CVNM’s 2017 Legislative Session Outcomes
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**Starred bills are high-priority. Votes on these measures may be weighted on CVNM’s Scorecard.
HB 24: State Trust Lands Restoration Fund (Ezzell/McCamley)
HB 24 establishes a fund for remediation or restoration of state trust lands, constituted of 1% of the income derived from the state trust lands. The bill has been amended to prevent bad actors from relying on public funding to perform remediation or restoration. HB 24 passed the House (60-0) and the Senate (40-0). The bill was signed by the Governor on March 29, 2017.
HB 58: Rulemaking Requirements (Gentry/L. Trujillo/T. Salazar/Ivey-Soto)
The state will benefit from stronger and clearer administrative rulemaking requirements. After amendments, the current version of HB 58 removed a requirement that every state rule sunset after 12 years, allowing CVNM to support this bill. HB 58 passed the House (63-0) and the Senate (40-0). The bill was signed by the Governor on April 7, 2017.
HB 92: Stricter Game & Fish Violation Penalties (Baldonado)
HB 92 provides for greater penalties against persons who break game and fish rules in taking of certain wildlife. The threat of greater penalties may serve to protect game animals and fish. HB 92 passed the House (66-0) and the Senate (37-2). The bill was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2017.
HB 415: State Agency Wastewater Project Financing (Crowder/Ro. Martinez)
This bill makes state agencies eligible for low-cost financial assistance in the construction of necessary wastewater facilities through the creation of a self-sustaining program. This would help improve and protect water quality and public health. HB 415 passed the House (66-0) and the Senate (37-0). The bill was signed by the Governor on April 6, 2017.
HJR 8: State Ethics Commission, CA (Dines/Steinborn/Small/McCamley/Ely)
HJR 8 will create an independent ethics commission authorized to investigate, issue opinions and adjudicate violations of laws governing standards of conduct of members of the legislative and executive branch, employees, contractors and lobbyists. A strong ethical oversight body will help to ensure that legislators are transparently representing the conservation values of their constituents. HJR 8 passed the House (66-0) and the Senate (30-9). The measure will now be decided by the voters in the next general election.
HB 144/HB 154/HB 280/SB 6: Industrial Hemp Research Rules (Gomez/Little/ Maestas; McSorley)
These bills would have allowed the NM Department of Agriculture to issue licenses to permit growing industrial hemp for research and development purposes. Industrial hemp is a versatile, fast growing and drought resistant crop that requires little pesticides or herbicides and would serve to diversify New Mexico farmers’ cash crops. HB 144, which was combined with HB 154 and HB 280, passed the House and Senate and was vetoed by the Governor. SB 6 passed the Senate and House and was vetoed by the Governor.
SB 81: Wildlife Trafficking Act (Stewart/Chasey)
SB 81 makes trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction a crime and establishes penalties. This will help preserve endangered species and also keep money out of the hands of international criminals. SB 81 passed the Senate (27-12) and the House (42-24). The bill was pocket vetoed (not signed by April 7, 2017) by the Governor.
SB 86: Water Rights Notices Posted Online (Cisneros/T. Salazar)
SB 86 requires the state engineer to post water rights applications on its website, encouraging more transparency in water rights assignment. SB 86 passed the Senate (40-0) and the House (59-0). The bill was vetoed by the Governor.
SB 227: State Facility Renewable Energy Use (Steinborn)
SB 227 requires the General Services Department to adopt rules for and issue requests for proposals (RFP) to analyze and implement renewable energy improvements for state facilities. SB 227 passed the Senate (36-4) and the House (44-19). The bill was vetoed by the Governor.
**HB 61/HB 82/SB 41: Extend Solar Market Tax Credit (Maestas-Barnes/M. Garcia /McQueen; Stewart)
These bills would have reinstated and extended the tax credit for residential and commercial construction of solar systems. The bills provided for gradually phasing out of the tax credit over 8 years and established an aggregate cap. This tax credit has helped many New Mexicans invest in solar energy for their homes, businesses and farms, improving the environment and public health by reducing the demand for coal-fired electricity. HB 61 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee. HB 82 was combined with HB 61. SB 41 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
HB 73: Public Officials as Lobbyists (Dines/Ferrary/Small)
HB 73 prohibited statewide elected officials, PRC members, former legislators and cabinet secretaries from accepting compensation as lobbyists for two years after their public service. HB 73 died on the Senate floor calendar.
