A look at what bills impacting Carlsbad passed and died in 2023 legislative session
The City of Carlsbad scored a victory during the 2023 New Mexico Legislature with a short-term fix for lost tax revenue. Three other bills that would have banned plastic bags across New Mexico and provide millions of dollars for highway and airport repairs did not pass as the session came to an end March 18.
Here is a closer look at the bills and the fate they met in Santa Fe.
Recouping lost tax revenue waits for governor's signature
The New Mexico House passed Senate Bill (SB) 292, Carlsbad/Eddy County Gross Receipts, in the closing days of the 2023 session nearly a month after it passed unanimously in the Senate.
The legislation sponsored by State Sen. Gay Kernan (R-42) and State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-56) provides a one-time appropriation of $25 million for local gross receipts tax (GRTs) revenue for the City of Carlsbad and Eddy County.
The approved legislation allows Carlsbad and Eddy County to make up for lost sales tax funds after House Bill (HB) 6 was passed nearly four years ago and enacted in 2021.
More:Bill fixing lost tax revenue in Carlsbad passes NM House waits for governor's signature
HB 6 made changes to sales tax for online services where the service takes place and not the location of the company providing the service.
The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) estimated the City of Carlsbad lost around $1.57 million in sales tax revenues. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has until April 7 to sign the legislation.
$650M for road improvements waits for another time
Introduced by six southeast New Mexico House Representatives, House Bill (HB) 223, Projects on Certain Highways, did not make it out of a House committee.
The legislation would have provided the money from the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s (NMDOT) Contingency Fund for three road projects in southeast New Mexico.
More:Possible state money for southeast NM road projects remains in neutral in Legislature
HB 223 passed the New Mexico House Transportation and Public Works Committee with a do pass recommendation on Feb. 10. It was sent to the New Mexico House Appropriations and Finance Committee. No action was taken.
Airport improvements grounded
A bill that would have allotted $314 million in airport improvements across New Mexico did not see any action in the New Mexico Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee.
Sponsored by State Sen. George Munoz (D-4) and Antonio Maestas (D-26) Senate Bill (SB) 104 would have provided funds for airport repairs across the state. Eddy County’s two airports Carlsbad’s Cavern City Air Terminal and Artesia’s Municipal Airport would have received a combined $14.5 million from NMDOT’s Aviation Division.
Statewide plastic bag ban fails
Senate Bill (SB) 243, Plastic Waste Reduction Act, was introduced in the New Mexico Senate Jan. 25 and was revised in the Senate Conservation Committee.
The original legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D-36), Rep. Patricia Roybal-Caballero (D-13) and Tara Lujan (D-48) would have prohibited single use plastic bags or bags and boxes that were not reusable or recyclable.
More:Revised bill banning single-use plastic bags in New Mexico stalled in Legislature
The substitute bill granted exemptions to restaurants to carry out certain foods and for laundry and dry-cleaning establishments for certain garments.
SB 243 was sent to the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee where no action was taken in the final days of the 2023 session.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: Here's how bills impacting Carlsbad fared in the 2023 legislative session