TUNE IN to NM In Focus' Facebook page for a LIVE CHAT at 12:00 (noon MST) for a conversation with our Executive Director about transparency in the 2018 New Mexico legislative session.
Send in your questions live to Viki Harrison and the folks at NM in Focus for a discussion about our priority bills and issues currently facing our democracy – and see how to help!
Redistricting Reform, Registration of All Qualified Voters Are Among Common Cause New Mexico’s 2018 Legislative Priorities
Common Cause New Mexico today announced its priorities for the short 2018 legislative session. Among the measures supported by the good-government group:
- A Constitutional Amendment for a State Redistricting Commission, House Joint Resolution 4, sponsored by Reps. Carl Trujillo & Sarah Maestas Barnes, and in the Senate by Sens. Mark Moores & Daniel Ivey-Soto, will establish a redistricting commission that will use a fair, transparent process to evaluate new census data every 10 years and draw new district boundaries.
- Registration of All Qualified Voters, Senate Joint Resolution 5, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, which requires the state to “ensure that all qualified electors are registered to vote for each election, except for those who affirmatively choose not to be registered, and that the vote of a qualified elector shall not be excluded from being counted for failure of the state to provide for the qualified elector's voter registration on or before election day.
- “Fix it America,” House Joint Memorial 10, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Reps. Linda Trujillo & James Smith, a Memorial calling on Congress to address both the disclosure of money in politics and partisan gerrymandering. The Memorial asks Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to address those issues. The full language of the amendment is at: www.fixitamerica.org.
- Restoration of Funding for the Voter Action Act: For years, the Secretary of State’s office has been grossly underfunded, and legislators nearly each session move money from the state’s Public Election Fund to pay for elections and the general operating budget.
This fund is intended to provide money to qualifying candidates for the PRC and statewide judicial races, and all of the funding MUST be restored this year given the number of races in 2018. We must amend a budget proposal that could take more money that is earmarked by statute for the Public Election Fund to once again fund the Secretary of State's official operating budget.
Additionally, if the Governor sends down a message allowing for consideration of lobbying reform, campaign finance disclosure, or three-day advance election administration, Common Cause New Mexico will prioritize these issues as well.
As always, thanks for checking in with us. More to come in the following days as our bills are scheduled for their first hearings, your legislators will need to hear from you!