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Wednesday / April 24.
HomeNewsA View of the 2024 Legislative Session: Bills that Died

A View of the 2024 Legislative Session: 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 2024 Legislative Session came to an end with two new laws governing education on the books, and three awaiting a signature from the governor. But what about the bills that didn’t pass?

In a 30-day session of the New Mexico Legislature, only bills which get a special message from the governor, or are related to the budget are allowed to be debated. In this session, 777 bills were proposed, with 54 of those relating to education. Of the 54, only 24 education bills were eligible for debate. Of those 24, only five were approved by both chambers of the legislature.

Bills that Were Debated and Did Not Pass 

HB 39, named Yazzie Lawsuit Educational Funding intended to allocate over $27 million to help the state comply with the Martinez and Yazzie v. New Mexico lawsuit for education workforce, health, and indigenous access initiatives. The bill was passed by the House Education Committee, before moving to the House Finance Committee where it was never heard. The bill was sponsored by Representative Yanira Gurrola (D – Bernalillo).

HB 134, Tribal Education Trust Fund, would have created a fund and task force for Tribal Education, and made a $100 million appropriation to the fund. The bill passed through various stages, including the House floor in a vote of 68-0, and Senate committees, but failed to receive a vote on the Senate Floor. It was sponsored by Representative Derrick Lente (D – Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan).

HB 135, Indian Education Trust Fund Distributions, would have amended distributions from the Indian Education Fund, reflecting content from HB 134. The bill advanced through the House Education Committee but was never heard in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. It was sponsored by  Representative Derrick Lente (D – Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan).

HB 142, Reimbursement for Pre-SAT Test Scores, would have provided test fee reimbursements for high school juniors scoring 1,000 or above on the PSAT. The bill passed the House Education Committee but stalled in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. It was sponsored by Representative Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D – Bernalillo).

HB 199, Educational Assistant Salary, would have increased the minimum annual salary for educational assistants and established a minimum wage for public school employees. The bill passed the House Education Committee but stalled in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. The bill was sponsored by Representative Susan Herrera (D – Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Taos).

HM 20,Study Class Size Reduction, passed the House floor in a 70-0 vote on the final day of the legislature. The memorial was sponsored by Representative G. Andres Romero (D – Bernalillo).

SB 171, Teacher-Purchased Supplies Tax Credit, would have offered a tax deduction for public school teachers purchasing supplies. The bill was approved for debate by the Senate Committees Committee but was never heard in the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee. The bill was sponsored by Senator Craig Brandt (R – Sandoval).

SB 180, Student Mentoring Program, would have appropriated funds for mentoring programs for high school and minority students. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee but was not heard in the Senate Finance Committee. The bill was sponsored by Senator Michael Padilla (D – Bernalillo).

SB 193, Reading Materials Fund, would have made a $12.5 million appropriation to the Reading Materials Fund. The bill passed through the Senate Education Committee but was not heard in the Senate Finance Committee. The bill was sponsored by Senator Mimi Stewart (D – Bernalillo).

SB 209, Las Cruces School Services, would have appropriated funds for parenting support services in Las Cruces Public School District. This bill passed the Senate Education Committee but stalled in the Senate Finance Committee. The bill was sponsored by Senator William Soules (D – Dona Ana).

SJR 9, State School Board, Constitutional Amendment. This proposed constitutional amendment would have replaced the Public Education Commission with a new State Board of Education and would have dissolved the position of Secretary of Education, removing K-12 education from the Governor’s cabinet. This bill passed a vote on the Senate Floor in a vote of 34-1. The resolution was not voted on in the House Education Committee. This resolution was sponsored by Senator Steven P. Neville (R – San Juan).

HB 100, Adult Online Learner Scholarship Act, was never heard by the House Education Committee. The bill was sponsored by Representative Ambrose Castellano (D – San Miguel, Torrance).

HB 105, Education Scholarship Tax Credit, would have created a scholarship for low-income students at private schools, creating income and corporate tax credits. This bill was never heard in the House Education Committee. It was sponsored by Representative Ryan Lane (R – San Juan).

HB 136, Pre-Service Computer Science Ed. Program, bill stalled without being heard in the House Education Committee. It was sponsored by Representative Debra Sarinana (D – Bernalillo).

HB 277, Teacher License Computer Science Endorsement, stalled without being heard in the House Education Committee. It was sponsored by Representative Debra Sarinana (D – Bernalillo).

