill 35 (HB 35) appropriates $1,178,286 from the general fund to UNM Health Sciences Center’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the purpose of supporting the communities to careers program. This bill does not contain an effective date and, as a result, would go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, or May 15, 2024, if enacted.

SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS House Bill 70 (HB 70) appropriates $38 million from the general fund to the state equalization guarantee distribution of the public school fund for the purpose of providing school-based mental health counselors in public middle and high schools. This bill does not contain an effective date and, as a result, would go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, or May 15, 2024, if enacted.

FAMILY IN NEED OF COURT-ORDERED SERVICES House Bill 95 (HB 95) amends the Family in Need of Court-Ordered Services (FINCOS) Act to expand the definition of “family in need of court-ordered services” under Section 32A-3B-2 NMSA 1978 to include families who were subject to investigation by the Children, Youth and Families Department and for whom credible evidence was found that the child was abused or neglected, as provided by the Abuse and Neglect Act (Section 32A-4 NMSA 1978).

PRENATAL SUBSTANCE EXPOSURE TASK FORCE House Bill 97 (HB97), making note of a rising number of infants exposed to toxic substances such as fentanyl in utero and the high social and financial costs of care for infants damaged by those exposures, would ask the Department of Health to establish a taskforce to study the issue and to recommend solutions to the problem and its secondary effects. The task force would be asked to develop a plan to prevent prenatal drug exposure, increasing services for pregnant women and also to treat and ameliorate the effects of prenatal drug exposure once an infant has been born having been exposed.

FENTANYL EXPOSURE AS CHILD ABUSE House Bill 106 (HB106) amends Section 30-6-1 NMSA 1978, which deals with crimes against children and dependents. Section 1, subsection J of the bill, would amend Section 30-6-1-J NMSA 1978 to add fentanyl to methamphetamine, where now knowing or intentional exposure to either of these two drugs would represent prima facie evidence of child abuse. The bill appropriates $500 thousand from the general fund to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of expanding that agency’s investigation of “child and abuse and neglect cases to include those cases involving fentanyl.” The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2024.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING & SEXUAL EXPLOITATION CRIME House Bill 116 (HB116) broadens the definition of “sexual exploitation of children by prostitution” to include all minors up to the age of 18, rather than just those under 16. Additionally, the bill specifies that it is not a valid defense if the victim involved in such a crime is a police officer posing as a minor. In terms of human trafficking, HB116 introduces several changes. It extends the range of activities considered human trafficking to include harboring, maintaining, patronizing, or providing support for such activities. This means that property owners where human trafficking occurs, as well as clients of trafficked individuals, can now be prosecuted. The bill also lowers the threshold for prosecution, requiring only that the defendant “should have known” about the use of force, fraud, or coercion. New grounds for prosecution are added, especially in cases where labor services are used to compel debt repayment under unfair conditions.

PROHIBIT LIBRARY BOOK BANNING House Bill 123 (HB123) prohibits the banning of public library materials. In order to receive state funding, libraries must comply with the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights (LBR). Library materials cannot be proscribed or removed for the reasons stated under Section 1(A)(1). In the alternative, libraries can adopt a written policy that prohibits book banning as set forth in Section 1(A)(2). Political subdivisions may not reduce public library funding due to this prohibition against book banning. Individuals may challenge library materials by following applicable procedures. Ban means the removal of library materials. Challenge means the attempt to remove said materials. Public library pertains to those required to submit an annual New Mexico public library survey.

CANNABIS REGULATION CHANGES (HB 128) Among numerous changes to the regulation of the cannabis industry, this bill contains new limitations on packaging of cannabis products. HB128 requiring opaque packaging, prohibits packaging that mimics non-cannabis consumer products, and use of images that appeal to children, raises concern there are no requirements packaging be plain and a single uniform color or prohibiting the use of bright colors. Additionally, SB6 does not specifically prohibit the use of toys, animals, or phrases that appeal to children. Further, also requiring edibles be packaged in individually wrapped doses would add an extra layer of protection for both children and adults.

POST-SECONDARY AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT POLICIES House Bill 151 (HB151) requires post-secondary institutions that receive state funds to adopt trauma-informed policies and responses for the investigation of allegations of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and harassment involving a student, faculty member, employee, contractor, or regent. The bill stipulates policies and procedures shall reference affirmative consent as the standard to determine whether consent to sexual activity was given by all parties and states that existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations shall never, by itself, be assumed to be an indicator of consent.

