February 27, 2019
With less than three weeks to go in the 2019 legislative session, Animal Protection Voters’ priority bills continue to gain steam, but each bill still must clear several more hurdles.
Here is where these important animal-related bills currently stand, and what happened in the past 11 days:
Senate Bill (SB) 367: Pet Food Fee for Neutering & Sheltering: funding for statewide low-cost spay/neuter programs
SB 367 still awaits a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee in room 322. If your senator serves on this committee, please ask him/her to request Chairman John Arthur Smith schedule a hearing on the bill as soon as possible. Advocates from all around New Mexico have helped secure massive support for this bill, including the NM Association of Counties, the NM Veterinary Medical Association, rural and urban animal shelters, county sheriffs, mayors, chambers of commerce, and law enforcement who all have to contend with the tragic animal overpopulation problem in their communities.
In an op-ed published in today’s Albuquerque Journal, Truth or Consequences Police Chief Randall Aragon stated: “SB 367 will increase the availability of affordable spay-neuter services for companion animals of income-qualified recipients, and to that end it is in the interests of us all to support this vital bill. It is a ‘win’ for counties, the quality of life in our communities, for taxpayers and for animals.” See APV’s fact sheet on SB 367 for more details on this life-saving policy.
Senate Bill (SB) 76: Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests
SB 76 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday with a 6-3 bipartisan vote, and just a few hours ago, the bill passed by the full Senate by a 22-17 vote! The bill will now cross over to the House of Representatives. Please contact your Representative and ask them to support this important bill that moves New Mexico closer to being a state that values its wildlife and doesn’t celebrate wanton cruelty. See APV’s fact sheet on SB 76.
House Bill (HB) 366: Wildlife Protection & Public Safety Act: restricting traps, snares & poisons on NM’s public Lands
A committee substitute bill for HB 366 passed the House Judiciary Committee on Monday with a vote of 7-5. The bill will next be heard on the House Floor and could be debated and voted on there within a couple days. This modest and reasonable measure brings New Mexico into an era of more humane wildlife management, while also providing reasonable ways for people to protect their property and livestock, and allowing agencies effective management tools to protect infrastructure. It’s time New Mexico’s public lands are safe for everyone to enjoy without fear of harm to them or their companion animals! Please reach out to the handful of key House votes on the bill and then contact your Representative and ask him/her to support HB 366. Here is APV’s fact sheet on HB 366.
House Bill (HB) 218: Equine Facility Purchase of Certain Horses: ensuring only humane disposition for equines in the custody of NM Livestock Board
Yesterday, HB 218 passed the House Floor with a vote of 57-2, having unanimously passed its second committee (the House State Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee) this past Sunday. This bill will next be heard in the Senate Conservation Committee, and if your Senator serves on this committee, please encourage him/her to support this bill. HB 218 ensures that New Mexico’s registered equine shelters have the first right to take in abandoned or abused domestic equines who come into the custody of the NM Livestock Board, rather than requiring those equines to automatically be publicly auctioned (putting them at risk of being purchased for slaughter). See APV’s fact sheet for HB 218.
Other legislation seeking positive change for animals that have seen recent activity include:
- HB 52: Harm to Companion Animals as Domestic Abuse — still awaits a hearing in the Senate Public Affairs Committee, having already passed the NM House of Representatives.
- SB 158: Wild Horse Definitions & Disposition — passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week—after helpful amendments—with an 8-0 vote. Then it passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 37-1 and awaits a hearing in the House State Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee. For a comprehensive overview of how SB 158 will help keep New Mexico’s wild horses out of the slaughter pipeline, please read APV’s blog on SB 158.
- HB 206: Environmental Review Act — passed the House Energy, Environment & Natural ResourcesCommittee and awaits a second hearing in the House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee.
- HB 263: State Game Commission Changes — passed the House 45-20, and now awaits a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee.
- Two specialty license plate bills to help fund good animal causes were considered by the House Transportation, Public Works & Capital Improvements Committee. HB 381 (Pollinator Protection License Plate) passed 6-2, but HB 444 (Wild Horse License Plate) was tabled (killed) 5-3.
- HB 445: Wild Horse Protection & Habitat Act — tabled in the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee 5-4.
- SB 38: Wildlife Trafficking Act — passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 6-2, and awaits a vote on the Senate floor.
- SB 228: Wildlife Corridors Act — passed the full Senate 24-18, and will cross over to the House.
- SB 417: State Game Commission Purpose & Species — tabled in the Senate Conservation Committee.
- Senate Memorial 26: Study Wild Horse Park — passed the Senate Rules Committee 6-4, and now awaits a hearing in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Find links to these bills and more on our website here.
Finally, be sure you’re signed up for APV’s eAlerts to stay updated on how you can make sure your compassionate voice is being heard in Santa Fe.
Thank you for caring and making your important voice heard by your legislators. Onward for animals during the next 17 days!
Elisabeth (Lisa) Jennings
Executive Director, APV