NEW MEXICO New Bills for Wednesday

NEW MEXICO New Bills for Wednesday

Common Cause New Mexico has priority bills we support and oppose on the agenda for the remainder of the week.

Tuesday February 21

HB 399, Campaign Public Financing Changes, sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen and Rep. Patricio Ruiloba, to expand the state’s public financing to include candidates for Secretary of State passed the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs committee today. Now it is headed to the House Judiciary committee!

Today’s campaigns are so expensive that often only the wealthy — or those willing to accept the strings attached to large campaign contributions — can afford to run for office. Public financing allows candidates to rely on small donations from individuals and matching grants, while not allowing themselves to become beholden to large donors.

Wednesday February 22

Senate Rules Committee has a few bills to watch!

SB 205, Unaffiliated Voters in Primary Elections, sponsored by Sen. John Sapien, will allow those voters who are not affiliated with any party vote in the primary of their choice.

SB 393, Lobbyist Reporting Requirements, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto and Rep. Jim Smith, will amend the Lobbyist Regulation Act to require that all expenditures are reported, if the aggregate thereof equals $100 or more, fixing an unintentional problem created last year.

SJR 12, Fair Election Constitutional Convention, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, would call a Constitutional Convention to address Money in Politics. While CCNM obviously supports fighting big money in politics, we steadfastly oppose a Constitutional Convention. You can read our report, The Dangerous Path: Big Money’s Plan to Shred the Constitution and also review our fact sheet on the Con Con.

The call for a federal constitutional convention is a dangerous threat to our democracy. Common Cause opposes a call for a constitutional convention, regardless of the amendment being proposed as there is nothing in the Constitution to prevent a constitutional convention from being expanded in scope to issues not raised in convention calls passed by the state legislatures, and therefore could lead to a runaway convention. For this and many other reasons you can read about at the links above, CCNM will oppose SJR 12.

Thursday February 23

HJR 3, Independent Redistricting Commission, sponsored by Rep. Carl Trujillo, Sen. Bill O’Neill and Sen. Mark Moores, is scheduled for a hearing Thursday, February 23 at 1:30 p.m. in the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee.

Common Cause New Mexico supports the creation of an independent commission to conduct redistricting. This will establish written criteria for re-drawing district boundaries and require a fair and transparent process for conducting redistricting. The drawing of electoral districts is not transparent and all too often, there is no public participation. The resulting districts can often serve the political interests of the people who draw them, rather than the interests of the people being represented. 

When voters feel that their input doesn’t matter, they stop participating. Seeing incumbents win time and again because districts are rigged to stifle competition creates a sense of incumbent inevitability and creates a disconnection between citizens and their elected officials. This combination of disenfranchisement and low voter participation is toxic to our democracy.

Please check in for an update from the Common Cause New Mexico team tomorrow so see what bills may be added to the committee calendar on the Democracy Wire page of our website!

Follow us on Twitter @commoncausenm & like us on Facebook for mid-day updates and remember to CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS!