SENATE BILL 58
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Peter Wirth and Matthew McQueen
RELATING TO WATER; CHANGING MEMBERSHIP OF THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION; PROVIDING OTHER TERMS OF HOLDING OFFICE ON THE COMMISSION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 72-14-1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1935,
Chapter 25, Section 1, as amended) is repealed and a new Section 72-14-1 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"72-14-1. [NEW MATERIAL] INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION--
A. The "interstate stream commission" is created, consisting of the following members:
(1) the state engineer; and
(2) eight members appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, with the provision that not more than five members of the commission, including the state engineer, shall be from the same political party, and at least one of whom shall be a member of a New Mexico Indian nation, tribe or pueblo. Members shall be appointed as follows:
(a) four representatives of irrigation or conservancy districts;
(b) one representative of a New Mexico acequia or community ditch;
(c) one representative of a New Mexico drinking water utility that provides at least five hundred acre-feet of water annually for domestic use;
(d) one member of the water
resources research institute or civil or environmental engineering faculty of New Mexico state university or the university of New Mexico; and
(e) one professional hydrogeologist with expertise in New Mexico ground water resources who is a faculty member of the New Mexico institute of mining and technology or a professional engineer with a New Mexico consulting engineering practice in water resources or water utility engineering.
B. Except for the state engineer:
(1) members of the commission shall have no less than ten years' experience with New Mexico water resources;
(2) no more than two members shall be appointed from the same irrigation or conservancy district or the same New Mexico Indian nation, tribe or pueblo;
(3) no more than three members shall be appointed from the same congressional district; and
(4) members shall be appointed from and reside in at least three different state engineer water rights districts.
C. An appointed member of the interstate stream commission shall not have changed party registration in the two years preceding the member's appointment in such a manner that the member's prior party registration would cause one political party to have more than five members. A member of the commission shall not continue to serve on the commission if the member changes party registration after the date of appointment in such a manner as to cause one political party to have more than five members.
D. The appointed members shall serve for staggered terms of four years; provided that of the initial members, two members shall serve for one year, two members shall serve for two years, two members shall serve for three years and two members shall serve for four years. Initial terms shall be decided by drawing lots.
E. An appointed member may be removed from the interstate stream commission by the governor for failure to attend three consecutive meetings or for other cause in the same manner as provided for removal of members of boards of regents pursuant to Article 12, Section 13 of the constitution of New Mexico. A vacancy occurring other than by expiration of the term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term.
F. The interstate stream commission shall elect a chair and vice chair as provided by rule, and the state engineer shall be the secretary. A commission member shall not hold any office or employment in a political party.
G. All actions of the interstate stream commission shall be by majority vote, and a majority of members constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business."
SECTION 2. TEMPORARY PROVISION--INITIAL APPOINTMENTS TO THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION.--Members of the interstate stream commission serving as of July 1, 2023 shall continue in their positions until their terms have expired and their successors have been appointed and qualified. Current members who meet the qualifications of the positions specified in Section 72-14-1 NMSA 1978 may be appointed for new terms. A member appointed before January 1, 2024 pursuant to this act shall take office immediately, serve the remainder of the year and serve for a term beginning January 1, 2024 and ending December 31 in the year for that position as determined
by lot in accordance with Section 72-14-1 NMSA 1978.
SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2023.
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