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Legislative Report

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March 18, 2019


Legislative Wrap Up

The 54th Legislative Session has ended. With over 1600 pieces of legislation submitted, there were some very important bills passed and sent to the governor's desk, and some very important bills not passed as well. You all know by now that there will be some tax increases, and an increase to our minimum wage law, as well as very much needed raises to our teachers. But one thing you may not have heard which is just as important is that if the governor signs HB 100, we will no longer have Columbus Day, but instead, we will have Indigenous People's Day.

In addition to that important piece of legislation, I have updated our log and indicated which of the legislation we were following passed and has been sent to the governor's desk.

As far as the Health Insurance industry goes there were some very important bills put to rest that may have been laying the foundation for Single Payer, but there were also several bills that have been sent to the governor adding more mandated benefits to our health insurance policies which will increase premiums. We did get Short Term and Limited Benefit Plans defined and regulated so that there won't be crummy plans allowed, but we did not get legislation to stop Surprise Billing passed.

In Insurance Code Clean up bills the most important thing to note is the change to an agent allowing their license to lapse. We used to have 5 years to reinstate our license without having to re-test, but that was reduced to 1 year. However good news, we can now spend up to $100 on gifts and prizes per customer.

On the property and casualty side, the biggest change was allowing financial responsibility information to be maintained electronically rather than original documents kept in your vehicle.

This was a very busy session for major changes in our state but luckily not so much in our industry. 


March 8, 2019

Today ends the 7th week of the Legislative Session. Of course, it ends the week for most of us but the legislators will go on into the late hours of the night this weekend if the list of bills still waiting to be heard is any indication. One week from tomorrow will be the close of this 60-day session. I will keep you all posted by updating all action on our Tracking Log on our website and if it looks like anything is coming to a critical vote, I will be reaching out to all of you with a Call to Action to call your legislators and let your voice be heard.  

Again here are your links to the maps of the districts as well as the list of legislators:


March 1, 2019

Call to Action Urgent! Today!

Welcome to the 6th week of the 54th Legislative Session

I can't believe there are only 2 full weeks left to this session. That being said, there are some bills starting to move in directions that are concerning to us and we now need all members to help to make sure they don't go any further. Two in particular:

House Bill 295 and Senate Bill 279, both titled Health Security Act. This makes a commission to study and implement a state health insurance plan, or single payer system, Medicare for all, whatever name you want to call it, it will do away with private insurance plans in NM.

In the House, the bill was passed by the Health and Human Services Committee and has been withdrawn from the House Appropriations and Finance Committee and sent straight to the House calendar for a vote, possibly as early as today. You must please send an email or call your representative. Here is a link to a map to find your district if you aren't sure and then a link to a list of all the legislators and their contact information. Please reach out to as many as you can and ask them to vote no on HB295, Ask them not to spend all of our excess funds available this year to study or implement a plan that is not necessary in this state considering over half this state is already on Medicaid or Medicare, and that it has been attempted in many states so far and none of them have been successful in implementing it or finding the funding to even start except Vermont who quickly shut it down due to high costs and inefficiency , and it will cause the doctor shortage we already have in this state to become even worse when the doctors leave due to low reimbursement levels paid under Medicaid and Medicare. Those are just a few of the many reasons not to spend our valuable resources on this when we have much higher priorities to address.

In the Senate, the bill has passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee and is sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee and not scheduled at this time to be discussed. Here is a list of the Senate Judiciary Committee Members and instructions on how to send all committee members a mass email with the same information as above in the email. Here is also a link to a map of districts for the Senate and a link to all Senators contact information. Again, please reach out to as many as you can with the same information as above.

Other news for this 6th week, there has been a Home Warranty Bill dropped very late, it is House Bill 632. We have reached out to the Superintendent, as well as several of the construction industry lobbyists, and a construction law attorney who is actually working on a bill for the next session that will encompass not only the Home Builders but also the commercial builders. They all feel this bill is a start to the “Right to Cure" issues in NM but it probably won't get very far. We are remaining neutral on this bill and will watch it's progress and keep everyone posted. Once the session is over we will begin putting together a group to help pass legislation or create further legislation to bring the “Right to Cure" laws that are very much needed in NM to fruition. Those of you interested in discussing this further please contact me.

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For bills of interest, visit our Web site at www.iianm.org. In the top menu, hover over “Support", then “Advocacy", then click on “State". Choose 'Legislative Report' to access our industry-specific information about the 2019 legislative session. If our short summary of a bill in the Tracking Sheet is not enough, you can select the link to the state's legislative Web site (http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/) 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 Tracking Sheet   (i.e., HB210), and prepare to be informed! 

As always, we welcome input our members may have about the process, questions on bills not listed, and any bills you would like information on. You can contact our lobby team through the Association office. IIANM CEO Patty Padon will be spending substantial amounts of time in Santa Fe during the session on your behalf. Please don't hesitate to share your thoughts or concerns by emailing her at patty@iianm.org.


February 21, 2019

Please Join Us!

