2019 Legislative Priorities
On August 2, 2018, the New Mexico Counties (NMC) Board of Directors approved five legislative priorities for consideration by the New Mexico Legislature at its 2019 legislative session.
NMC requests that each Board of County Commission support the following five NMC 2019 legislative priorities as a demonstration of a strong united front in the state legislature.
HB 2 Appropriations
Detention Reimbursement Fund
Restore funding for the County Detention Facilities Reimbursement Act to the original appropriation level of $5 million.
Prisoner Transport and Extradition
Create a line item in the DFA budget for $750,000 to reimburse sheriff’s offices that provide transportation of state prisoners. Statute 4-44-18C NMSA authorizes the state to make such payment. Counties should not be responsible to pay for state prisoner extradition.
Appropriate $5 million dollars annually to the Emergency Medical Services Fund in the Department of Health budget and identify a designated revenue mechanism to provide continuous fund growth and stability.
Require the New Mexico Human Services Department to ensure the provision of comprehensive services to nonviolent adult and juvenile offenders, housed with the department of corrections or in a county detention center, who have a serious mental illness including co-occurring substance use disorders. Services shall include targeted, individualized interventions that address those persons’ behavioral health needs while they are incarcerated and connect them to resources and services immediately upon release that reduce the likelihood of recidivism, detention, and incarceration, such as supportive housing, public assistance, medical assistance, behavioral health treatment, and employment training.
NMC supports tax reform efforts that improve economic efficiency, economic development, ease of administration, and overall fairness of the state and local tax system. NMC strongly believes that counties must participate in all efforts to restructure and reform the state and local tax system. NMC also opposes legislation that has a significant negative impact on county revenue.
Fire Protection Fund
Remove the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Fire Protection Fund from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission with the goal of improving public safety services through increased advocacy and communication with fire services statewide.
Forfeiture Act Reform
Address unintended consequences of the 2015 amendments to the New Mexico Forfeiture Act by fixing the confusion around abandoned property, providing for reimbursement to local law enforcement agencies for the costs of storage and disposal of seized property, and extending due process protections to local DWI vehicle seizures. This legislation will not include the limited equitable sharing provisions contained in the 2017 and 2018 bills.