State and Federal Legislation
2019 State Legislative Session
House Bill 32 (HB32)/Senate Bill 244 (SB244) – Legal Services for Land Grants/Community Governance Attorney Act – the House version is sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia and the Senate version is sponsored by Senator Ortiz y Pino. These are identical companion bills HB32 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee this past November and has been for several years. The purpose of the bill is to increase the amount of free and/or low cost legal services for land grants, acequias and colonias. The bill will create an opportunity for recent law school graduates to have their 3rdyear of law school paid for by the state provided that upon graduation they work for at least 2 years with a non-profit that provides free or reduced cost legal services to land grants, acequias, and colonias. This will increase the number of attorneys available to provide assistance land grant communities throughout the state.
House Bill 33 (HB33) – Expand Authority of Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty Division – HB33 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and is being sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia. The purpose of this bill is to amend §8-5-18, NMSA 1978 to increase the authority that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Division of the Attorney General’s Office has to provide services to land grants-mercedes. The language of the current statute is very limiting, and amendments proposed in this bill would provide more flexibility for the Attorney General’s Office to assist land grants-mercedes.
House Bill 36 (HB36) – Land Grant-Merced Assistance Fund – HB36 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and is being sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia, Rep. Tomás Salazar and Senator Liz Stefanics. The purpose of the bill is to create a guarantee revenue stream for lands-mercedes that are political sub-divisions of the State. It would accomplish this be establishing a fund from which annual distributions would given to eligible land grants-mercedes.
House Bill 94 (HB94) – Land Grant-Mercedes Partitions – HB94 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and is being sponsored by Rep. Tomás Salazar. The purpose of the bill is to recognize certain existing sub-grants as political subdivision of the state. The bill would allow for six specific sub-land grant entities that have existed with governing boards of trustees apart from their mother grant for over 60 years to be recognized as local government entities. This bill will only affect those sub-land grants and does not create the opportunity for the further partition of any existing land grant.
Senate Bill 13 (SB13) – Lineas Issues at Taos-Area Land Grant – SB13 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and is being sponsored by Senator Carlos Cisneros. The purpose of the bill is to provide a $50,000.00 appropriation to the Attorney General’s Office for the purpose of further studying the problems creates by the taxation of the Cristobal de La Serna Land Grant through use of lineas. SB13 has been assigned to the Senator Conservation Committee (SCONC) and Senate Finance Committee (SFC). No committee hearings on SB13 have been scheduled at this time.
Senate Bill 17 (SB17) – Land Grant Board Comprehensive Plans – SB17 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and is being sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria. The purpose of the bill is to remove the requirement for land grant board of trustees to have to get their comprehensive management plans approved by the Department of Finance and Administration. It would provide boards of trustees to sole authority to approve their own comprehensive plans. SB17 has been assigned to the Senate Conservation Committee (SCONC) and the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC).
Senate Bill 44 (SB44) – Equipment Purchases for Land Grants – SB44 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and is being sponsored by Sen. Richard Martinez and Rep. Tomás Salazar. The purpose of the bill is to make land grants-mercedes eligible for participation in the Department of Transportation’s annual Hardship Equipment Auction.
Senate Bill 223 (SB223) – Land Grant Elections and Definitions – SB223 was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and is being sponsored by Senator Linda Lopez. The purpose of the bill is to amend the Land Grant General Provisions found in §49 NMSA 1978 to provide clearer director for the conduct of land grant elections. Proposed changes include: new definitions for child, parent and sibling as they are used for determining eligibility for appoint of service as an election judge or clerk and a new definition of “precinct” as it is used to establish geographic boundaries for voting; setting the requirement for the board of trustees to finalize the registration books for an election by resolution at lease 5 days prior to election day; the authority to use provisional ballots; provides guidance for resolving an election that results in a tie between candidates; provides guidance for contesting an election and provides a role for the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Division in reviewing contested elections; amends the language relating to appointment of vacancies so that appointees serve the remainder of the unexpired term of the trustee being replace.
Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2) – Rio Arriba Laguna Del Campo Land Transfer – Sponsored by Sen. Richard Martinez and Rep. Miguel Garcia. The purpose of this resolution is to allow for the transfer of the Laguna del Campo property, in Los Ojos, from the Department of Game and Fish to the Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla.
House Bill 592 (HB592) was introduced by Rep. Matthew McQueen. The purpose of the bill is to recognize the Merced del Manzano as a Political Subdivision of the State. The bill was assigned to the House Local Government, Land Grants, and Cultural Affairs Committee (HLLC).
Senate Joint Memorial 20 (SJM20) was introduced by Senator Carlos Cisneros. The purpose of the Joint Memorial is to request that the Carson National Forest not include the Rio Santa Barbara as eligible for a Wild and Scenic Rivers Designation in the Forest Plan. This joint memorial was endorsed by the Land Grant Interim Committee and comes at the request of the Santa Barbara Land Grant.