Preparing for the 2019 Legislative Session

New Mexico will have a new Governor with a new agenda. To get some idea of her priorities, see Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham’s policy agenda.

The 2019 legislative session will be extremely busy. Legislators are planning two strategies to cope with the volume of expected legislation:

  • The Rocket Docket: any legislation from the past two years that passed unanimously or with very little opposition, but was vetoed by the Governor, will be placed on the rocket docket to be moved through the House and Senate in the first few weeks of the 2019 session.

  • An Omnibus Bill: is where a number of diverse or unrelated subjects are combined into one bill. Omnibus bills can be dangerous because unpopular legislation can be slipped in and overlooked. The size and complexity of omnibus bills make them difficult to analyze.

Tax reform will be on the agenda for the 2019 legislative session. Representative Jim Trujillo, Representative Jason Harper, Senator William Sharer and Senator Carlos Cisneros will all be sponsoring tax bills.

Senator Cisneros has already pre-filed Senate Bill 11: an act relating to taxation; excluding certain entities from a gross receipts tax exemption for nonprofit organizations.  The bill would exempt receipts of organizations that have 501(c)(3) status or 501(c)(6) status from gross receipts tax.  It appears that the purpose of the bill is to find a way to ensure that Los Alamos National Laboratories pays gross receipts tax.  Unfortunately, the bill has overlooked that there are twenty-nine different 501(c) designations, all contributing to the quality of life in New Mexico.  Note: this bill does not say anything about nonprofits’ exemption from paying gross receipts tax on goods.