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2022 Legislature

February 6 Action Alert.  The Water Advocates encourage New Mexicans to request their Senator and all Senate Finance Committee members to please:

  • Fund the Executive Budget for the State Engineer/Interstate Stream Commission, and
  • Appropriate the funding earmarked for the purposes of HB24, HB41, HB131 and SB162.

350NM Rural prepared the following grassroots lobbying information:

The Office of the State Engineer has been critically understaffed and underfunded for years. That is why the last State Engineer quit. It is time to give the office the staff and funding it needs to collect data, update technology and plan for managing dwindling water supplies. New Mexico is already facing very serious water shortages that will only be exacerbated by intensifying climate change.

Please write members of the Science Finance Committee TODAY to ask for more funding for the Office of the State Engineer and Interstate Stream Commission as well as several water programs. Tell them why water is important to you.

  • OSE/ISC has a critical unmet need for recurring funding for 39 additional staff. HAFC accepted the LFC budget with 8 new staff instead of the Executive budget with 17 FTE, and subsequent HB/a budget additions do not adequately address this concern. These bills will help:
  • Water Planning, Management, and Administration (HB 24) attempts to address this critical deficiency. This bill was endorsed by the Water and Natural Resources Committee.  As amended, it will provide $12 million to be expended over three years.
  • Water Data Act Implementation(HB 131). In HAFC. This 2019 bipartisan Act was never funded.  HB 2/a has added $500K, but the Act requires $18.3 million for 5 institutions over 5 years. Rep. Andrea Romero has contributed all her junior money to this program. The first step to water management is data! (fact sheet)
  • Strategic Water Reserve(SB 162) In SFC. $15M to the ISC. This fund keeps New Mexico’s rivers flowing to meet the needs of river-dependent endangered species and to fulfill our water delivery obligations to other states. (fact sheet)
  • Water Trust Fund(HB 41) in HAFC. The fund runs the risk of become insolvent. The proposed $60M does not revert to general fund.

Committee Members

Sen. George Munoz george.munoz@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4371 Home: (505) 722-0191

Sen. William Burt  bill.burt@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4366 Home: (575) 434-6140

Sen. Nancy Rodriguez nancy.rodriguez@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4264  Home: (505) 983-8913

Sen. William Sharer  bill@williamsharer.com (505) 986-4381

Sen. Pete Campos pete.campos@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4311 Home: (505) 425-0508

Sen. Crystal Diamond crystal.diamond@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4703  Home: (575) 740-1539

Sen. Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales roberto.gonzales@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4362 Home: (575) 758-2674

Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill siah.hemphill@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4863 Home: (575) 654-0683

Sen. Michael Padilla michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4267 Home: (505) 977-6247

Sen. Jeff Steinborn jeff.steinborn@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4862

Sen. Pat Woods pat.woods@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4393 Home: (575) 357-8594

Group email to put in bcc

george.munoz@nmlegis.govnancy.rodriguez@nmlegis.govbill@williamsharer.combill.burt@nmlegis.govpete.campos@nmlegis.govcrystal.diamond@nmlegis.govroberto.gonzales@nmlegis.govsiah.hemphill@nmlegis.gov, michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov, jeff.steinborn@nmlegis.govpat.woods@nmlegis.gov,

February 6 Action Alert.  The Water Advocates encourage New Mexicans to request their Senator and all Senate Finance Committee members to please:

  • Fund the Executive Budget for the State Engineer/Interstate Stream Commission, and
  • Appropriate the funding earmarked for the purposes of HB24, HB41, HB131 and SB162.

350NM Rural prepared the following grassroots lobbying information:

The Office of the State Engineer has been critically understaffed and underfunded for years. That is why the last State Engineer quit. It is time to give the office the staff and funding it needs to collect data, update technology and plan for managing dwindling water supplies. New Mexico is already facing very serious water shortages that will only be exacerbated by intensifying climate change.

Please write members of the Science Finance Committee TODAY to ask for more funding for the Office of the State Engineer and Interstate Stream Commission as well as several water programs. Tell them why water is important to you.

  • OSE/ISC has a critical unmet need for recurring funding for 39 additional staff. HAFC accepted the LFC budget with 8 new staff instead of the Executive budget with 17 FTE, and subsequent HB/a budget additions do not adequately address this concern. These bills will help:
  • Water Planning, Management, and Administration (HB 24) attempts to address this critical deficiency. This bill was endorsed by the Water and Natural Resources Committee.  As amended, it will provide $12 million to be expended over three years.
  • Water Data Act Implementation(HB 131). In HAFC. This 2019 bipartisan Act was never funded.  HB 2/a has added $500K, but the Act requires $18.3 million for 5 institutions over 5 years. Rep. Andrea Romero has contributed all her junior money to this program. The first step to water management is data! (fact sheet)
  • Strategic Water Reserve(SB 162) In SFC. $15M to the ISC. This fund keeps New Mexico’s rivers flowing to meet the needs of river-dependent endangered species and to fulfill our water delivery obligations to other states. (fact sheet)
  • Water Trust Fund(HB 41) in HAFC. The fund runs the risk of become insolvent. The proposed $60M does not revert to general fund.

