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It’s “sine die” for the 2018 NM Legislative Session! Which is just a fancy Latin way of saying it’s over. That’s right, both the House and Senate adjourned promptly at noon today. As predicted, there was very little accomplished by the Legislators of New Mexico over the past 30 days but we’re not complaining. No new laws for the outfitting industry means that NM outfitters and guides can enjoy another year of stress free operating; at least where the statutes are concerned.   

A total of 315 items will make their way up to the 4th floor to Governor Martinez’s desk for signature. The majority of which are House or Senate “Memorials” which don’t actually hold the weight of law. Only 110 bills passed both chambers this session and it’s likely a large number of those will get either a pocket veto or an outright veto from the Governor.

Just 2 of the bills that NMCOG was following this session made it through both the House and Senate. The first was the General Appropriation Act of 2018. This is the bill that funds all the state agencies of NM. The NM Dept. of Game and Fish being the agency of most importance to our industry.  This was a good year for the NMDGF budget. Barring some highly unlikely line item veto, the Dept. should receive all the funds they requested and, thanks to an increase in oil and gas revenue, they didn’t have to spend much time fighting to protect the Game Protection Fund from other agencies looking to tap into the large account funded by hunters and anglers.  

On the downside, the Pet Food Fee for Animal Programs bill, which NMCOG opposed, passed its final hurdle this morning, shortly before the legislature adjourned.  If signed, this bill will impose a fee to cat and dog food retail establishments to be used to create a government fund to pay for spay and neuter procedures for low income pet owners. The fee will likely be passed on to the individuals who purchase pet food. While this bill doesn’t directly impact the outfitting industry, outfitters who purchase large amounts of food for their hunting dogs should be aware of this potential increase in expenses (but it’s not signed by the Gov. yet so keep your fingers crossed for a couple more weeks).

All items not signed into law by the Governor by March 7th will be pocket vetoed. This will conclude our weekly reports from the Round House. I hope you found this year’s Round House Reviews to be rather boring and anti-climactic. Breath a sigh of relief and enjoy the rest of your year!