Building an Active & Informed Native American Electorate
Legislative Update

Greetings! There's a lot happening at the NM State Legislature and the good news is that under our new elected leaders, there seems to be a lot more willingness to get work done. The mist of indifference has lifted at the Roundhouse. Here's a few bills that we support, that are worth your review. We will be updating these and other bills later this week- Thanks!

An Early Victory! Signed, and Chaptered

Sponsored by Rep. Derrick Lente

This bill would amend the Indian Education Act to have Public schools do a needs assessment then meet with Tribal communities to discuss budgets, curriculum and other needs strategies to close the Native student achievement gap.
But We Still Need Your Help With
Sponsored by Sen. Pete Campos

This bill seeks a $200 thousand dollar 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. For further information on the specifics, please contact Ms. Evelyn Blanchard who has been working for years to get this bill passed and it looks like this bill has a good chance to move forward. This bill is headed to the Senate Finance Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

Sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis

In 2017, a bill passed that capped NM's payday loans to a 175% APR. We are proposing a fix to that bill to improve reporting requirements that small loan lenders (formerly payday lenders) must make to the public and the NM State Legislature. Our concern is that right now, we really don't know how much this industry makes and we think more transparency will help bring fairness to all. This bill would also add definitions including a "new loan". Lastly, this bill would ensure the Banking Installment Loans Act (BILA) and the Small Loans Act are consistent in how they regulate storefront loans. This will stop loopholes and confusion, bringing more clarity to the industry. This bill was tabled yesterday in the House Commerce Committee in hopes that there can be more negotiations between the consumer advocate groups (like us!) and the industry. Stay tuned!


This bill would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day in New Mexico. If passed it would begin this year! It is on Third Reading of the House floor calendar.

Sponsored by Miguel Garcia and Joanne Ferrary

This bill would increase the minimum wage to $10/hour as of July 1, 2019. It would increase a dollar on July 1, 2020, and then again in 2021 to $12 per hour. This bill is on the Temporary House Calendar.

Sponsored by Rep. D. Wonda Johnson

This bill seeks a $250 thousand dollar appropriation to study the capacity and economic impacts and what it would take to have NM's and local communities to do the clean up of abandoned uranium mines.

Sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis

This bill would require notice to Native American Nations, Tribes and Pueblos, if a Native American child is alleged to be delinquent. If passed, this bill can serve as an intervention to promote juvenile justice for our young people and their families.