NM Legislature Adjourns After Rare Kumbaya Session
A week ago it looked like hardly anything we were tracking at the 2018 legislative session would see the light of day. However, this was not the case as the usually warring parties worked together admirably in the final week. We suspect that the air of compromise was due to the fact that this is an election year, but no matter…it was great to see so much get done in bipartisan fashion.
Of course, passing a lot of bills is not necessarily a good thing, but in this case the outcome was mostly positive for the insurance industry and business community. Here are the final statistics:
Perhaps the bill with the most impact for the insurance industry was the last minute passage of HB223, which transfers the collection of premium taxes from the OSI to the Taxation and Revenue Department. After all of the negative publicity in the past few years about uncollected premium taxes (mostly during the PRC oversight days), the OSI is happy to see this function relegated to the agency that probably should have been doing it all along.
Of note for the P&C folks is the passage of HB173, which creates an automobile prevention authority under the supervision of the OSI. Although it will be directed by a separate board appointed by the Superintendent, much of the work will fall on the shoulders of OSI staff. Given the auto theft problem in this state, we certainly hope that this effort will be successful, but would also point out that the $100,000 that the legislature approved for the funding is woefully inadequate to accomplish what is expected in the bill.
On the L&H side, there were 2 measures of particular note: SB11 would establish more flexible guidelines relating to step therapy for prescription drug coverage, and SM3 directs a legislative committee to explore the implications of offering a Medicaid buy-in plan to NM residents.
Other than the premium tax bill, it appears that the title insurance industry was mostly unaffected by this year’s legislative session.
Finally, on the business side of things, we would note that most of our industry business entities received a minor benefit from SB225: you will now have an extra month to submit your biennial corporate reports at the end of each fiscal year.
That’s it for this year at the Roundhouse, except to note that all of the above depends on the Governor’s approval of the legislation sent to her. We will update our tracking sheet on our website as legislation is acted on. As always, if anyone has any questions about a particular bill, please don’t hesitate to ask.
1/16/18 - NM Legislature Begins Its 30-Day Run
If our short summary of a bill is not enough, you can select the link to the state’s legislative website (www.legis.state.nm.us) to analyze legislation in more detail. You can read and download the text of any bill; see when it will be in a committee hearing, learn about the sponsor; and much, much more. Just type in the bill number listed on our summary (i.e., HB210), and prepare to be informed!
As always, we welcome input members may have about the process. You can contact our lobby team, Thom Turbett & Tom Horan through the Association office. They will be spending lots of time at the state capitol on your behalf. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or concerns by emailing Thom Turbett at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NMLTA Office Building
1511 University Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102