It Ain’t Over Until the Session Ends!

In House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, a bill that was tabled on Monday was resurrected and passed on Wednesday. HB 429 Environmental Private Right of Action (Rep Georgene Louis, D). This bill allows private citizens to bring lawsuits against companies they feel are violating environmental laws or regulations. It is the responsibility of the Environmental Department to police any industry regulated by that department, but we heard testimony that individuals and associations have filed suits in the past. So why do we need a new law to encourage this?

This is absolutely horrible legislation that is yet one more example of why New Mexico is viewed as an unfriendly place to do business. Unfortunately, Rep Madalena (D), who orginally voted to table the bill, brought it off for reconsideration. The committee voted as follows:

Voting to pass the bill:
Brian Egolf (D), Chair
Jeff Steinborn (D), Vice Chair
Stephen Easley (D)
Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales (D)
James Roger Madalena (D)
Bill McCamley (D)

Voting against the bill:
Donald E. Bratton (R)
Candy Spence Ezzell (R)
William “Bill” J. Gray (R)
Tim D. Lewis (R)
James R.J. Strickler (R)

HJR 6 Increase Minimum Wage Annually, CA (Miguel P. Garcia, D) this bill met its demise (was tabled or killed) on Tuesday, 2/19/13, in House Voters and Elections Committee. Because it was a Constitutional Amendment, it would’ve gone on the next ballot. If passed by the voters, it would have permanently changed the NM Constitution and could never be changed again without another ballot vote.

Voting to table on a 6-5 vote:
Mary Helen Garcia, D, Chair
Thomas A. Anderson, R
Paul C. Bandy, R
William “Bill” R. Rehm, R
James E. Smith, R
Monica Youngblood, R

Following on the heels of that bill is SB 416 Raise Minimum Wage (Richard Martinez, D). This bill would raise the minimum wage by statute from $6.50 to $8.50 per hour. Hourly wages for employees working for tips would remain at $2.13/hour.

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