HB 89/SB 278: Cannabis Revenue & Freedom Act (McCamley/J. Martinez; Ortiz y Pino)
These bills would have revised law regarding marijuana and industrial hemp to allow the state to provide for taxation and establishment of a control board and funds for substance abuse prevention and public safety. Industrial hemp is a versatile, fast growing and drought resistant crop that requires little pesticides or herbicides and would serve to diversify New Mexico farmers’ cash crops. HB 89 died in the House Business and Industry Committee. SB 278 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
HB 109: Wild Animal Bite & Attack Procedures (Garcia Richard)
HB 109 defined procedures for handling wild animals that have bitten or attacked people. These procedures would have preserved the life of the animal if it was acting normally for the situation and promoted science-based wildlife management. HB 109 died in the House State Government, Indian and Veteran Affairs Committee.
HB 119: Prohibition Period for Candidate Contribution (McQueen)
HB 119 would have prohibited contribution to candidates within a certain period and made clarifying language changes to prevent candidates from accepting contributions whether or not they were solicited. HB 119 died in the Senate Rules Committee.
HB 166: Exempt Hemp from Controlled Substances (Little)
HB 166 would have exempted industrial hemp from the definition of “marijuana” in the Controlled Substances Act. This was an enabling bill for HB 154. HB 166 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
**HB 193: Solar Market Tax Credit Permanent (Ely)
HB 193 would have made the tax credit for installing solar systems permanent and combined photovoltaic and thermal under a single aggregate cap. The bill also introduced the solar market development corporate income tax credit and specified a larger, $20 million cap for it. In addition, HB 193 provided an increased credit for low income households. HB 193 died in the House Business and Industry Committee.
HB 245: Biodiesel Standards Suspension (Small/Ortiz y Pino)
HB 245 would have shortened the period of time (from six months to sixty days) that biodiesel requirements could be suspended due to unavailability or cost of biodiesel. A shorter period of suspension would have reduced emissions from pure diesel operations. HB 245 died in the House Labor and Economic Development Committee.
HB 254: Game Commission Legislative Appointments (McQueen)
HB 254 would have revised the way members of the Game Commission are appointed. In doing so, it would have reduced the effect of politics on appointments and increased the role of science based decision making. HB 254 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
HB 272: Import & Sale of Firewood (Lente)
HB 272 would have prohibited the import and sale of firewood from other states unless the firewood has been treated in a manner prescribed by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. This would help prevent wood-borne pests or diseases entering NM from other states. HB 272 died in the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 291: Financial Disclosure for Appointees (Small/J. Martinez/Dow)
This bill would have required appointees to vacant elective office to file a financial disclosure with the secretary of state, resulting in greater governmental transparency. HB 291 died on the Senate calendar.
HB 292: No State Land For Border Wall (J. Martinez/L. Trujillo/Ch. Trujillo/Rubio/ McCamley)
This bill would have prohibited a border wall from being built on state land between New Mexico and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora. A border wall would be detrimental to the migration of land-based wildlife in the border region. There are ESA listed species of concern that would be impacted, e.g., jaguars. HB 292 died on the House calendar.
