What Else Died in the Senate

Michael Sanchez, the Majority Floor Leader of the Senate, succeeded in blocking his chamber from voting on HB75, the high-profile compromise to raise the minimum wage while making New Mexico a right-to-work state.

But the Senate’s liberal “czar” was able to block many other bills that passed the House of Representatives this session. Among them:

* HB43 would have stiffened penalties for illegally dealing in WIC checks and food stamps.

* HB55 would have reformed the state’s costly prevailing-wage mandate.

* HB238 would have reduced workers’ compensation for employees injured while drunk or on drugs. (Passed 64-2.)

* HB272 would have established a regulatory framework to legalize ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. (Passed 56-8.)

* HB333 would have expanded educational options by creating a tax credit for opportunity scholarships.

* HB445 would have maintained the “renewable portfolio standard” — essentially, a requirement for politically correct power — at 15 percent, rather than raising it to 20 percent by 2010.

The Rio Grande Foundation has been instrumental in educating the public, the media, and elected officials about the issues involved with many of the bills. In 2015, meaningful change may have fallen victim to Michael Sanchez’s obstructionism. But the Foundation will continue to provide research and commentary on the need for pro-growth, pro-taxpayer policies in New Mexico.