NEW MEXICO Wednesday Wins for Democracy

NEW MEXICO Wednesday Wins for Democracy

Common Cause New Mexico had THREE BIG WINS!

SB 96, Campaign Finance Fix, sponsored by Senator Peter Wirth and Representative James Smith, passed the Senate floor today by a vote of 36-6!

The bill would accomplish a major overhaul of the law to bring it into line with both recent constitutional jurisprudence and modern campaign practices. It would compel public disclosure of as much information about the campaign spending of PACs and other non-candidate campaign participants as can be compelled without crossing the constitutional boundaries established by the courts. This bill has now passed the Senate 5 times, 3 times unanimously, but has yet to be heard on the House floor in any prior session.

This is the TOP priority for CCNM this year, and we are thrilled it is moving – stay tuned as SB 96 moves on to the House and its first committee hearings in the next week!

HB 119, Prohibition Period for Candidate Contributions, sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen, was heard in the House Judiciary Committee and was 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.

SB 42, Agreement to Elect President by Popular Vote, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today! 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 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.

Thursday, February 16

HJR 8, Independent Ethics Commission, sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines, Rep. Nathan Small, Rep. Bill McCamley and Sen. Jeff Steinborn, will be heard in the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants & Cultural Affairs Committee on Thursday, February  16 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 315.

HJR 8 is one of only five bills Common Cause is scoring for our new NMGPA Scorecard this year.  Polling and research shows that states are best served with an Ethics Commission that is grounded and protected in a state’s constitution.  

Common Cause has been working on the creation of an ethics committee in various forms for almost 40 years, please help us make 2017 the year that we pass meaningful ethics reform in New Mexico and contact your representative today to ask for their support! 

Friday, February 17

SB 224, Register Voters 3 Days Before Elections, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, may be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on Feb. 17 at 8:30 a.m., after being rolled over Wednesday Feb 15 to draft a few technical amendments requested by the Clerk’s Association. This bill will extend the Voter Registration Deadline by allowing registration 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.

HB 58, Rulemaking Requirements, sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry, Rep. Linda M. Trujillo, Rep. Tomás E. Salazar and Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto, will be heard in House Judiciary at 1:30 in the afternoon on Friday Feb. 17. This bill provides a uniform process for the consideration of rule changes across state government while increasing the opportunities for the public to participate in the rulemaking process.

Please check in for an update from the Common Cause New Mexico team tomorrow so see what bills may be added to the list over the weekend for early next week 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!