Welcome to the Legislative Session 2023. We will post updates here on the Builders’ Journal page regarding what is afoot at the Roundhouse and occasionally email you with calls to action.
***IMPORTANT NOTE*** These updates are created by hard-working staff at the New Mexico Home Builders Association. While our Local agrees on most political positions taken by our State Association – Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association marches to the beat of a greener drum, and we will at times diverge from positions taken by the NMHBA Governmental Affairs Committee. and so…..here we go.
Many Bills have had their first Committee hearing. There are many pieces of legislation that would, if passed or defeated, impact housing and construction. There is much discussion and legislation supporting the need for affordable housing alongside bills that will increase new home prices through energy-efficiency mandates. It’s all about striking a balance and finding that path that will make housing more attainable for New Mexicans, whether that be to own or rent.
For the update on the entire list of Bills of Interest, read on . . .
NMHBA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE 03-02-23
Bills of Interest for SFAHBA and NMHBA Members
PASSED & headed to Govenor’s Desk SB50 Right to Repair Act (Wirth). READ our ONE-PAGER on the Bill here. PASSED and headed to Governor’s Desk. Originally drafted by NMHBA, this bill addresses the abusive litigation issue hitting our production builders and their subcontractors in New Mexico. We negotiated many of the sticking point issues with the plaintiff’s attorneys. Please call or email Legislators and THANK THEM for supporting our industry with their votes this session. Let them know that this is one piece of the puzzle that will help builders rein in the runaway cost of housing and running a construction business in New Mexico.
SUPPORT SB108 CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM UNIT and SB211 CAREER DEVELOPMENT SUCCESS PILOT PROGRAM (Brandt) Skilled Labor coming out of our New Mexico Schools – we need it, and we need our public education system to respond to that need with tangible programs and support. These pieces of legislation formalize a program to support industrial arts in our schools and give our superintendents the flexibility to use their budgets to open pathways into the trades. Call or email the members of the Senate Finance Committee and tell them (or their staff) that you support these bills because they bolster career technical education students who will eventually support our housing industry!
Monitoring HB414 CREATE HOUSING DEPARTMENT (Chasey, Romero, Herndon, Rubio, Dixon) This Bill would create a HOUSING DEPARTMENT within State Government, funded in large part through the Housing Trust Fund. While the Department would mirror some of the work currently being done by the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (something that has caused alarm among our allies) and would appear to create a new layer of government bureaucracy frightening to builders weary of red tape, proponents of the Bill point out that a State level department would be more flexible and nimble in its ability to deploy funds for housing projects, and able to leverage different types of funding for housing that are not available today. Read the Bill!
Monitoring HB179 Filing of Liens with Property Owner (Chavez, Jaramillo, Roybal Caballero, Lujan, Gurrola) Would require those filing liens on property to send a notice within 15 days to the owner of the property. Passed Committees and headed to House floor.
Monitoring HB241 Construction of Certain Dwelling Units (Cates) This Bill proposed to prohibit a county, a municipality or the state from issuing a building permit for the construction of multifamily dwelling units consisting of twelve or more units where less than fifty-five percent of the total units are owner-occupied. Scheduled in its first Committee for Tuesday, Feb 14.
Monitoring SB247 Uniform Licensing Act Changes (Ivey-Soto, Munoz, Castellano) This Bill proposes to include unlicensed activities in the penalties for all businesses licensed by the Regulation and Licensing Department, which includes contractors under CID. License penalties are increased from $1,000 per occurrence to $10,000 for each occurrence. This Bill was drafted and supported by RLD, so it will likely have smooth sailing. PASSED the Senate Floor, and waits to be scheduled in its first House Committee.
Support SB281 Independent Construction Inspectors (Pirtle) This Bill would allow 3rd-Party Inspectors, which NMHBA first proposed in 2005. Public employees’ unions oppose this bill. This Bill also would provide for “rocking on” with the project if no municipal, state, or independent inspector could get to the job site to perform the inspection within 7 days. STILL Waiting to be scheduled in its first Committee.
We Support SB333 Multi-Generational Housing and Zoning (Maestas) This Bill would allow granny-flats and casitas where HOAs might allow them, and not be for rental units. It’s expected to have the requirement for Conditional Use Permits removed before it gets to its second Committee. This Bill would forbid the creation of any new single-family zoning after July 1, 2023. Passed its first Committee unanimously and waits to be scheduled in Senate Judiciary.
Alternative Energy Initiatives
Support HB32 Energy Storage System Income Tax Credit (Sariñana, Stewart) This is the third try for this concept. Energy storage system income tax credit up to $5K for battery storage at residences; $150K for commercial; max $4 million/year total. Passed its first Committee and waits in House Tax & Revenue Committee to await the determination if there is enough money in the budget to pay for this.