PRENATAL SUBSTANCE EXPOSURE TASK FORCE House Memorial 3 (HM 3) House Memorial 3, making note of a rising number of infants exposed to toxic substances such as fentanyl in utero and the high social and financial costs of care for infants damaged by those exposures, would ask the Department of Health to establish a taskforce to study the issue and to recommend solutions to the problem and its secondary effects. The task force would be asked to develop a plan to prevent prenatal drug exposure, increasing services for pregnant women and also to treat and ameliorate the effects of prenatal drug exposure once an infant has been born having been exposed.

AGE APPROPRIATE DESIGN CODE ACT Senate Bill 68 (SB68) creates the Age Appropriate Design Code Act to protect the privacy and well-being of children who access online products and services. The bill would limit the ability of for-profit online companies to collect personal data on users under the age of 18, including location information, or use online marketing techniques to persuade or influence a child to disclose personal data or accidentally pay for a service via online prompts, pop ups, or blackedout content. It requires companies that directly or indirectly target children to conduct a data protection impact assessment, not subject to public records laws, for any publicly accessible online product that analyzes whether the product or service is in the “best interest of children,” defined as a product or service that “will not benefit the entity to the detriment of the child and will not result in physical or financial harm, psychological or emotional harm, a highly offensive intrusion on reasonable privacy expectations, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, or sexual orientation. 

RACKETEERING ACT CHANGES Senate Bill 102 (SB102) amends the Racketeering Act to add these offenses to the list of offenses constituting racketeering: Sexual exploitation of children; Criminal sexual penetration; Criminal sexual contact; Dog fighting and cockfighting; Escape from jail; Escape from penitentiary; Assisting escape; Bringing contraband into places of imprisonment; Tampering with public records; Impersonating a peace officer; and Human trafficking.

SB102 expands the definition of “enterprise” to include criminal gangs, defined to mean three or more persons having a common identifying signal or identifiable leadership and who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities. The bill also creates two new crimes, making it unlawful to: Solicit or coerce another person, including a minor, into becoming or continuing as a member of an enterprise or participating in a racketeering activity of an enterprise, which constitutes a third degree felony; and When in a leadership position within an enterprise to knowingly finance, supervise, or conspire to commit, through the direction of members of the enterprise, any racketeering activity, which constitutes a first degree felony.

HOMELESSNESS REDUCTION DIVISION Senate Bill 166 (SB166) appropriates $1 million from the (general fund to the Health Care Authority for the purpose of funding a new division of HCA dedicated to reducing homelessness, an interagency homelessness reduction taskforce, and a homelessness reduction advisory council. The division’s tasks, as set forth in the bill, would include: Developing a homelessness reduction plan to decrease homelessness and unnecessary institutionalization, improving health outcomes and strengthening safety nets that lead to housing stability; Creating an online data system to collect available data and integrate the activities of programs affecting homelessness; Specify data elements needed in the data system; Identify resources for prevention and amelioration of homelessness; Coordinate activities of state agencies related to homelessness; Advocate for people experiencing homelessness; and Collaborate with agencies and groups working to end homelessness in New Mexico, including the advisory committee. Information in the homeless data collection system would be subject to federal law, but individuals’ personal data would not be discoverable through the Inspection of Public Records Act.

DWI ACT Senate Bill 190 (SB190) amends, recompiles, and repeals several sections of the existing Motor Vehicle Code and adds new DWI sections. The new sections address driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and unlawful alcohol concentrations. The act also addresses penalties for first through eighth and subsequent convictions for driving while intoxicated with liquor or drugs. The act addresses driving while intoxicated with a teenage minor in the vehicle and in those cases whether the teen’s parent requires a penalty assessment and parenting classes. Other requirements include substance abuse counseling and treatment through the Corrections Department. It will also be unlawful to operate a motorboat while under the influence of intoxicating liquors or drugs. Penalties for impaired motorboat operation are also provided. The DWI Act also repeals Sections 66-8-102, 66-8-103, 66-8-104 and 66-13-1 through 66-13-13 NMSA 1978.