**HB 338/SB 342: Community Solar Gardens Act (Roybal Caballero; Lopez)
These bills would have allowed renters, low-income utility customers and persons without suitable locations for solar generation on their premises to participate in local solar generation facilities by allowing individuals to buy a portion of a community solar installation or “solar garden”. This would have stimulated the adoption of solar energy generation by more New Mexicans by making it more accessible to more New Mexicans and reducing our dependence on coal and nuclear fueled energy. HB 338 failed to pass the House (31-34). SB 342 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
HB 351/SB 365: Define & Schedule Cannabidiol (D. Armstrong; O’Neill)
These bills would have removed cannabidiol (CBD) from the schedule of controlled substances. CBD preparations are incredibly beneficial for people suffering from intractable epilepsy or pain, and have no psychoactive properties. This bill could have enabled the growing of certain industrial hemp cultivars high in CBD, and significantly increase the commercial potential of industrial hemp. HB 351 died in the House Judiciary Committee. SB 365 died in the House Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 360/SB 368: Five Percent Biodiesel Standards (Gonzales; Ingle)
These bills would have required that all diesel fuel be 5% biodiesel during the months April through September. They allowed for suspension of this requirement dependent on blending infrastructure, cost and available supply. Biodiesel is diesel blended with sustainable vegetable oils and burns cleaner than regular diesel. HB 360 died in the House Labor and Economic Development Committee. SB 368 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
HB 371: No False Statements to Environment Dept. (Fajardo)
HB 371 would have prohibited making false statements to the Environment Department by holders of liquid waste permits, operators of liquid waste systems and operators of water supply systems. It would have provided for criminal penalties for violations. It would have helped ensure safe drinking water systems and wastewater systems that would not pollute. HB 371 was amended in committee to take out wastewater systems and only apply to drinking water systems. HB 371 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
HB 400: Recovery of Renewable Energy Costs (Rubio)
HB 400 would have amended sections of the Renewable Energy Act to delete the reasonable cost threshold (RCT) as a method for determining recovery of costs for meeting renewable energy portfolio (RPS) standards. The RCT was conceived as an extra layer of security to protect consumers from price hikes associated with RPS implementation. It’s unnecessary, outdated, over-complicated, and acts as a tool for utilities to avoid compliance with the RPS. Removing this threshold would have made it easier for both the Public Regulation Commission and utilities to develop plans allowing them to comply with the RPS in the most economically reasonable manner. HB 400 died on the House calendar.
HB 418: Inter-Basin Water Right Transfer Requirements (G. Armstrong)
HB 418 would have imposed additional requirements for the diversion and use of groundwater from the area of origin for use outside that area; it would have made it more difficult to divert water from one source to a different location lying outside of that ground water source. This bill would have made it easier to manage and conserve water resources at the watershed level. HB 418 died on the House calendar.
HB 440/SB 432: Renewable Energy Tax Credit Changes (Dodge/Crowder; Sanchez)
These bills would have increased the amount of electricity that can be produced subject to the renewable energy tax credit, extended the date by which electricity must be generated to qualify for the credit and included geothermal as a qualified energy source. They also would have decreased the amount of credit per kilowatt hour for certain tax years and limited the period for which the credit may be claimed to ten years. This was a utility focused tax credit, aimed at benefitting larger, production scale renewable energy projects. HB 400 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. SB 432 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
HB 468: Elected ABQ/Bernalillo Water Utility Board (Romero/Roybal Caballero/ Ch. Trujillo)
HB 468 would have provided for an elected board of directors for the Albuquerque/Bernalillo water utility and established rules for members’ election. This would have provided greater transparency and more proportionate representation regarding water issues in New Mexico’s largest and most populous city and county. HB 468 died on the House calendar.
HB 489: Exclude Greenfield Areas from TIDD Act (Romero/Ruiloba)
HB 489 would have disallowed the use of Tax Increment Development Districts (TIDDs) for development of undeveloped “greenfield” land – land in pristine condition that has not been developed. The Use of TIDDs to finance sprawl type developments, which will use additional water and remove native habitat, among other environmental impacts, should be curtailed. HB 489 died in the House Judiciary Committee.
HJR 3: Independent Redistricting Commission, CA (Ca. Trujillo/O’Neill)
This resolution would have provided for the creation of an independent redistricting commission to develop redistricting plans for state and congressional offices; provides for a largely bipartisan commission. Reducing the impact of gerrymandering will improve the responsiveness of elected officials to their constituents, allowing them to more accurately represent conservation values. HJR 3 died in the House Judiciary Committee.
SB 70: Free State Park Passes for People Over 65 (Sanchez)
SB 70 would have provided for free State Park passes for people over the age of 65. It would have facilitated more public use of public lands. SB 70 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
SB 107: State Agency Post-Contract Audits (Rue/L. Trujillo)
SB 107 would have required post-contract audits of state agency contracts of $10 million or more. This would have encouraged more transparency in government and helped assure New Mexico is getting a good value for the dollar on contracted projects, including conservation projects. SB 107 failed on the Senate Floor.
