Editor’s Note: Prior to the opening of the 2021 legislative session, the Sun published a list of proposed bills identified as must-pass legislation by Retake Our Democracy, a Sante Fe advocacy organization of which our guest columnist is director. Paul Gibson returns today with a brief roundup of the fate of these “Transformative Bills.” For a fuller explanation of each of the bills marked with an asterisk below, you can consult the original column by clicking here.
When you take on advocacy for “transformational” legislation, you are not going to bat 100 percent. By all rights, we should be quite pleased with the passage of 10 and maybe eleven of the bills Retake Our Democracy and our allies pushed for, but that is difficult when nine very good bills were killed.
But it wasn’t that our advocacy conducted failed us, it is that some Democrats failed us. Again.
We point to the importance of elections, which in 2020 saw the replacement of conservative Democratic Senators with progressives. The majority of the Transformative Bills that passed in 2021 would not have passed in 2020.
Four of the nine bills that were killed died in Senate Judiciary and four in House Appropriations. In our upcoming Report Card, which will be published on Retake’s website and in the Sun, we will dive more deeply into the “hows” and “whos” involved in both the wins and the losses, as there is much to learn about how sausage is made in Santa Fe. For now, here are the Cliff Notes.
• HJR-1 Permanent Fund for Early Childhood Amendment.* PASSED
• HB7/SB10 Repeal Abortion Ban.* PASSED
• HB12 Cannabis Regulation Act.* TO BE PASSED. Stalled on the Senate floor. Headed for special session, where it will certainly pass or the governor would not be bringing the legislature back to reconsider it. We’ll call it a win.
• HB16 Rural Opportunities Act. PASSED after morphing into a memorial.
• HB20 Healthy Workplace Act AKA, Paid Sick Leave.* PASSED, although with considerable acrimony on the Senate floor and Sen. Ivey-Soto pretty much losing it.
• HB40 Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act. KILLED in House Appropriations.
• HB47 Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options. PASSED.
• HB86 Native American Internet Library and Education. KILLED in House Appropriations.
• HB149/SB66 Installment Loan Lending Rates.* UNCERTAIN. It may not be over yet. The special session called by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is the last hope for SB66. It will give the legislature the opportunity to address unfinished business: namely, passing HB12, the Cannabis Regulation Act. But the governor has signaled that she is open to putting other bills on the call, if she believes they are likely to pass.
• HB203 Health Security Planning and Design.* FUNDED in SB377, despite efforts by the chairperson of House Appropriations to kill it by refusing to call it for a hearing.
• HB207 Food Hunger and Farm Act. KILLED in House Appropriations and Finance.
• HB236 Public Banking Act.* KILLED in House Appropriations via tabling motion.
• HB291 Tax Changes.* PASSED, albeit with a couple of bad amendments from Senate Finance.
• SJR3 Environmental Review Act (AKA Green Amendment).* KILLED in Senate Judiciary, never called for a hearing.
• SJR4 Review of Salaries Every Two Years, AKA Paid Legislature. KILLED in Senate Judiciary, never called for a hearing.
• SB83 Local Choice Energy.* KILLED when tabled by Senate Tax, Business and Transportation with two Democrat Senators voting with Republicans.
• SB86 Use of Water in Gas and Oil Operations.* KILLED in Senate Judiciary, never called for a hearing.
• SB112 Sustainable Economy Task Force. PASSED
• SB155 Energy Transition Act Changes.* KILLED when abled in Senate Judiciary.
• SB15 Voting District Geographic Boundaries. PASSED after morphed into SB304.