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HomeNewsA View of the 2023 Legislative Session: Education Bills that Died

A View of the 2023 Legislative Session: Education Bills that Died

During the 2024 New Mexico Legislative Session 777 bills were proposed.Only 54 of those were related to K-12 education and of those, only 24 were debated, leading to five being approved by both chambers. Highlighted failures include HB 39, aimed at complying with the Martinez and Yazzie lawsuit, HB 134 which would have created a Tribal Education Trust Fund, and several other bills that stalled or were not heard, reflecting the challenges in getting educational reforms passed in a legislative session dominated by budget and crime reforms.

The 2023 New Mexico Legislative Session came to an end with many bills failing to earn the governor’s signature for one reason or another. A total 71 education bills were proposed, 18 of which became law, 49 died, and four were vetoed.

For a bill to become law in the state of New Mexico, it must begin in either the state House of Representatives or the state Senate, go through its assigned committee hearings, and then pass a vote of the full chamber. It then repeats the process in the other chamber. If a bill is successful, it becomes law if signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Many bills do not make it to that final stage for any number of reasons, passing two committees and a vote of the whole chamber is difficult for any bill, but making it through that process twice is a challenge.

Notable Bills that Died

House Bill 52,International Baccalaureate Program Tests, would have provided money for the Public Education Department to distribute to public schools so they could provide international baccalaureate program tests free of charge to New Mexico students. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Anthony Allison (D – San Juan) and died in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

House Bill 85, Public School Redistricting, would require Albuquerque Public Schools to split into smaller districts. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Bill Rehm (R – Bernalillo) and did not receive a committee hearing.

House Bill 108, Transfer of Certain School Students, would have required that students attending low performing schools be given priority for enrollment in other public schools in the school district. The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Block (R – Otero) and did not receive a committee hearing.

House Bill 143, School Board Governance Requirements, would have made several changes to the law related to school boards, ranging from requiring quarterly reports to requiring mandatory training for local school boards and governing bodies. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Natalie Figueroa (D – Bernalillo) and died in the House Education Committee

House Bill 252, School District Attendance Incentives, would have provided school districts with funding incentives to increase student attendance. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Martin Zamora (R – Curry, DeBaca, Guadalupe, Roosevelt, San Miguel) and did not receive a committee hearing.

House Bill 448, Dropout Recovery Act, would have required the Public Education Department to annually maintain a list of students who are identified as dropouts and create opportunities for them to enter a “dropout recovery school.” The bill was sponsored by Trujillo (D – Bernalillo) and died in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

House Bill 480, Education Freedom Account Act, would have created a new fund in the Public Education Department. The program would establish contracts between parents and PED to pay for private school and other eligible expenses by creating “education freedom accounts.”  The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ryan Lane (R – San Juan) and did not receive a committee hearing.

Education Bills Vetoed

House Bill 125, School Dual Credit Task Force, would have created a Dual Credit Task Force to study the effectiveness of dual credit courses. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Andres Romero (D – Bernalillo) but was vetoed due to an already existing task force that studies dual credit classes.

House Bill 126, School Graduation and Requirements, would have made changes to graduation requirements for students, decreasing the number of credits required to graduate, and amending the courses required to graduate. This bill was sponsored by Romero (D – Bernalillo) and vetoed by Governor Lujan Grisham because it weakens graduation standards. Read more about the Governor’s veto of this bill here

House Bill 216, LESC Public Education Study, would have added early childhood education and higher education to the purview of the Legislative Education Study Committee. This bill was sponsored by Romero (D – Bernalillo). In her veto message, Lujan Grisham wrote, “would be an inefficient use of government resources and duplication of studies; the Higher Education Department and the Early Childhood Education and Care Department already perform robust studies of higher and early childhood education.”

House Bill 375, Charter School Expenditure Plan, required charter school authorities to provide oversight and expenditure plans for use of state funds withheld by the charter school’s authorizer. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Joy Garratt (D – Bernalillo) and passed both chambers of the legislature but was pocket vetoed by the governor.