SB 157: Interstate Stream Commission Membership (Wirth)
This bill would have changed the composition of the Interstate Stream Commission in order to more fairly represent communities impacted by the commission’s actions and help remove political bias. SB 157 died in the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee.
SB 215: Energy & Water Project Financing (Wirth)
SB 215 would have allowed a property owner to enter into an assessment contract (financing in their mortgage) with a renewable energy district for purposes of financing energy improvements (including distributed renewable energy systems, energy storage systems or energy efficiency improvements) or water conservation improvements to the owner’s property. These types of programs are also called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs. SB 215 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
SB 218: State Ethics Commission Act (Lopez/Roybal Caballero)
SB 218 would have created a state ethics commission and granted it certain powers under the act. It provided for filing of ethics complaints against certain state officials, public employees, contractors, and lobbyists. It made an appropriation to fund the act and commission. This legislation would have enabled the ethics commission formed in HJR 8. A strong ethical oversight body will help to ensure that legislators are transparently representing the conservation values of their constituents. SB 218 died in the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 226: Efficient Utility Water Use (Steinborn)
SB 226 would have required public utilities to include water use efficiency in their integrated resource plans (IRP) in addition to other efficiencies and resources currently required to be included in the plans. It specified the analysis should include impacts to water quality. SB 226 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
SB 248: Utility Acceptance of Gov’t Renewable Energy (Stefanics)
SB 248 would have required utilities and electric cooperatives to participate in solar projects planned by local governments, political subdivisions or state post-secondary educational institutions and to accept the energy generated by those projects. SB 248 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
SB 266: State Game Commission Mission & Purpose (Steinborn)
This bill would have clarified the mission of the NM Game Commission; specified that the state game commission has authority to protect all species of wildlife, including protected game species, furbearers and non-game species. It also would have specified it is state policy to provide a system for the protection of all of the wildlife of New Mexico as a public trust resource for the use and enjoyment of all New Mexicans, including future generations. SB 266 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
SB 267: Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals & Coyotes (Steinborn)
SB 267 would have provided for the protection of fur-bearing animals; it added coyotes and skunks to the animals whose taking is regulated by permit. It instructed the state Game Commission to rely on the best available science to regulate the taking of fur-bearing animals. SB 267 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
**SB 268: Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests (Steinborn/Moores)
SB 268 would have prohibited coyote killing contests, which are defined as an organized or sponsored competition with the objective of killing coyotes for prizes or entertainment. It would not have prevented the hunting of coyotes or depredation control of coyotes. SB 268 died on the House calendar.
SB 286: NM Wildlife Protection & Public Safety Act (Campos)
This bill would have placed restrictions on the use of traps and poisons to kill wildlife. This would have helped protect wildlife, as well as people and companion animals, from indiscriminately placed traps and poisons. SB 286 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
**SB 307: Oil & Gas Act Powers & Penalties (Martinez)
SB 307 would have re-established administrative and civil penalty authority for the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) to pursue violations of the Oil and Gas Act that result in discharge of contaminants. This authority was lost in the Marbob Energy Corp. v. N.M. Oil Conservation Comm. case. The court determined that legislature needed to give the authority to OCD to collect these penalties, and that OCD could not grant the authority to itself. This bill would have addressed a clear need in OCD’s regulatory enforcement scheme. SB 307 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
**SB 312: Renewable Energy Requirements for Utilities (Stewart/Small)
SB 312 would have increased the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to require that renewable energy comprise 70% of total retail sales to NM customers of rural electric cooperatives by 2040 and requires that renewable energy comprise 80% of total retail sales to NM customers of public utilities by 2040. It also prescribes the formula by which these goals are to be achieved. This would have the effect of reducing the demand for fossil fuel energy, which negatively impacts the environment, climate and public health. SB 312 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
**SB 340: Legislative Authorization for NM Unit (Morales/Rue)
This bill would have required legislative authorization to expend money from the NM Unit Fund, which consists of money distributed to the state by the federal Colorado River Basin Project Act and the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act. It requires the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) to determine that projects are technically feasible and to approve technical projections of the water to be produced and its intended use. SB 340 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
SB 341: Session Contributions to Public Officials (Lopez)
SB 341 would have prohibited contributions to the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, attorney general and commissioner of public lands and candidates for those positions during legislative sessions. It served to reduce undue influence over legislative matters, including conservation legislation. SB 341 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
SB 350: Agricultural Land Valuations (Wirth/Neville)
This bill would have allowed land owners to take land valued as agricultural land out of agricultural production and leave it as open space,.. The open space land then would be valued at more than the agricultural value, but not valued at the much higher developed land rate, and would not be subject to the five year tax claw back. This would have allowed land owners to preserve the land for future agricultural use should they or their successors wish to return it to production, rather than being economically forced to sell off or develop the land, thus contributing to rural sprawl. SB 350 died in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.
