March 10, 2020

Guv signs more bills ahead of deadline

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed five bills into law Monday, including legislation that authorizes New Mexico law enforcement to apprehend traffickers of endangered wildlife.

Senate Bill 75 makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly buy or sell animal species or part of any species covered by Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The law sets up penalties of up to $10,000 or three times the value of the product. Owners of antiques or heirlooms containing ivory or parts from other endangered animals are not affected by the legislation.

Lujan Grisham has now signed 80 bills into law and has vetoed only one out of the 88 passed by the Legislature in the 2020 session. She has until Wednesday to act on the remaining legislation.

The governor on Monday also signed:

  • House Bill 8, which allows counties with a fossil fuel electric generating facility that is retiring to form a district in which a governing authority can issue bonds for infrastructure. The bill is aimed at fostering economic development in McKinley County to help the area cope with the impact of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s planned closure of its coal-fired Escalante Generating Station near Grants.
  • House Bill 126, which requires all types of health insurance plans sold in the state to provide coverage for a coronary artery calcium scan for certain insured patients. 
  • House Bill 157, which creates a special registration license plate that expresses support for families that have a child with cancer.
  • House Bill 326, which cleans up provisions in tax bills signed during the 2019 session.