SB 42, Agreement to Elect President by Popular Vote, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart, passed the House State Government, Indian & Veterans Affairs Committee today!!
Senator Stewart was fantastic answering the many questions from committee members. And thanks to the Chair, Rep. Georgene Louis, and Reps. Andres Romero, Derrick Lente and Rudy Martinez for your moving comments. That plus the great testimony from the citizens in the audience made this a fantastic win for democracy!
Wednesday, March 8
Two good government bills on the Senate Rules Committee calendar – committee starts at 8:30 a.m. in Room 321.
HB 73, Public Officials as Lobbyists, sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines, Rep. Joanne Ferrary and Rep. Nathan Small. This bill requires legislators to wait two years before registering to lobby at our state legislature in New Mexico. Common Cause New Mexico testified that, “Revolving Door” legislation is important so that average citizens’ access to their legislators doesn’t feel negated by the relationships and influence of recently retired legislators, who are free to immediately return to the legislature to lobby their former colleagues.
HB 174, Local Election Act, sponsored by Rep. James Smith and Sen. Ivey-Soto. The bill would streamline the included local elections by consolidating their procedures. The elections named in the act would be conducted on the same date, with the same dates and processes for filings, campaign finance reports, and declarations of candidacy, thus potentially reducing costs and administrative burdens associated with conducting several different elections with related procedures and timelines.
This is an important bill for democracy. Low turn-out elections are a problem for democracy and elections which are not held at the same time as either the general election or a municipal election have poor turn out, which can tend to skew things in one direction or another.
Thursday, March 9
SB 224, Register Voters 3 Days Before Elections, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, is scheduled for the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants & Cultural Affairs committee on Thursday, March 9 at 1:30 or ½ hour after the floor session in Room 315. This bill will extend the Voter Registration Deadline by allowing registration, in real time, through the Saturday before Election Day.
Democracy works best when the highest number of people participate in the process. Low voter turnout has been a problem in New Mexico, and registering through early voting is an effective way to boost voter turnout. Our election officials currently have the technology to process voter registration forms in real time thus allowing registration through the Saturday before Election Day.
Please check in for an update from the Common Cause New Mexico team tomorrow so see what other bills may be added to committee calendars on the Democracy Wire page of our website!