**SB 360: Investor-Owned Utility Procurement Process (Cervantes/Tallman)
SB 360 would have required a competitive resource procurement process for electric utilities and required an independent evaluation of proposed purchases of power or sources of power. The bill would have made resource acquisition more transparent and potentially encouraged more purchases of renewable energy. SB 360 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
SB 375: Royalty Rates on State Trust Lands (Morales)
This bill would have granted, but would not have mandated, the commissioner of public lands the authority to raise the royalty rate and its point of application (for all oil and gas extracted, not just that saved) for oil and gas extracted from public lands to enhance revenue for beneficiaries. It also gave the authority to require reporting of gas venting and flaring. SB 375 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
SB 413: Uses of Oil & Gas Reclamation Fund (Muñoz)
SB 413 would have limited the use of the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund for agency employee salaries. The bill provided that beginning in fiscal year 2023, 85% of the expenditures from the fund would be used to pay for contract services for plugging, remediation and restoration work. SB 413 died on the Senate calendar.
SB 431: Recycled Metals Act (Neville)
SB 431 would have changed the Sale of Recycled Metals Act name to Recycled Metals Act. It would have caused dealers of recycled metals to renew licenses once each year instead of every three years, thereby regulating the business more carefully. It also would have put stronger requirements on metal recyclers for tracking regulated metals acquisitions. More recording would have equaled more accountability when it came to cleaning up the groundwater damage that frequently follows metal recyclers and scrapyards. SB 431 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
SB 435: No Use of Water Rights Before Approval (Wirth)
SB 435 would have required approval of water rights by the State Engineer prior to the use of the water right. This bill may have led to less oversubscribing of water rights. SB 435 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
SB 459: Valuation of Certain Open Space Land (Padilla)
This bill would have required that land with open space covenants and restrictions have its value assessed based on comparably restricted lands. This would have ensured that land owners pay appropriate taxes on their restricted land based on its value as undeveloped land. As it applies to open spaces primarily in urban areas, it would also have helped with permeability and storm water management issues. SB 459 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
SB 476: Public Elementary School Solar Panels (Padilla)
SB 476 would have required the public school capital outlay council to develop a plan to purchase and install solar panels on elementary schools. It gave public school facilities authority to do so in years 2018 through 2021. SB 476 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
A number of measures posed great risks to New Mexico’s natural resources – by subsidizing polluters, removing regulations, or encouraging activities that threaten our environment. We urged all of our Representatives and Senators to OPPOSE these bills, and we are pleased to report that they were all DEFEATED.
HB 65/SB 169: First Right to Build Transmission Facilities (Wooley; Ingle)
These bills would have given public utilities and generation and transmission cooperatives the first right to construct, own and maintain transmission facilities in a regional transmission organization. This bill was intended to counter a specific federal regulation designed to foster competition in the transmission market. HB 65 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, SB 169 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
**HB 275: Public-Private Partnerships Act (Larrañaga/Cisneros)
HB 275 would have allowed state and local governments to enter into partnerships with private sector partners to facilitate public projects. This was a sweeping measure that would have privatized projects that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities such as water and sewage systems. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, water treatment, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term. HB 275 died in the House Labor and Economic Development Committee.
