Protect New Mexico

Your source for environmental information at the NM legislature

How to use “Impact Ratings”

The bill impact coding system is intended to help users sort through bills more efficiently and help you to determine whether or not you want to add a measure to your personal tracker. These headings indicate the relative impact level a measure might have on our environment (small, medium, or large impact).

The assessment of the relative impact level or various measures can be subjective and challenging. In recognition of the great disparity in the impacts of various pieces of legislation, Protect New Mexico’s rating system helps to sort out which measures introduced might have the greatest impact on New Mexico’s environment over the long-term.  The assignment of an impact rating does not suggest whether the impact is positive or negative, but rather whether the scale of the impact is  anticipated to be mild, moderate, or high. 

The impact rating categories are as follows:

not enough info rating

Appropriations Only: A green background indicates that a measure is a basic appropriations bill. Although other measures might also contain an appropriation, a basic appropriations bill is very short (usually 20 words or less) and simply appropriates money to a particular program or project. In the end, all basic appropriations bills are ultimately held in one of the finance committees, and may or may not be incorporated into the general budget. Whether a basic appropriations bill is successful is dependent on whether or not it is incorporated into state budget, which makes it very different from substantive, or policy, bills.

not enough info for realsies rating

Not Enough Information: A grey background indicates that there is not yet enough information to accurately categorize a bill. You can either click on the bill to review it yourself, or you can wait until more information is provided.

Mild impact rating

Mild Impact: The assignment of “Mild” impact rating is reserved for measures that meet one of the following criteria:

  • not statutory/non-binding: memorials and resolutions are frequently introduced that are clearly related to the environment, but do not create new laws or amend existing laws; as a result, their impact tends to be limited. In rare circumstances, memorials or resolutions may appear to have potentially damaging consequences and will receive a higher impact rating. In such cases, the rationale for the higher rating will be noted in the summary on the individual page for that measure.
  • limited in geographic scope: sometimes, measures will be very limited in their impact geographically (e.g. a single municipality or rural water system). There may be cases when a geographically-specific bill may have a precedent setting impact or a broader regional effect; if so, it may receive a higher rating, the rationale for which will be noted in the summary.
  • short-term: many measures are introduced that are intended to fix a short-term problem. If a bill is unlikely to have consequences far beyond the next several years, it will likely receive a “Mild” impact rating.
  • modest in approach: often, bills simply take a very modest or incremental approach to an issue. Good or bad, these bills – even if applied statewide and in perpetuity – will have somewhat limited effects, at least relative to more ambitious bills in the other categories.

MOD impact rating

Moderate Impact: The assignment of a “Moderate” impact rating is reserved for measures that are somewhat limited in their geographic impact, have consequences that will be felt over the short to medium-term, or are significant but not transformative. Essentially, the “Moderate” impact rating will be assigned to bills that don’t meet the criteria for “High” impact, but exceed the restrictions on the “Mild” category.

HIGH impact rating v2

High Impact:  The assignment of a “High” impact rating is reserved for measures that are likely transformative in their effects on New Mexico’s environmental policy. These measures are sweeping and/or precedent-setting. Within their particular issue area, they represent – good or bad – the most ambitious of policy changes. For all measures assigned to this category, a brief explanation will be offered in the Summary field.

Related Tutorials:

How to use “New Bills”

How to use “My Bills”

How to read “Bill” pages

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