After 60-days at the Roundhouse, New Mexico legislators came away with little to show for their efforts. Governor Martinez vetoed 52% of all bills passed in the House and Senate sent to the fourth floor for her signature. A special session will most likely be called to deal with a required balanced budget for the state; we are hearing it may be as early as the end of this month.
In the positive, the extension to 2023 of the Architecture Act which was up for sunsetting was signed into law, assuring that the licensing board for architects will continue to operate (House Bill 330). AIA New Mexico raised awareness of the importance of architecture and architects when Senate Memorial 53 proclaimed February 7th as New Mexico Architects Day. (See AIA NM E-Bulletin of 2/22/17). Later in the session Senate Memorial 141 was read in honor of John Gaw Meem, FAIA.
Some of the bills we supported did not fare as well. Bills to extend the solar tax credit extension failed as did bills to reform the capital outlay process (including SB41, HB61, and SB262). Of special note was the governor’s pocket veto of Senate Bill 456 which would have created a practice act for interior designers allowing them the privilege of sealing documents that they could then submit for building permit. There is little doubt that variations of all these bills will reappear in upcoming legislative sessions in one form or another. AIA New Mexico will be ready to study their ramifications and act in accordance with our members’ best interests.