Building an Active & Informed Native American Electorate
Legislative Update
The session is well on it's way, last Thursday (2/14) was the last day to file new legislation. There are so many new bills and some are great policies and others, not so great. So, please make sure you're following all the things that are important to you. Thanks, everyone!

Here's What We're Following:

A Quick Update on the "Small Loan" (formerly Payday) Bills:
Sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis

Unfortunately our bill was tabled for further discussion in a tough committee, House Commerce and Economic Development, but the fight for transparency is not over, our sister bill SB 567- SMALL & INSTALLMENT LOAN CHANGES
is sponsored by Sen. Benny Shendo Jr. Again, this bill will be heard in Senate Corporations Committee which is also a tough committee to pass. We hope that Chairman Senator Clemente Sanchez will schedule the hearing and vote in favor of the bill. Several of our Democratic Senators are lobbied hard by these predatory lenders. We need you to voice your concerns and help our lawmakers to pass fair laws. We'll let you know when to start calling the appropriate lawmakers as soon as we get our hearing scheduled.

Now, here's some good and interesting news...
Sponsored by Rep. Susan Herrera, Christine Chandler, Andrea Romero, Joanne Ferrary, Patricia Roybal Caballero

There are 3 bills (HB386, HB 22, scheduled for HLVMAC, and HB 375, tabled in HCEAC) that create a new 36% APR cap on installment loans to stop the "predatory" nature of these loans (which are now at 175% cap). To lower the interest rate cap on these small loans will protect New Mexico's consumers, and operate in a way that is safe and fair for all New Mexicans. HB 386 just passed House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs, on a 5-4 vote, and is headed to House Judiciary next, and is awaiting a hearing. Again, please contact us if you would like to join us at the next hearing.
Sponsored by Sen. Pete Campos and HB 359 - NMHU NATIVE AMERICAN SOCIAL WORK INSTITUTE - Sponsored by Rep. Tomás Salazar

These mirror bills are seeking a $200K appropriation to create an Institute of Social work at the NM Highlands University. This Institute will train Social workers to deal with the unique challenges that face Native communities with regard to legal, policy, and cultural difference. This senate bill is headed to the Senate Finance Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. The House Bill unanimously passed House Education Committee, and is on its way to House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

Sponsored by Rep. D. Wonda Johnson

This bill seeks a $250 thousand dollar appropriation to study what it would take to have NM's local communities to do the clean up of abandoned uranium mines. This bill passed the HLVMC on a 6-3 vote. This is now going to the House Appropriations Committee which has not been scheduled yet.

With only a few weeks remaining in the 60 day session, we're doing our best to keep you updated with all the happenings at the NM Legislature, and if you didn't see your bill here today, make sure to check your email again Wednesday as we should have more updates for you, thanks!