HB 278, Computer Science Embedded in Schools, stalled without being heard in the House Education Committee. This bill was sponsored by Representative Debra Sarinana (D – Bernalillo).

HB 279, STEM Technology Labs, stalled without being heard in the House Education Committee. This bill was sponsored by Representative Tanya Mirabal Moya (R – Valencia).

HB 294, Education Enrichment Tax Credit, bill stalled without being heard in the House Education committee. The bill was sponsored by Representative Ryan Lane (R – San Juan).

HJR 6,State Board of Education,proposed to replace the Public Education Commission with a State Board of Education in the state constitution. This resolution was similar but not identical to Senate Joint Resolution 9. The resolution was sponsored by Representative John Block (R – Otero).

HM 11,School Absenteeism Work Group, stalled in the House Education Committee. The bill was sponsored by Representative Luis Terrazas (R – Catron, Grants, Hidalgo).

Bills that Were Not Eligible for Debate 

The following pieces of legislation did not receive a message from the Governor and were not related to the budget, making them ineligible for debate. 

HB 75, Electric School Buses, was sponsored by Representative Debra Sarinana (D – Bernalillo).

SB 42, School Safety Communications System, was sponsored by Senator Siah Correa Hemphill (D – Catron, Grant, Sierra).

SB 48, Tuition Scholarships and Tax Credits,was sponsored by Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D – Bernalillo).

SB 67, Career Development Success Program,was sponsored by Senator Craig Brandt (R – Sandoval).

SB 85, the Seizure Safe Schools Act,was sponsored by Senator Harold Pope (D – Bernalillo).

SB 86, the Graduate Scholarship Act, was sponsored by Senator Harold Pope (D – Bernalillo).

SB 132, Special Education Support Services, was sponsored by Senator Antonio Maestas (D – Bernalillo).

SB 143, School Programs for Deaf Students, sponsored by Senator Antonio Maestas (D – Bernalillo).

SB 214, Student Achievement and Innovation Leaders, was sponsored by Senator William E. Sharer (R – San Juan).

SB 220, School District Budget Growth, was sponsored by Senator Shannon Pinto (D – McKinley, San Juan).

SB 231, School Drug Education, was sponsored by Senator Leo Jaramillo (D – Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandobval, Santa Fe).

SB 264, Adult High School Diploma Pilot Project, was sponsored by Senator Antonio Maestas (D – Bernalillo).

SB 273, General and Land Funds for Schools, was sponsored by Senator William Soules (D – Dona Ana).

HB 21, named Charter School Oversight, was sponsored by Representative Joy Garratt (D – Bernalillo).

HB 22, named School Admin Prep. Program Requirements, was sponsored by Representative Joy Garratt (D – Bernalillo).

HB 49, Public School Safety Communications System, was sponsored by Representative Ambrose Castellano (D – San Miguel, Torrance.

HB 63, Cannabis School Use Prevention Resource Act, was sponsored by Representative Andrea Reeb (R – Chaves, Curry, Roosevelt).

HB 74, School Boards Determine Instructional Days, was sponsored by Representatives Gail Armstrong (R – Catron, Sierra, Socorro, Valencia).

HB 244, Career School Courses as a Series, was sponsored by Representative Cathryn Brown (R – Eddy, Lea).

HB 246, Financial Literacy for Graduation, was sponsored by Representative Cathryn Brown (R – Eddy, Lea).

HB 256, Higher Ed Teacher Preparation, was sponsored by Representative Tara Jaramillo (D – Dona Ana, Sierra, Socorro).

HB 132, School Absenteeism Enforcement, was sponsored by Representative Luis Terrazas (R – Catron, Grants, Hidalgo).

HB 157, School Teachers On-Site Protection Act, was sponsored by Representative Martin Zamora (R – Curry, DeBaca Guadalupe, Roosevelt, San Miguel).

HB 215, School Class Loads, was sponsored by Representative Yanira Gurrola (D – Bernalillo).

HB 227, Phase in Class Load Limits, was sponsored by Representative Raymundo Lara (D – Dona Ana).

HB 228, Programs for Deaf Students,was sponsored by Representative Raymundo Lara (D – Dona Ana).

HB 229, Special Education Support Services, was sponsored by Representative Raymundo Lara (D – Dona Ana).

HB 296, Parental Bill of Rights Act, was sponsored by Representative Mark Duncan (R – San Juan).

To see a list of education bills that were passed by the legislature sent to the governor for her signature, click here