Committee Members

Sen. George Munoz george.munoz@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4371 Home: (505) 722-0191

Sen. William Burt  bill.burt@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4366 Home: (575) 434-6140

Sen. Nancy Rodriguez nancy.rodriguez@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4264  Home: (505) 983-8913

Sen. William Sharer  bill@williamsharer.com (505) 986-4381

Sen. Pete Campos pete.campos@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4311 Home: (505) 425-0508

Sen. Crystal Diamond crystal.diamond@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4703  Home: (575) 740-1539

Sen. Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales roberto.gonzales@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4362 Home: (575) 758-2674

Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill siah.hemphill@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4863 Home: (575) 654-0683

Sen. Michael Padilla michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4267 Home: (505) 977-6247

Sen. Jeff Steinborn jeff.steinborn@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4862

Sen. Pat Woods pat.woods@nmlegis.gov (505) 986-4393 Home: (575) 357-8594

Group email to put in bcc

george.munoz@nmlegis.govnancy.rodriguez@nmlegis.govbill@williamsharer.combill.burt@nmlegis.govpete.campos@nmlegis.govcrystal.diamond@nmlegis.govroberto.gonzales@nmlegis.govsiah.hemphill@nmlegis.gov, michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov, jeff.steinborn@nmlegis.govpat.woods@nmlegis.gov,

The Governor, the 2022 Legislature, and the new State Engineer

Governor Lujan Grisham on February 2 appointed Mike Hamman as New Mexico's State Engineer.   The Governor's interview by Searchlight NM's water and climate reporter Lindsay Fendt shows the Governor supports water policy and governance reform. 

State Engineer Hamman is working effectively with legislators to secure staff authorizations and funding for the Office of the State Engineer and the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. He has secured the Governor's support for about half of the staff and most of the expenses that John D'Antonio had unsuccessfully requested.

He has called our Middle Rio Grande compact situation an "all-hands-on-deck" emergency.   

The House accepted Mr. Hamman's recommendation to appropriate $15 million for Middle Rio Grande rotational fallowing and $30 million of the $50 million he recommended for statewide drought relief.   However, HB2, the House budget bill, provides less than half the new staff positions recommended by the Executive Budget and less money for operations costs. 

Legislature Must Step Up.  A better water future for New Mexico requires that the Legislature fund the OSE and ISC as recommended by the Governor.  This includes funds for emergency drought relief and rotational fallowing.  

Three Key Bills.  State Engineer Hamman testified as an expert witness in favor of HB24 Water Planning, Management, and Administration.  ISC Director Rolf Schmidt-Petersen and ISC Deputy Director Hannah Riseley-White testified in favor of HB131 Water Data Act Implementation and SB162 Strategic Water Reserve.  

HB24 would appropriate $12 million to the State Engineer and Interstate Stream Commission for Water Planning, Management and Administration.  It was unanimously supported by the House Agriculture, Acequias, and Water Resources Committee on February 1. To their credit, the committee wants to amend the bill, as Mike Hamman requested, to allow the funds to be expended over the next three years.   The Water Advocates expect the amended bill to unanimously pass the committee on February 10.

HB131 would appropriate a total of $18.3 million to implement the Water Data Act of 2019, which passed without an appropriation.  HB131 would make a five-year appropriation to five water agencies to implement the Act.  The bill received a unanimous do pass recommendation from the House Agriculture, Acequias, and Water Resources Committee on February 3.

SB162 would appropriate $15 million to the Interstate Stream Commission for the Strategic Water Reserve.  The Strategic Water Reserve is an indispensible tool to secure and provide water for species and compact deliveries.  It unanimously passed the Senate Conservation Committee on February 3.

The Senate is Key.  Grassroots lobbying must focus on the Senate and the Senate Finance Committee.  Funding New Mexico's water future requires the Senate to approve all of these components.

Please ask your Senator to support building the capacity of our water quantity management agencies.  Please ask Senate Finance Committee members to fully fund the Executive Budget for the OSE/ISC and HB24, HB41, HB131, and SB162.  

The Senate must save New Mexico from another year of starving our water resources agencies of staff and funding needed for New Mexico to face its water future.  It must reject the miserly increases in HB2 that say the Legislature thinks that water is not a top priority.  

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