After 60 days, New Mexico lawmakers send more than 200 bills to governor

Legislation includes emergency disaster relief, education reform, NM Voting Rights Bill and a $9.57B budget 

By: , and - March 20, 2023 4:15 am

The state seal in the rotunda of the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M., on Saturday, March 18, 2023. (Photo by Liam DeBonis for Source NM)

By the end of the 2023 session on Saturday, the New Mexico Legislature had passed 241 bills.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has until April 7 to sign or veto legislation. After that date, any bills she leaves untouched will be “pocket vetoed.”

Lujan Grisham had signed 25 bills by noon on Saturday, which are marked with an asterisk (*).

Passed legislation is listed below and categorized by broad policy area. We have included explanations of key bills, with names and descriptions of those we couldn’t get to during the 60-day session.


House Bill 505 would allocate $1.2 billion across thousands of capital outlay projects. Normally an uncontroversial piece of legislation, many Republicans lawmakers voted against the bill because it includes $10 million for a reproductive health care clinic.



Environment & Climate Change

Millions would be allocated for environment and cultural conservation efforts among different state agencies if the governor signs Senate Bill 9 into law. This bipartisan effort would create a Conservation Legacy Permanent Fund, which could eventually funnel money into a Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund for environmental work.

This bill that once would have stopped prescribed burns during springtime completely is now a measure to ban them when the National Weather Service sends out red flag warnings, alerts that mean extreme weather conditions like hot temperatures, high humidity and strong winds are present.

Senate Bill 176 would allow acequia and irrigation associations to use dollars from the state’s acequia and community ditch infrastructure fund for disaster recovery needs. The legislation as introduced would have doubled the annual amount in that state fund from $2.5 million to $5 million, but Senate Finance removed that.

Aiming to diversify the Interstate Stream Commission, SB 58 would add more advanced expertise standards and require more geographic diversity throughout the state and Native nations, tribes and Pueblos.

Government & Politics

For a state with some of the lowest voter turnout rates in the nation, the New Mexico Voting Rights Act would make it easier to vote for different communities. The legislation, House Bill 4, would allow anyone convicted of a felony to vote once released from detainment. It would also enact the Native American Voting Rights Act, which would ensure that precinct boundaries are aligned with tribal political boundaries, allow voters, including those who are unhoused, to put down official buildings as addresses, expand early voting opportunities and send more resources to county clerks’ offices. Other accessibility measures in the bill include requiring at least two drop boxes in every county and automatically registering New Mexicans as voters.


  • House Bill 7: Reproduction and Gender-Affirming Health Care*

Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 7 into law on Thursday, March 16. It prevents government bodies or individuals from interfering with or discriminating against someone’s access or use of reproductive or gender identity health care. This legislation was the first abortion-related measure to make it through the Roundhouse, one of Lujan Grisham’s top priorities this session.

Senate Bill 13 would protect medical providers and patients getting abortion and gender-affirming health care services.

Sen. Liz Stefanics (D-Cerillos) hopes the Rural Health Care Delivery Fund bill could help fill holes in specialty health care in rural New Mexico. This legislation would allow providers in rural areas to apply for grant funding to start up new facilities or expand those that already exist.

Police & Prison

New Mexico is the 27th state to abolish life without parole as a sentencing option for children sentenced as adults in the state’s criminal legal system. SB 64 also provides developmentally meaningful opportunities for hearings before the Parole Board either 15, 20 or 25 years into an adult sentence given to a child.

Lujan Grisham signed Bennie’s Bill into law on March 14. This legislation makes it a crime for anyone to make a firearm negligently accessible to a minor. If the minor accesses the weapon, it’s a misdemeanor, and if they hurt themself or others, it’s a fourth-degree felony.

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Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

Megan Gleason
Megan Gleason

Megan Gleason is a journalist based in Albuquerque. She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the Daily Lobo. Other work has appeared under the New Mexico Press Association as well as in the Independent, Gallup Sun and Silver City Daily Press.

Shaun Griswold
Shaun Griswold

Shaun Griswold is a journalist in Albuquerque. He is a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, and his ancestry also includes Jemez and Zuni on the maternal side of his family. He grew up in Albuquerque and Gallup. He brings a decade of print and broadcast news experience. Shaun reports on issues important to Native Americans in urban and tribal communities throughout the state, including education and child welfare.