Winter Regulatory Panel

February 27, 2019

Breakfast 8:00-9:00
Panel Discussion 9:00-12:00

Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, Meeting Room: Lamy
828 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Please see the invitation from the Superintendent of Insurance, John G. Franchini. This is a fantastic panel brought together to discuss the current issues affecting rates and coverages in our industry. They have Insurance Commissioners from 4 different states, NM, CA, OK, DE. They will discuss topics such as:

· Wildfires
· Fraud Trends
· Automated vehicles
· Med Malpractice
· ACA
· Short Term Health Plans

Please RSVP as space is limited to: 505-827-4297 Monica.Bryant@state.nm.us

The legislative session is still marching along. We finished the bill dropping period with 1587 pieces of legislation. I don't know if that is a record but it is incredible. Needless to say, most bills are currently stuck in committee. We have not added any bills to our tracking log for the last 3 weeks. We have not had a lot of bills affecting our industry. That's the good news. The bad news is that there is a lot of legislation that can affect us all in our day to day lives. Things should start moving in the upcoming final 3 weeks of the session. Stay tuned and we will update our tracking log on a regular basis and please free to contact us with any concerns or questions.

________________________

For bills of interest, visit our Web site at www.iianm.org. In the top menu, hover over “Support", then “Advocacy", then click on “State". Choose 'Legislative Report' to access our industry-specific information about the 2019 legislative session. If our short summary of a bill in the Tracking Sheet is not enough, you can select the link to the state's legislative Web site (http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/) 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 Tracking Sheet   (i.e., HB210), and prepare to be informed! 

As always, we welcome input our members may have about the process, questions on bills not listed, and any bills you would like information on. You can contact our lobby team through the Association office. IIANM CEO Patty Padon will be spending substantial amounts of time in Santa Fe during the session on your behalf. Please don't hesitate to share your thoughts or concerns by emailing her at patty@iianm.org.

February 15, 2019

Greetings! This week marks the halfway point of the legislative session. Yesterday was the last day that new bills could be dropped and now the fun begins as the pace picks up and legislators start rushing to the finish line.

We had a very successful “Young Agents on the Hill" event on Tuesday. 24 Young Agents met at the Roundhouse. We had a very educational conversation with the Superintendent of Insurance, John Franchini. He explained the process of his appointment to his office and informed us that he was on the last year of his term. We will see who the nominating committee comes up with in June to suggest for his replacement or if he will decide to go one more 4-year term. We certainly hope he will go one more term. His experience will help us with the new leadership in the Governor's office. He discussed several of the bills that are in the session and what the OSI's stance on them is. It was very informative.

After his session, we were introduced on the Senate Floor by Senator Greg Fulfer. That was followed by lunch where Senator Fulfer and his wife Kimmy Leavell Fulfer joined us and answered questions of the young agents. That was followed by an excellent Young Agents board meeting and finally, the Legislative Mixer where we were joined by Senator Fulfer, Superintendent Franchini, Lobbyist Larry Horan, and several of our carrier partners. We want to thank everyone who came out for this event and supported our Young Agents as well as our Legislative efforts on the Hill.

As for news on the bills introduced, on Monday, February 4, New Mexico's new Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, signed 25 Senate bills and 17 House bills into law, keeping her promise to “go big" by pursuing an aggressive policy agenda. These were a lot of worthy initiatives that had stalled in the previous administration. The only one that really affected the insurance industry was Senate Bill 164, Prizes and Gifts to Insurance Clients. This was signed into law by the Governor and now allows us to give our clients gifts valued up to $100.

Other bills that have seen movement is Senate Bill 107 – Financial Responsibility Electronic Evidence. This has now passed in a Senate vote. It will now go to the House. This is a bill that will allow you to maintain your Evidence of Insurance, and Registration, electronically instead of keeping it in your car where it could be detrimental if your vehicle were to be broken into or stolen. We will continue to track this in the house.

All of the bills we are tracking are listed in our tracking log. We are keeping close watch over several Health Insurance bills, also a bill to raise the minimum limits of auto insurance, and notification of homeowners premium increases requirements. We will continue to keep you posted as things begin to heat up.


January 31, 2019

A Memorial Honoring Carroll H. Leavell

Wednesday, January 30th, the 54thLegislature opened by honoring Carroll Leavell for his nearly 22 years in office. Carroll served as state senator for district 41 in Eddy and Lea counties from 1997 to 2018.                

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INTRODUCED BY
Stuart Ingle

A MEMORIAL HONORING CARROLL H. LEAVELL AND RECOGNIZING HIS OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO NEW MEXICO.