HB 333: Elk Hunting Licenses & Grazing Allotments (Townsend/Gomez/Herrell/ Ezzell/Wooley)
HB 333 would have required the state Game Commission to adopt rules for the issuance of hunting licenses, permits and tags to accomplish a reduction in the elk population proportional to reductions in livestock grazing allotments (due to animals per unit load) by federal land agencies. HB 333 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
**HB 406: Nuclear Energy as Renewable Energy (Brown)
HB 406 would have amended the Renewable Energy Act to include nuclear energy as a renewable energy source. Fissile material such as uranium is not a renewable resource, and its mining and use in nuclear-fueled power plants generates extremely toxic waste. HB 406 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
HB 472: Water Right Administration Changes (Sweetser/Ezzell/Rodella/Herrell/ Dodge)
HB 472 would have preferentially prevented cattle growers from losing water rights if they didn’t use them and restricted the rights of State Engineer to come into possession of water rights that livestock growers possess. The bill would have also granted a right for ranchers to cross over any land necessary to access a water right, putting others’ private property rights at risk. This would have made it much more difficult for the State Engineer to acquire water rights from ranchers. CVNM opposed because of the preferential treatment of one class of water users and the significant negative impacts that cattle have on water quality and riparian zones. HB 472 died in the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 507: Air Quality Control & Expedited Construction (Townsend)
HB 507 would have removed the requirement that a permit must be obtained prior to commencement of construction of a new source of possible air contaminants. HB 507 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
SB 85: Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (Martinez)
SB 85 would have standardized covenants restricting the use of real property that is subject to environmental remediation. However, SB 85 lacked a strong public notice component and did not adequately address notice in less formal land transactions that occur in certain areas of New Mexico such as colonias. SB 85 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
**SB 182: Early Childhood Land Grant Act (Papen)
SB 182 would have provided that if the federal government transferred mineral rights on split estate lands to New Mexico then the development of those rights would have fed a fund for early childhood development and education. This proposal offered dubious future returns for early childhood development at the cost of a drastic expansion of unnecessary development on private lands. SB 182 was tabled at the sponsor’s request and died in the Senate Education Committee.
SB 230: Crop Dusting Tanks As Above Ground Storage (Pirtle/Townsend)
SB 230 would have excluded fuel storage tanks used exclusively for crop dusting or crop spraying services from being considered “above ground storage” as defined by the Hazardous Waste Act. Above ground tanks pose a risk of leaks and spills that could endanger public health and safety. SB 230 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
SB 364: Land Commissioner Review of Nat’l Monuments (Ingle)
SB 364 would have imposed restrictions on changing public lands from state to federal jurisdiction, thereby restricting the federal government’s designation of national monuments. It added the commissioner of public lands as a party to evaluate these changes and specified that national monuments be described by the smallest possible area needed to protect items of concern. SB 364 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
SB 394: Industrial Revenue Bond Changes (Neville)
SB 394 would have provided for county industrial revenue bonds within the Industrial Revenue Bond Act, and made changes to the list of projects that may be funded by these bonds. Significantly, it added mining projects and refineries, treatment plants or processing plants of energy products, subsidizing private for-profit and extractive industries with revenue bonds paid for by taxpayers. SB 394 died in the Senate Finance Committee.
SB 452: Public Use & “Eminent Domain” (Muñoz)
SB 452 would have prevented the use of eminent domain for projects that would create an economic opportunity for the party receiving the condemned land. This bill was in response to the Kelo v. City of New London case, but was drafted tSeoo broadly and may have prevented use of eminent domain by Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) to facilitate construction of renewable energy transmission lines. SB 452 died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
SB 481: Endangered Species Coordination (Burt)
This bill would have implemented a state-based research program to assess the economic impacts of the listing of a species pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act. It would have increased costs to the state for listing endangered species. SB 481 died in the Senate Conservation Committee.
SJR 15: Right to Hunt & Fish, CA (Muñoz)
SJR 15 proposed a constitutional amendment that would have ensured peoples’ right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife with traditional methods, subject to regulations by the state Game and Fish Department. This bill appeared to be governmental over-reach. People can hunt and fish without a constitutional amendment to enable those activities. It also appeared to guarantee the right to use trapping and poisons in hunting. SJR 15 died in the Senate Rules Committee.
**SJR 16: Appointed Three-Member PRC, CA (Sharer)
SJR 16 would have amended the constitution to provide for a three member board of Public Regulation Commission (PRC) commissioners, appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate, rather than the current five member board. This would have overly politicized the make-up of the PRC. SJR 16 died in the Senate Rules Committee.