The New Mexico state Legislature started Jan. 15. As of Friday, 25 bills have been introduced by area legislators. The deadline for filing is Feb. 14.
Legislation introduced by Curry and Roosevelt County legislators in the 2013 session, as of Jan. 25, includes the following:
Rep. Dennis Roch (R-Texico)
HB17: Licenses dental therapists to be dental health providers, entitled to many of the same tax credits and privileges granted to dentists, in rural areas. Dental therapists would operate under the supervision of dentists.
HB96: Allows teachers to apply unused sick time to years toward retirement. Incentivizes non-use of sick days.
HB97: Makes sentences for causing death or great bodily harm from boating while intoxicated equivalent to those for causing death or serious injury from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
HB98: Allows persons to make exceptions to the Human Rights Act barring discrimination if compliance would violate that person's sincerely held religious beliefs as sworn to in an affidavit in a form approved by the Human Rights Commission.
HB111: Requires the state Public Education Department to pay for developing, administering, scoring and evaluating standards-based assessments, as well as costs associated with compiling and publishing the results. Currently such costs are paid by school districts.
HB139: Would reduce workers' compensation awards in cases where misuse of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, contributed to the worker's injury by the percentage of the cause attributed to such alcohol or drug use.
HB140: Would allow a three-year moving average to serve as the basis for determining annual income to determine whether a public agency qualifies for an audit. Currently, each year's income determines whether the agency will be audited.
HB214: Allows oversize oilfield vehicles to work at night. They currently are not allowed to work after dark. Roch said allowing these vehicles to operate at night lets them take advantage of light traffic for highway travel.
HJR (House Joint Ruling) 1: Would declare sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for New Mexico over powers not granted to the federal government. The resolution would demand that the federal government halt all mandates that are beyond the scope of federal power and that federal laws that direct states to comply under threat of penalties or sanctions, or that require states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be repealed.
Rep. Bob Wooley (R-Roswell)
HB141: Would appropriate $750,000 to the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Dept. to improve and maintain the cemetery at the Fort Stanton State Monument, contingent on receiving a $7.5 million grant from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
Rep. George Dodge (D-Santa Rosa)
HB246: Prohibits courts from entering modifications to child custody, time-sharing or visitation orders until 90 days after the return of a parent from military deployment, unless all parties agree to the entry of a final order. This bill would also require courts to make accommodation in child time-sharing and visitation arrangements to accommodate leave periods for parents on military deployment.
HB247: Appropriates $150,000 to fund college scholarships for military veterans seeking bachelor's or graduate-level degrees.
Sen. Stuart Ingle (R-Portales)
SB114: Allows a state legislator who has been disqualified from receiving pension funds because of failure to make contributions on time the opportunity to be eligible for pension again upon payment of $200 per year of service, plus interest charges.
SB115: Establishes a minimum age for teacher retirement and increase percentage of teacher contributions to retirement funds, along with increases in matching contributions from the school systems. Years of service or minimum age requirements change based on whether teachers started before or after Jan. 1 2010.
SB138: Repeals the New Mexico Fruit and Vegetable Standards statutes.
SB160: Establishes the definition of "biodiesel" as a renewable, biodegradable, combustible liquid fuel that is derived from agricultural plant oils or animal fats. Requires fuel to meet American Society for Testing and Materials specifications for biodiesel fuel, B100 or B99 blend stock for distillate fuel to be considered biodiesel. Defines "blended biodiesel" as a diesel engine fuel that contains at least 2 percent biodiesel.
SB215: Appropriates $100,000 from the general fund to Eastern New Mexico University in fiscal year 2014 to operate the KENM public television station.
SB 216: Appropriates $180,000 to Eastern New Mexico University in fiscal year 2014 for instructional staff salaries and benefits and other costs associated with the ENMU's master of nursing program.
SB243: Appropriates $100,000 each for fiscal 2014 for educational television stations KENW at ENMU, KNME at the University of New Mexico and KRWG at New Mexico State University.
Sen. Pat Woods (R-Broadview)
HJR4: Establishes marriage in New Mexico as the union of one man and one woman.
SB 185: Creating a Frontier Communities program and appropriating $100,000 for its operations in the state Economic Development Department's program. The program would focus on communities of 5,000 people or fewer and help preserve village plazas, squares and town centers.
SB268: Changing the New Mexico Fertilizer Act to provide penalties for altering and limiting the adulteration of fertilizers.
SB275: Defines "extra-hazardous employer" in the Workers' Compensation Act, raises the minimum threshold for a mandatory safety visit, clarifies compensation benefits to beneficiaries, allows all parties to obtain a periodic examination of the worker from a health care provider of choice, and replacing the Safety and Fraud Division in the Workers' Compensation Administration with an Enforcement Bureau.
SB286: Would prohibit the sale of raw milk at New Mexico retail stores.
District 64 Rep, Anna Crook (R-Clovis) did not introduce legislation as of Friday.
For information on the session, visit the Legislature website at www.nmlegis.gov/lsc/