Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recognizing Local Governments' Authority to Protect Their Citizens

I introduced a bill today in the House (HB 471), which recognizes a local government's authority to protect its citizens by enacting regulations regarding oil and gas operations.

The bill can be found HERE when the Legislature's website updates this evening.

The bill states that "the legislature recognizes the inherent authority of municipalities and counties to protect the health, safety and welfare of their residents by enacting ordinances protecting water and watershed from oil and gas drilling, imposing reasonable bonding requirements on oil and gas drilling, production and other activities and otherwise regulating oil and gas operations within their respective zoning jurisdictions."

This bill is the mirror-image of Senate Bill 17, which seeks to strip counties and municipalities of their power to regulate oil and gas operations.

I am happy to note that the bill is cosponsored by the Santa Fe House delegation, members of the House's leadership, and Santa Fe State Senator Peter Wirth.

There will be a huge fight over this bill, but it's a fight worth fighting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Three New Bills

I introduced three new bills today.

This first requires insurance companies to cover cancer treatment for children, including experimental & clinical trials, regardless of insurance company formularies or other policies. If passed and signed by the Governor, children in New Mexico will be able to get the cancer care they need so long as their doctors thinks they will benefit.

The second will prevent wasteful government printing and mailing of annual reports, calendars, updates, etc. The bill states that there shall be no unsolicited mailing of bound materials in excess of five pages by any state agency, division, board, commission, etc. There is also a penalty for a violation of the law - any cabinet secretary or division director who violates the law will get a ten percent salary reduction.

The third bill creates a new state fund to be used for the purchase of documents and literary works of historical significance to the state that would otherwise be lost to private collections.

The Legislature's website will update this evening to reflect the new bills I introduced today. You can find my bills HERE.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Day & Swearing In

Courtesy of my family of photographers, here are some photos of my swearing-in.

Here my father and sister take a moment before coming into the Capitol:

Here my father and I take a photo with Speaker Lujan:

Members of Santa Fe's ROTC presented the colors to the Legislature:

The swearing-in:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Bill

I just introduced my first bill.

The Free Market in Energy Restoration Act is House Bill 219 and will be heard in House Committees on Energy and the Judiciary.

The original cosponsors included the Speaker, the House Majority Leader, the Chairman of the Energy Committee and others.

You will be able to follow the bill through the process at

Monday, January 19, 2009

Session Almost Underway

There are less than 24 hours to go before the 49th Legislature of New Mexico convenes in Santa Fe.  The pace has been fast for the last week, and it's only going to get faster.

I've got several bills lined up, including two to give surface owners and counties greater protections when oil and gas exploration comes to their area. 

Please keep checking this blog frequently as I will be updating regularly.