Germane in the membrane: Track the bills introduced by the 2024 New Mexico Legislature

Nothing’s over until it’s over at the Roundhouse, but here’s a handy searchable list of what’s moving in the waning days of the legislative session.

By: and - Monday February 5, 2024 3:13 am

Germane in the membrane: Track the bills introduced by the 2024 New Mexico Legislature

Nothing’s over until it’s over at the Roundhouse, but here’s a handy searchable list of what’s moving in the waning days of the legislative session.

By: and - 3:13 am

New Mexico lawmakers introduced 658 bills to consider during this 30-day legislative session, a significant increase in legislation compared to the most recent month-long session in 2022.

As the clock winds down, most of those proposals will never become law.

But which ones have the best chance of passing? Which ones are already dead?

A database created by Source New Mexico compiles information from the state Legislature to give readers a comprehensive, sortable, searchable look at where things stand in the final days of the session.

You can search the chart below for information on a bill of interest. The database also gives info for sponsors, titles, bill numbers or whether the bill has been added to the list of the governor’s priorities.

During the 2022 30-day session, a little more than 500 bills were introduced. This year, there have been 658. Of those, just over half, 374 bills, have been deemed sufficiently “germane” to proceed. There are also 204 bills that are in limbo in committees, the space where most bills are sent to die.

Oh, the germaneity!

Of the “germane” bills, 26 are bills that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham specifically cited in her list of priorities this session, an act that by itself deems those bills “germane.” She issued 32 other legislative messages that aren’t tied to specific bills but instead call for legislation that, among other things, creates an “Office of Housing” limits the applicability of public records laws for certain cannabis applications and creates electronic driver’s licenses.

There are also 80 “dummy” bills introduced so far this session. Those are bills that lawmakers can use to resurrect a piece of legislation by substituting the generic language inside the bill with other language.

The last day to introduce new legislation was Jan. 31. The New Mexico Constitution limits the types of bills that can be considered in 30-day sessions to those that seek to spend money or collect taxes, those that receive executive messages by the governor and those that the governor vetoed in the prior session.

In the House, Speaker Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque) deems whether bills can be considered this session and assigns them to committees. In the Senate, the Committees’ Committee meets every day to OK “germane” bills and discuss whether others qualify.

Bills are never officially deemed not to be “germane” on the off-chance the governor sends through a message that allows them to be considered, but the 204 bills introduced this year that still sit in the House Rules Committee or Senate Committees Committee will likely remain there.

Senate President Pro Tempore Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), who chairs the Committees’ Committee, told Source NM that with the end of bill introduction, she doesn’t anticipate “much more work” in determining bills germane, barring additional executive messages from Lujan Grisham.

See the chart below:

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Patrick Lohmann
Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard.

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Danielle Prokop
Danielle Prokop

Danielle Prokop covers the environment and local government in Southern New Mexico for Source NM. Her coverage has delved into climate crisis on the Rio Grande, water litigation and health impacts from pollution. She is based in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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