On Thursday, in the House Local Government Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee, legislators heard HB 119 – Prohibition Period for Candidate Contributions sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen. And it passed unanimously!
Currently candidates can accept but not solicit contributions during the legislative session. This bill would change the language to no longer allow candidates to accept any contribution during a legislative session. Now on to House Judiciary – let them know to support!
And on Friday, the National Popular Vote passed its first committee! SB 42 is Agreement to Elect President by Popular Vote sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart. Now this bill heads to Senate Judiciary – call and ask for their support.
States currently have the power to award their electors to the winner of the national popular vote, although this would be disadvantageous to the state that did this unless it was joined simultaneously by other states that represent a majority of electoral votes. Hence the National Popular Vote plan is an interstate compact—a type of state law authorized by the U.S. Constitution that enables states to enter into a legally enforceable contractual obligation to undertake agreed joint actions, which may be delayed in implementation until a requisite number of states join in. There are more than a thousand interstate compacts, and each state in the United States belongs to dozens of them. The U.S. Supreme Court has authorized electoral compacts in "dicta" and several other electoral compacts have been proposed in the past.
Also heard on Friday in the House Judiciary Committee was HB 73 Public Officials as Lobbyists sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines, Rep. Joanne Ferrary and Rep. Nathan Small. The committee had a great discussion about some technical amendments and they will be prepared this weekend so the sponsors can have another hearing on Monday.
This bill requires legislators to wait two years before become lobbyists in New Mexico, and it passed its first committee unanimously! Common Cause New Mexico testified that Revolving Door legislation is important for our legislature to pass so that citizen’s access to legislators doesn’t feel negated by the power of recently retired legislators who are also lobbying for issues, but treated as colleagues and thus given far more access than the average citizen.
We will update you again tomorrow as more items are added to the agenda! Check in then for the next Democracy Wire update from the Common Cause New Mexico team!