Other Bills that Died

  • House Bill 30 – Public School Ventilation Improvement Act – Rep. Christine Chandler (D – Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe)
  • House Bill 36 – School Group Insurance Contributions – Rep. Raymundo Lara (D -Doña Ana)
  • House Bill 39 – Dual-Licensed Instructional Support Providers – Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 43 – Affirmative Consent Policy in Schools, – Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 102 – Health Care Insurance for Educators – Raymundo (D – Doña Ana)
  • House Bill 111 – Holocaust and Genocide Studies Act – Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 112 – Public School Wellness Room Pilot Project – Herndon (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 149 – Public Ed Dept. Native American Funding – Rep. Derrick Lente (D – Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan)
  • House Bill 152 – Prueba De Espanol Para La Certification – Rep. Christine Trujillo (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 194 – Public School Finance Changes – Rep. Nathan Small (D – Doña Ana)
  • House Bill 254 – School Marshal Act – Rep. Zamora (R – Curry, DeBaca, Guadalupe, Roosevelt, San Miguel)
  • House Bill 256 – Hybrid Dual Credit Pilot Project – Rep. Andres Romero (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 279 – Personal Finance Class for Graduation – Rep. Cathryn Brown (R – Eddy, Lea)
  • House Bill 283 – School Marshal Act – Rep. Stefani Lord (R – Bernalillo, Torrance)
  • House Bill 285 – Office of Special Education – Rep. Liz Thomson (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 295 – Firearms on School Property Software – Rep. Greg Nibert (R – Chaves)
  • House Bill 296 – Instructional Support Providers – Rep. Raymondo Lara (D – Doña Ana)
  • House Bill 302 – School-Age Name, Image and Likeness Use – Rep. Ambrose Castellano (D – San Miguel, Torrance)
  • House Bill 325 – School Board Governance Changes – Rep. Natalie Figueroa (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 335 – School Computer Science Classes – Rep. Debra Sarinana (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 355 – Dev. Disability Transitional Education PGMS – Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 383 – Summer and Out-of-School Time Programming – Rep. Natalie Figueroa (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 394 – No Gender Reassignment Teaching in Schools – Rep. John Block (R – Otero)
  • House Bill 396 – Increase Local School Board Term Length – Rep. Susan Herrera (D – Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Taos)
  • House Bill 413 – School Load Class Sizes – Rep. Christine Trujillo (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 464 – Improve Educational Outcomes – Rep. Yanira Gurrola (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 472 – Career Tech Educator Community Ed. Act – Rep. Pemelya Herndon (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 483 – School Gifted Education Requirements – Rep. Christine Trujillo (D – Bernalillo)
  • House Bill 487 – No Teaching of Critical Raza Theory – Rep. Rod Montoya (R – San Juan)
  • House Bill 506 – Ethnic Studies Standards – Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D – Bernalillo)
  • Senate Bill 60 – Photovoltaic Systems in New Public Schools – Sen. William Soules (D – Doña Ana)
  • Senate Bill 93 – Mora School Security – Sen. Pete Campos (D – Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Mora, Quay, San Miguel, Taos)
  • Senate Bill 95 – Statewide School Safety – Sen. George Munoz (D – Cibola, McKinley, San Juan)
  • Senate Bill 234 – No Soda Sales on School Grounds – Sen. Gregg Schmedes (R – Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Torrance)
  • Senate Bill 306 – Health Centers in Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon – Sen. Pete Campos (Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Mora, Quay, San Miguel, Taos)
  • Senate Bill 340 – Define Public Ed Ethnic Studies – Sen. Linda Lopez (D – Bernalillo)
  • Senate Bill 384 – School Athletics Changes – Senator Antonio Maestas (D – Bernalillo)
  • Senate Bill 387 – School Student Restraint or Isolation – Sen. Linda Lopez (D – Bernalillo)
  • Senate Bill 400 – Middle and Junior High School Redesign – Sen. William Soules (D – Doña Ana)
  • Senate Bill 437 – Vocational Rehabilitation Act – Sen. Linda Lopez (D – Bernalillo)
  • Senate Bill 490 – Head Varsity Coach Bonuses – Sen. Benny Shendo, Jr. (D – Bernalillo, McKinley, Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval)
  • Senate Bill 492 – Education Retirees Returning to Work – Sen. George Munoz (D – Cibola, McKinley, San Juan)