A flurry of legislation on a Friday!
Constitutional amendments to modernize and strengthen our state legislature passed through the House Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee this morning, and now move for further consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.
Please help us by thanking members who support these reforms, and encouraging your legislators to vote yes on HJR 7, 5, and 2!
HJR 7 Commission on Legislative Salaries — Sponsored by Rep. Angelica Rubio, Rep. Joy Garratt, Sen. Katy M. Duhigg, Rep. Kristina Ortez, and Sen. Bill B. O’Neill
This constitutional amendment would ask voters to create an independent salary commission to pay legislators a fair wage and enable people from all walks of life to serve in office — not just the rich, retired, or extremely resourceful. New Mexico is the ONLY state that does not pay legislators a salary.
The measure was presented by longtime champion Rep. Rubio. By a vote of 5-3 HJR 7 was given a do-pass. Please thank committee members who voted yes, including Chair Rep. Wonda Johnson, Vice Chair Rep. Natalie Figueroa, Rep. Gail Chasey, Rep. Charlotte Little, and Rep. Janelle Anyanonu.
This constitutional amendment would ask voters to lengthen regular legislative sessions to be 60 days every year. Currently, New Mexico has the third shortest sessions in the country, with 30 days in even-numbered years and 60 days in odd numbered years.
This constitutional amendment was presented by Rep. Figueroa, along with expert witnesses Professors Mike Rocca and Tim Krebs, researchers with the UNM Political Science Department, who have advocated for a modern legislature to increase capacity and generate better outcomes for our state. Their in-depth research report can be found here.
By a vote of 5-3 HJR 7 was given a do-pass. Please thank committee members who voted yes, including Chair Rep. Wonda Johnson, Vice Chair Rep. Natalie Figueroa, Rep. Gail Chasey, Rep. Charlotte Little, and Rep. Janelle Anyanonu.
HJR 2 Eliminate Pocket Vetoes — Sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen, Rep. Jason C. Harper, Sen. Mark Moores, Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, and Sen. Brenda G. McKenna
This constitutional amendment would ask voters to eliminate the pocket veto power of the governor. This pro-transparency measure would ensure that all vetoes would include a message from the governor explaining the reasons for not enacting the bill.
By unanimous vote, the members of the committee recommended a do-pass on HJR 2.
Thank you for standing with us in the fight for a more representative democracy, and please sign on for modernization and contact your legislators!
On the other side of the Roundhouse, the Senate Judiciary Committee got a later start today, but had a great discussion about the importance and consequences of SB 5.
SB 5 is a commonsense measure to prohibit firearms at all polling locations. They are already banned at schools, which are used as Election-Day voting locations. This legislation expands protections against voter intimidation and would help prevent political violence and dial back tensions at the ballot box.
Sen. Wirth presented the bill, which was opposed by the NRA and supported by the Brennan Center and Giffords Law Center. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Joseph Cervantes, Vice Chair Sen. Katy Duhigg, Sen. Mimi Stewart, Sen. Peter Wirth, Sen. Greg Baca, Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, and Sen. Bill O’Neill voted for the bill to be substituted with amendments and advance. Only two committee members voted against SB 5. It now moves to the Senate Floor, then on to the House side.
NEXT UP –>>
HB 8 Elected Officials and Government Conduct Changes — Sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Cates, Rep. Tara Jaramillo, Rep. Yanira Gurrola, and Sen. Bill Tallman
This legislation would strengthen and clarify the Governmental Conduct Act to deter abuse of office and prevent quid pro quo corruption. HB 8 would help restore public trust and give the State Ethics Commission more discretion to ensure penalties for violations match the level of the “crime” at hand. The most severe offenses could receive up to $10,000 fines.
We hope you can tune in at nmlegis.gov and support this good-government law.