SFAHBA Monitoring / [New Mexico Home Builders Association Opposes] SB77 New Home Build Renewable Requirements (Soules). This Bill would require new residential construction to include photovoltaic systems and electrical receptacles. SFAHBA Builders report that the EV Ready portion of this Bill can be accomplished with little to no increase in Construction costs. SFAHBA Builders report that 1/2 watt of Rooftop Solar per heated square foot (not 1 square foot as the Bill reads) could be achieved without significantly increasing the cost of construction for homes. Passed its first Committee w/ Bill substitute in Senate Tax, Business & Transportation Committee that removes the mandatory requirements for 1 watt per sq. ft. of new construction. Passed the Senate Floor and waits for its first House Committee.
Monitoring SB45 Geothermal Ground-Coupled Heat Pump Tax Credits (Soules) Extending geothermal ground-coupled heat pump tax credits to 2033, making the credits refundable, and increasing the credits from the previous $2 million a year to $16 million per year. Passed its first Committee and waits to be scheduled in Senate Tax, Business & Transportation Committee.
Monitoring HB95 Renewable Energy Office in State Land Office (Lujan) Renewable energy office in state land office to advance the production and development of renewable energy. Passed its first Committee waits to be scheduled in House Energy Committee.
SFAHBA Monitoring / [New Mexico Home Builders Association Opposes] HB185 Enviro Standards for Appliances & Fixtures (Ortez, Roybal Caballero) This Bill proposes regulation of certain appliances and lighting fixtures in commercial and residential applications. Click on the link and read the Bill and the Fiscal Impact Report, and you will get a small sample of how this Bill is being presented. Bill includes Investigation of online sales, in-store sales, and installation of faucet washers, shower heads, coolers, air purifiers, residential ventilating fans, and other items, but does not include fund request for Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department staffing to do investigations, nor for the Attorney General’s Office to process the $500/occurrence or $500/day fines for noncompliance. Would be effective on Jan.1, 2024. Sponsor testimony said this new law wouldn’t need rules to be written, but it lacks a basic effective date. Passed its Committees and waits to be scheduled on the House Floor.
Monitoring HB163 25% GRT Deduction for Small Businesses (Block, Mirabal Moya) This Bill would allow a reduction in GRT for businesses with four or fewer employees. Was rolled and waits to be rescheduled in its first Committee.
Landlord-Tenant Relations & HOAs
SFAHBA has not taken a position on this Bill – NMHBA Opposes SB99 Rent Control Prohibitions (Lopez, Roybal, Caballero) Repealing rent control prohibition for local ordinances currently in state law. Tabled in its first Committee and is most likely dead for this Session.
Oppose SB321 Homeowner Association Board Elections (Pope) This Bill would require the HOA Board to be 75% non-developer members as soon as 75% of total units have been sold. The problem with this is that some of these Boards then set up rules to make it so the developers have to close their model homes and can’t have potential buyers driving through the neighborhood to look at the unsold units. Waits to be scheduled in its first Committee.
Monitoring SB375 Rent Increases & Air Conditioning (McKenna) This Bill proposes two things; add evaps to the list of items for landlords to keep working for tenants, and then put in some limits on rent increases that are frankly too generous for even the current market. Word is a substitute that is more reasonable is being worked on before this is scheduled for its first hearing. Waits to be scheduled in its first Committee.
Support SB 140 NM Housing Trust Fund (Rodriguez) $48 Million appropriation from the general fund to the NM Housing Trust Fund. Funds do not revert back to the general fund. Passed its first Committee Friday and goes to Senate Finance to wait for the budget deal to be made. Passed its first Committee waits in Senate Tax Committee until the Budget is completed.
Other Bills of Interest
SB1 Regional Water System Resiliency (Wirth, Stefanics, Herrera) Enacting regional water authorities for system resiliency due to climate change. Passed the Senate Floor and House Committee Thursday morning. PASSED the Senate Floor, and House Committees; waiting to be heard on the House Floor.
HB329 Worker’s Comp Violations Penalties (Lujan) This Bill would increase penalties for any violations of the Work Comp Act from a range of $25-$1,00 up to $25-$2,500. No Fiscal Impact Report to state why this is necessary — probably just more of the tendency to raise penalties across all state agencies. Passed its first Committee and waits to be scheduled in House Judiciary.
HB455 Worker’s Compensation Changes (Herndon) This Bill would increase fees for attorneys and discovery of Work Comp claims. Also increases penalties for violations but to a max of $3,000, which conflicts with HB329. Scheduled in its first Committee on March 2nd.
If you have questions about these or other Bills you are interested in, please email Melanie Lawton at email@example.com.