February 15, 2019
Greetings! This week marks the half way 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 his 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 the 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.