HB 185, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Cervantes, which permits the merger of five South Mesilla Valley mutual domestic water systems into one larger Authority, received a unanimous "do pass" recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee this afternoon. The bill now moves to the floor of the House, where it is expected to be voted on this coming Friday by the entire House. Should the bill pass it will move to the Senate, where a similar bill will be sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen.
It would be extremely unusual for the floor vote to go against the bill, inasmuch as it received unanimous support from the two committees that heard the bill. Very little organized opposition to the bill surfaced, with the possible exception of the Anthony Water and Sanitation District. Friday, speaking against the bill, Victor Montoya, from Anthony, asserted he was representing the Anthony Water and Sanitation District. However, Pat Banegas, manager of the Anthony Water and Sanitation District, earlier this month was quoted by the Las Cruces Sun News saying that he was neither in support of nor in opposition to the bill. Banegas could not be reached for comment and did not return my call.