Legislature: Waived Liquor License Fees Handed To Governor’s Desk

HOUSE DEMOCRATS NEWS

After being hit hard by the pandemic, liquor license holders in New Mexico will get a break from state fees for the coming year under new legislation unanimously passed by the House today.

Sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (D-Cerrillos), Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque), Sen. Brenda McKenna (D-Corrales) and Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-Galisteo), Senate Bill 2 amends the Liquor Control Act to require the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department to waive the next annual fee for all renewed liquor licenses, as well as for all new licenses issued in the 2021 calendar year. Annual license fees range from $25 to $3,000, depending on the type of license. 

“We are hopefully entering the final stage of this pandemic, but the challenges faced by our restaurants, bars, and other hospitality businesses won’t disappear overnight,” said Rep. McQueen. “Senate Bill 2 gives these struggling small businesses at the core of New Mexico’s economy a break from this year’s state fees, so they can instead use those funds for rent, payroll, and other key investments to help keep their doors open.” 

Complementing SB 2 in its support of the hard-hit hospitality industry is House Bill 255, which opens new income streams like alcohol delivery, creates new liquor license options, and provides tax relief to existing liquor license holders. HB 255 passed the House and its Senate Committees and is now headed to the Senate Floor. 

Senate Bill 2 passed the House of Representatives in a unanimous 64-0 vote. The legislation will now go to the Governor’s desk, becoming effective immediately upon her signature, thanks to an included emergency clause.

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.