Call To Action!
SB 4 Healthy Universal School Meals and the Food Initiative
SB 4 Healthy Universal School Meals and the Food Initiative are in HB 2 & 3 General Appropriation Act of 2023, which includes the following recommendations and language: House recommended $7.5 million for the Food Initiative to focus on “community food, agriculture and supply chain programs to improve food security in New Mexico.” Here is the Food Initiative Fact Sheet.
As part of SB 4 Healthy Universal School Meals, $7.5 million will go to the Public Education Department specifically “for meal quality initiatives that improve the quality and availability of school meals statewide and for food waste reduction initiatives.” The Senate will have to make up the balance of $22.5 million. Here is the SB 4 Fact Sheet.
SB 4 Healthy Universal School Meals passed the legislative session and now heads to the Governor for signature.
SB 9 Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund
Last week representatives of a broad coalition of New Mexico organizations praised the New Mexico State Senate for passing SB 9 The Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund ($350 million request). See press release. “We’re grateful the Senate has listened to the broad coalition of voices advocating for this fund, and we are encouraged by the strong bipartisan vote it received today,” said Lawrence Gallegos, New Mexico Field Organizer for the Western Landowners Alliance and Governing Board Member of the NM Food & Agriculture Policy Council.
This bill would create the state’s first dedicated and long-term funding stream for land and water conservation. SB 9 passed in the Senate on a bipartisan 33-7 vote and now heads to the House of Representative for consideration. It will be heard next in House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee. Then it is scheduled for the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
At the same time, the House Appropriations and Finance Committee finalized their Budget recommendations which were passed by the full House last Thursday, HB 2 & 3 General Appropriation Act of 2023, which includes $100 million for the Legacy Fund. Now the Senate Finance Committee will make their additions and recommendations to HB 2 & 3. This means there is still the opportunity to get additional funding for SB9.
SB9 Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund passed the legislative session and now heads to the Governor for signature.
Pollinator Protection Plan Sign on Letters
Since 2021, the New Mexico Beekeepers Association (NMBKA) has worked on a Pollinator Protection Plan (PPP). This is in response to a 2014 Presidential Memorandum requesting that all states create their own PPP. This gives stakeholders (pesticide applicators, farmers, ranchers, landowners, beekeepers and others) the opportunity to establish their own best management practices in an effort to protect pollinators. This does NOT request further rules and/or regulations.
Click here for a Letter of Support for NMBKA’s PPP if you would like to sign on as a supporter (the letter will download as a Word document). NMBKA would greatly appreciate your support, or any input you may have. Please send support letters to email@example.com.
Also, states have been formalizing their PPPs through legislative memorials. The Memorial, SM 43, will establish a working group that will create and disseminate educational materials based on this PPP. The working group will also collect data on the number of beekeepers and hives in our state (voluntary); this will give New Mexico the data needed to ask for grants and other funding that would help protect pollinators. Here are links for a separate letter of support and fact sheet for this Memorial. (The letter will download as a Word document.) Please send support letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
legislation has been approved for support by the New Mexico Food &
Agriculture Policy Council (NMFAPC). To follow the progress of NMFAPC’s
legislative priorities, please go to https://nmfoodpolicy.org/copy-