WHEREAS, Carroll H. Leavell, a Republican, served as a state senator for district 41 in Eddy and Lea counties from 1997 to 2018; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell announced his retirement in 2018 and resigned after nearly twenty-two years in office; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell had an illustrious career in the Senate and was best known as a member of the senate finance committee, on which he served from 2003 to 2018; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell also was a member of the following standing committees: the conservation committee from 1999 to 2002, the corporations and transportation committee from 1997 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2002, the natural gas pipeline study subcommittee in 2001, the public affairs committee from 1999 to 2000 and the ways and means committee from 1997 to 1998; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell was a member of almost every interim committee during his career, including the economic and rural development and telecommunications committee from 2001 to

2006, the investments and pensions oversight committee from 2006 to 2008 and from 2011 to 2018 and the radioactive and hazardous materials committee from 1997 to 2018, and was an advisory member of the water and natural resources committee from 2015 to 2018; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell was also appointed as a member of the public school capital outlay oversight task force from 2002 to 2008; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell is a staunch advocate of the oil and gas industry, and he touted the industry's contributions to the state; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell is highly respected by his colleagues, who describe him as low key and genial with a love for New Mexico that is truly genuine; and

WHEREAS, civic involvement has always been important to Senator Leavell, and in 2007, the cowboy hall of fame and western heritage center named Senator Leavell a silver concho honoree for his service to the country; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell, the former owner of Leavell insurance and a real estate broker, is active in his community, serving as past president of the industrial development corporation of Lea County, past president of independent insurance agents of New Mexico, a lions international club trustee, past board member of the University of the Southwest and a trustee for First United Methodist Church; and

WHEREAS, Senator Leavell, who lives in the city of Jal, had to make long trips back and forth from the state capitol than any other legislator; and

WHEREAS, after all that time on the road, Senator Leavell deserves a continued long and relaxing retirement at home;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that Carroll H. Leavell is recognized for his years of outstanding public service to New Mexico; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to Carroll H. Leavell.

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January 24, 2019

The first week of the legislature has come and gone. Only seven more to go.  First, we would like to congratulate one of our own Mo Chavez.  Mo started his career in the agency side of the business, had a short stint as Superintendent of Insurance, before going on to his legal career.  He now specializes in Insurance Law among other areas of expertise.  

See his announcement:

MoChavez.jpgSaucedoChavez is proud to announce the appointment of two of its attorneys to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s transition team. Partner Morris “Mo” Chavez was appointed to the New Mexico Regulations and Licensing Department transition team. The Regulations and Licensing Department transition team is responsible for reviewing the agency, getting feedback from the agency stakeholders, and providing recommendations to Governor Lujan Grisham. The New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department is the agency responsible for the oversight and licensing of a wide range of service providers in New Mexico.  (Learn more about Mo and his practice )

As far as bills that we are tracking, on Tuesday night, House Bill 31, which would implement a phased-in minimum wage increase as early as July, passed the House Labor, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. It was sponsored by Rep. Miguel García, D-District 14.

HB 31 would raise New Mexico's minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $10 beginning July 1, $12 an hour by July 1, 2021 and include annual increases to adjust for cost of living by July 1, 2022.

The only other legislation that has seen some movement is The Prizes and Gifts for Insurance Customers SB164. This would raise the limit that insurance agents can spend on gifts or prizes for their customers to $100. It has been placed on the “Rocket Docket" and has passed the Corporations and Transportation Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for a vote.

We have added a few more bills recently introduced to our tracking log. House and senate bills were introduced to allow electronic proof of vehicle registration and insurance so that you don't have to leave the valuable documents in your car. A requirement to notify increases of homeowners premiums due to certain circumstances within 120 days, and allow for an appeal. A bill to create the Short Term & Limited Benefit Plan Act to set standards and rules for any Short Term Health Plans sold in the state. Please make sure that you go to our website and look at our log where you can get full details on any of the bills that we are following.

Until next week!


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January 17, 2019

2019 Legislative Session – “Welcome to a Wild Session" 

“Governor Charges into Session Enthusiastic, Ambitious and Ready"

Our State's Legislature started the 2019 long session yesterday with quite an opening session. Legislators are predicting this to be a “Wild Session, wilder than most". There have been over 400 bills pre-filed as of Tuesday's opening, with over 1000 to be filed before the end on March 16th.  

If you've never witnessed a day at the capitol this time of year, it is definitely worth the trip.  Each day brings a different mix of our wonderfully diverse population to the circular capitol building known as the Roundhouse.  This year promises to be one of the best in at the last several years.  

Democrats swept every statewide office Nov. 6, and increased their margins in the state House of Representatives by 46-24. In the senate, Democrats are expected to maintain a 26-16 advantage. But some of the most powerful members are fiscal conservatives from rural areas. It's unclear how much common ground they'll find with Democrats in the House, where there's been an influx of new lawmakers from metropolitan areas. 

As of today, there are no bills of serious concern to our industry. We will follow the raise of the minimum wage bill which can affect all of us including our clients, as well as some of the health insurance bills adding more mandated benefits to our health insurance policies.  

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As the process plays out, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have.   You can email our CEO, Patty Padon , who will be spending a great deal of time in Santa Fe coordinating efforts with our long-time lobbyists, Tom & Larry Horan.    

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As the session progresses, IIANM will be there every step of the way. As always, we will send out weekly bulletins, timely legislative alerts, and will maintain a running list of all legislation affecting our industry.

For bills of interest:

TrackingReport-Button.jpg If our short summary of a bill is not enough, you can visit the state's legislative website (www.nmlegis.gov) 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 more. Just type in the bill number listed in our Tracking Sheet (i.e., HB210), and prepare to be informed. 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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