NM Legislative Session



Provided by the Division of Support Services and Community Resources
Mary Lou Cameron, Associate Superintendent SS/CR
with permission of DPS Superintendent Harvielee Moore




Visit www.demingps.org for archives of the 2014 Legislative Update

and Legislative Contacts


March 17, 2014

    Legislation Passed by House and Senate

and Signed into Law by Governor Suzanna Martinez


(The author of the Legislative Update derives her information from various avenues, but relies on the official NM Legislative Website as the main source. While she takes the reporting of the session and its actions very seriously, she waives responsibility for any unintentional misinterpretation of the bills.)


House Memorial 7, Donation of Excess School Meals Work Group, requests that public school food directors donate excess school meals to be redistributed to hungry and homeless people in New Mexico as decided by a work group of state agencies and nonprofit organizations.   It has passed the House and signed by the Governor.  The final version of the bill has not been posted at this time.


HB 19, Update School Finance At-Risk Index, increases the factor used in the calculation of a school district’s at-risk index to 0.115, up from 0.0915, and requires a school district receiving additional at-risk program units to report certain services, along with the intended outcome of those services, including reading coaches, additional instruction time, tutoring and school and student level interventions to improve academic proficiency.  HB 19 maintains the same calculation for at-risk program units but increases the at-risk factor to 0.115.


HB 35, Additional Funding Units for Some Schools, amends the Public School Finance Act to provide size adjustment program units to school districts whose membership (MEM) is less than 200 students.


HB 92, School Child Sexual Abuse Detection Training, requires all licensed school personnel to complete training to detect and report sexual abuse and assault within the first year of their employment, providing that current employees complete the necessary training during school year 2014-15.  Requires the PED to develop evidence-based training that has proven to be effective mandates that all health education courses which are required in grades 1-12 and for high school graduation include age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention training, based on evidence-based, proven effective methods that meet PED standards and that are developed in consultation with the federal center for disease control and prevention (CDC).


HB 156, Fuel Prices & School Transportation Emergency, amends a section of the Public School Finance Act to allow fuel prices increases to be considered a transportation emergency.


HB 157, School Transportation Training Fund, provides that the fund consist of payments from school districts and charter schools for public school transportation training workshops and training services to school districts and charter schools, including supplies and professional development for PED staff.


HB 271, K-12 Breakfast After the Bell, requires that school breakfast after the bell programs only be installed in middle and high schools after the Legislature has provided funding.  It maintains funding for current elementary school breakfast programs.  It is not clear if or when the legislature will provide funding for breakfast after the bell programs for middle and high schools. 


HB 280a, Return to Statutory School Class Loads, creates a new section of the School Personnel Act to return to statutory individual class and teaching loads over a three-year period; and appropriates $6.0 million from the General Fund to the State Equalization Guarantee distribution for expenditure in FY 15 to support the first year of the three-year phase-in.  The bill requires each eligible school district to develop a plan during school year 2014-15 for implementing the provisions in current law.  It also includes language that the proposed amendments do not affect the ability of a school district to apply for and be granted a waiver by the PED.


HB 330, Diploma Seal of Bilingualism, creates a new section of the Public School Code providing for a state seal of bilingualism-biliteracy on a New Mexico Diploma of Excellence. The state seal certifies that the recipient is proficient for meaningful use in college, a career, or to meet a local community language need in a world language other than English.


Senate Bill 44, High School Equivalency Credential, directs the department [of education] to issue a [general educational development certificate] high school equivalency credential to any candidate who is at least sixteen years of age and who has successfully completed the [general educational development] high school equivalency tests."


SB 75, Emergency Medications in School requires that By July 1, 2014, the department shall promulgate rules and make recommendations to each school district and governing body of a school for the prevention and treatment of anaphylaxis occurring in schools and for the use of epinephrine, or such other medication as the department deems appropriate, by a person who has received training approved by the department and is authorized to administer epinephrine pursuant to the Emergency Medication in Schools Act.


Senate Bill 122, School District P. E. Requirements, “Limiting Changes to Graduation Requirements after Students Enter Ninth Grade.”   Once a student has entered ninth grade, the graduation requirements shall not be changed for that student from the requirements specified in the law at the time the student entered ninth grade.  It also clarifies what counts for PE by adding,  "a physical education program that meets state content and performance standards or participation in marching band, junior reserve officers' training corps or interscholastic sports sanctioned by the New Mexico activities association.”


SB 158, Dual Credit Program Parity, amends the general provisions relating to state educational institutions to provide dual credit parity for all high school students; clarifies terms including “dual credit course,” “dual credit program,” and “high school”; and updates language relating to home school registration and   language to require an eligible dual credit student be a school-age person.


SB 159, Education Technology Infrastructure Funding, allows the Public School Capital Outlay Council (PSCOC) to adjust the school district’s share of education technology deficiency correction project costs, rather than reduce or waive it.   The bill also changes the definition of “education technology infrastructure” to mean the physical hardware used to interconnect education technology equipment for school districts and school buildings necessary to support broadband connectivity as determined by PSCOC.


SB 313, General Appropriations Act of 2014, according to Governor Martinez,  

funds nearly every education reform initiative that she proposed in her Executive budget, but at much lower levels in some cases. She also states that the budget expands the use of parent portals, provides more interventions for struggling students and schools, recruits more math and science teachers in areas that need them, raises the minimum salary for Tier 1 New Mexico teachers, pilots various initiatives to reward teachers for strong performance in the classroom, expands the number of early college high schools, and continues her efforts to improve student access and success in Advanced Placement courses. On the other side, Governor Martinez also vetoed language to require a $2,000.00 increase in starting salaries for tier two and three teachers.  The language in the appropriations act requiring the 3% salary increase for all school employees and the additional 3% for educational assistants is still in the language.  (NOTE:   THE EXACT APPLICATION OF THE SIGNED BUDGET WILL NOT BE DELIVERED TO DISTRICTS UNTIL THE 2014 PED BUDGET CONFERENCE HELD AT THE END OF MARCH.)


SB 347, Lottery Tuition Scholarship Fund Solvency, makes changes to the legislative lottery scholarship program to extend its financial solvency, changing the amount of awards, requiring a minimum balance in the lottery tuition fund, and distributing money from the liquor excise tax to the lottery tuition fund.


SJM 12, Study Transporting Schools Students, requires that the public education department develop and implement a two-year pilot program to allow two interested school districts to transport students who wish to participate to and from schools of choice outside their respective school districts.    A report will be given to several interim legislative committees before the next legislative session.


2014 Session Facts:
Dates related to the 2014 thirty day legislative session:
January 17 Last Day Legislation May be Prefiled
January 21 
Opening day (noon)
February 5
Deadline for introduction of bills
February 20
Session ends (noon)
March 12
Legislation passed by both Houses and not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed
May 21
Effective date of legislation not a general appropriation bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date.

The New Mexico State Legislature convenes in regular sessions on the third Tuesday in January each year. The Legislature meets for 60 days in odd-numbered years and 30 days in even-numbered years.

The Legislature is composed of a 70-member House of Representatives and a 42-member Senate. The members are unpaid for their legislative work, but do receive a daily living allowance for each day of official legislative work. Legislators are elected from districts of approximately equal population. Several counties with small populations may be combined to form a single district.