Unfortunately, we had two losses on Thursday.
Both SB 42, Agreement to Elect President by Popular Vote, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart; and SB 224, Register Voters 3 Days Before Elections, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, failed to pass the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants & Cultural Affairs Committee on Thursday.
And while we lost today, both of these bills made HUGE progress this year. They both passed the NM State Senate for the first time, and we will be back with this important legislation.
Senate Rules Committee on Friday morning, March 10
Two good government bills on the Senate Rules Committee calendar – committee starts at 8:30 a.m. in Room 321. These were on the calendar for Wednesday and were both rolled when the committee ran out of time.
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.
House Judiciary Committee at 1:30 p.m. on FRIDAY, March 10
SB 96, Campaign Finance Disclosure, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth and Rep. Jim Smith.
Please contact your legislator and ask them to support SB 96 to ensure that everyone spending large amounts of money in our elections discloses where that money comes from and where it is going! You can locate your legislator here.
SB 96 is not only a priority bill for Common Cause New Mexico this year, but it is also one of only five bills that will be scored for our first NM GPA: Check out our new website to see all bills being scored, our methodology and read about our Four Pillars of Democracy.
This proposed disclosure legislation has passed the Senate FOUR times (the last three unanimously), as well as all House committees in prior years. This bill will overhaul the current law to bring it in line with both recent constitutional rulings and modern campaign practices by:
- Requiring public disclosure of information about the campaign spending of PACs and other non-candidate campaign participants without crossing constitutional boundaries established by the courts
- Requiring independent groups to disclose contributions and expenditures
SB 97, Public Financing of Campaign Fixes, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth.
New Mexico currently has three systems for public financing of campaigns: the Public Regulation Commission, Court of Appeals and the NM Supreme Court. This bill fixes current statutory language that is unconstitutional following recent case rulings, it prohibits candidates who run unopposed from receiving more than 10% of the public funding available to them, and prohibits the use of campaign funds for living expenses or compensation to the candidate or candidate’s family.
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!
Tags: Count Every Vote New Mexico, National Popular Vote, Access to Voting , Registration and Voting Systems, The Revolving Door , Disclosure Laws, Disclosure, Fixing Public Campaign Finance, Empowering Small Donors