The 2023 legislative session has ended with quite a number of bills having been passed and sent to the Governor. The Governor has until April 7 to sign or veto legislation and this article will be published before we know the outcome of every passed bill.
A massive tax package was passed that includes rebates of $500 per taxpayer and appropriates $1.2 billion for capital outlay projects throughout the State. Our Democratic legislators have worked with Sandoval County, the municipalities and other entities to provide much funding for projects here in Sandoval County.
In the area of education, free school meals will be available for all students in K-12. Teaching assistants will see an increase in their minimum salary from $12,000 to $25,000 per year.
Under gun safety, it will be a crime if parents fail to securely store firearms away from children, if that child were to use that gun in the commission of a crime. We have seen too many instances where children have been able to access their parents’ guns without any ramifications. A loophole to combat organized retail crime has also been closed.
A number of voting rights bills were passed, including bills to permit automatic voter registration when obtaining a diver’s license; establish a Native American Voting Rights Act; establish a permanent absentee voter list; and, improving training for poll challengers and watchers.
The governor has signed into law a bill that prohibits local municipalities and other public bodies from interfering with a person’s ability to access reproductive or gender-affirming health care services. Also in the healthcare area, legislation was passed that revises the medical malpractice law which will aid independent health clinics in obtaining insurance.
Legislation was adopted that permits regional water systems to collaborate with each other, which will assist in better service and quality of potable water. A permanent fund for land and water conservation has been created and a fund for wildlife corridors was also created.
Prepared by Chris Daul