Roadrunner Capitol Reports
Legislation Detail


Rep Matthew McQueen

Actions: [2] HENRC/HJC-HENRC [4] DP/a-HJC

Scheduled: Not Scheduled

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 House Bill 178 (HB 178) The act reforms the State Game Commission appointment process. 
Legislation Overview:
 House Bill 178 (HB 178): The State Game Commission will consist of seven members.
Three members will be appointed by the governor, with no more than one member residing in any one county and no more than two members affiliated with the same political party.
Four members will be appointed by the New Mexico legislative council, each representing specific positions:
•	Position four: A rancher or farmer managing a property with at least two game species.
•	Position five: A conservationist from a non-game wildlife conservation organization.
•	Position six: A hunter or angler with a New Mexico license for the previous four years.
•	Position seven: A scientist with at least a master's degree in a relevant field.
Commissioners' terms will be six years, and they can serve for a maximum of two terms.
A partial term is counted as one full term unless it's less than one full year.
If a commissioner dies, resigns, no longer meets qualifications, or misses three consecutive meetings, the position becomes vacant, and a successor is appointed.
Commissioners can only be removed for incompetence, neglect of duty, or malfeasance, with a process involving notice and an opportunity to be heard.
The director of the New Mexico outdoor recreation division or their designee will be an advisor to the commission.  The effective date of the provisions of this act is January 1, 2025.

 Amended January 29, 2024

HENRCa/HB 178:  The amendment creates the State Game Commission Nominating committee.
•	Amending statutory policy, expanding the management of wildlife; adding definitions; providing reporting requirements; amending licensing fees; providing for fee adjustments to account for inflation; providing discounts for residents and family member of residents who receives supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits; providing transfers;
•	Repealing Section 17-2-2 NMSA 1978 (being laws 1937, Chapter 23, Section 1)

Section 1 – Amended: [New] Declaration of Policy:
•	This policy provides for the conservation and management of the state’s wildlife as a public trust resource with intrinsic and ecological value.

Section 2 – Amended to explain “Definitions” for the purpose of Chapter 17, NMSA 1978.
•	This section defines the following:  commission or State Game Commission; department; director, warden, state warden, state game warden, or state game and fish warden, hunt code and outfitter or guide.

Section 3 – Amended to read: State Game Commission – Appointment – Term:
•	To carry out the acts, the “state game commission” was created with seven (7) members, all of whom shall be New Mexico Residents and shall be appointed by the Governor for terms beginning January 1, 2027.  
•	This act defines in detail the qualification of each member and the terms applied to each member.  This act also details the eligibility of the commissioner.  

Section 4 – [New] State Game Commissioner Nominating Committee:
•	This Committee will consist of seven members.  
•	Administrative support shall be provided to the state game commission nominating committee by the staff of the department of game and fish.

Section 5 – Rule Making Power:
•	The commission is authorized and directed to make rules and establish service as it may deem necessary.
•	This act details what rules would be applicable to the commission to carry out the evaluation of the health of the ecosystem in the State of New Mexico.

Section 6 – Assent to Act of Congress:
•	This section strikes (state game) and acknowledges the United States shall assist with aid to the states in wildlife restoration projects.

Section 7 – Distribution of Federal Funds:
•	The commission is authorized to receive funds from the Federal Government and use those funds for the Wildlife Restoration Act.  
•	Monies received shall be deposited into the game protection fund.

Section 8 – [New] Wildlife to be Protected – Management:
•	This act details the authorization and responsibilities of the commission to protect Wildlife species.  
•	The commission will be authorized to determine the type of protection needed for each species.  

Section 9 – Definitions:
•	As used in the Wildlife commission:  This act defines:  commission; director; ecosystem; endangered species; investigation; land or aquatic habitat interests; management; recovery plan; peer review panel; species; substantial public interest; take or taking; threatened species and wildlife.  
Section 10 – [New] – Species of Greatest Conservation Need:
•	This section explains which species qualify within the State of New Mexico, would be considered in need of assistance.

Section 11 – License Fees – Fee Adjustment:
•	The director of the department of Game and Fish will keep record of all monies received.
•	In the event of a lost license, the director is authorized to issue a duplicate and collect a just and reasonable fee.
•	Beginning January 1, 2026 and January 1 of each successive year, the commission shall adjust fees for inflation as provided in Subsection C of this section.  All fees collectible is listed in this section.

Section 12 – Conflict of Interest – Taking of Bobcats:
•	This section provides a provision for the taking of Bobcats that are doing damage to livestock.

Section 13 – Temporary Provision – Name Change – Transfer of Functions, Personnel, Money, Appropriations, Property, Contractual Obligations and Statutory References:
•	This section renames the department of game and fish to “wildlife department” and the State Game Commission is renamed “State Wildlife Commission”.
•	As of July 1, 2025, this section explains changes, as amended.

Section 14 – Temporary Provision – Initial Appointment:
•	The initial appointments made to the state game commission, by the governor, shall replace the members of the state game commission.

Section 15 – Repeal:
•	Section 17-2-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1937, Chapter 23, Section 1) is repealed.
•	The effective date of the provisions of Sections 1, 2, 5 through 10, 12, 13 and 15 of this Act is 
July 1, 2025.
•	The effective date of the provision of Section 3, 4 and 14 of this Act is January 2027.
•	The effective date of the provisions of Section 11 of this Act is April 1, 2025.