Progress on our Priorities!
Many CCNM priorities are still on the move at the Roundhouse. You can always find your legislators here!
HJR 8 would create an independent salary commission to set salaries for legislators. Currently, New Mexico has the only unpaid legislators in the nation. By paying legislators a fair salary, we will attract and retain a more diverse and reflective body of lawmakers who better represent our communities.
HJR 8 passed the Senate Rules Committee this morning. We thank the committee and the sponsors! Legislative Salaries now heads to the Senate Finance Committee — its final stop before going to the Senate Floor. There is still time to bring this legislation to the voters, but there’s not a minute to waste.
HJR 2 would extend sessions to 60 days every year. Currently, New Mexico has the third shortest sessions in the nation, with 60-day sessions in odd-numbered years and 30-day budget sessions in even-numbered years. More time would allow for better solutions for our state.
This measure is a companion to HJR 8, but has stalled on the House Floor. It has yet to be heard, and ironically, will likely run out of time. We appreciate the hard work of the sponsors and will continue to fight for longer sessions next year.
While other states are peeling back protections for voters, New Mexico is moving in the right direction! We are almost to the governor’s desk on HB 4! The bill has passed both chambers, but because it was amended in the Senate, it must go back to the House for concurrence. We’ll be asking supporters to call the governor and urge her to sign this historic legislation.
The NM Voting Rights Act will remove unnecessary barriers to the ballot box and make voting more accessible to communities that have been historically disenfranchised. This legislation includes the Native American Voting Rights Act, which provides better access to the ballot for people living in rural communities and respects the sovereignty of tribal nations. It also streamlines the process to restore the voting rights of people who are leaving incarceration.
IMPROVING DISCLOSURE AND ETHICS
SB 42 would close some dark-money loopholes and require disclosure of independent expenditures in a more timely manner leading up to an election. It would also guard against potential problems that may arise when candidates lend their own campaigns money. SB 42 is awaiting hearing in House Judiciary Committee and then moves for final passage on the House Floor.
This legislation addresses conduct of current and former public officials. HB 5 would make clarify and provide specific guidance to public officers and employees about prohibitions against political conduct in government offices. It also specifies that sexual acts are among the things of value that cannot be traded for official favors (quid pro quo). It would strengthen penalties and fines for violations of the Act. It passed the House unanimously and heads to the Senate.
SB 180 would codify many of the procedures implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic, which have improved the security and administration of elections. A few of the highlights include establishing Voter Convenience Centers in all counties, tightening mail ballot voting deadlines to ensure timely USPS delivery, and providing more accurate voter rolls and mandatory training for poll watchers and challengers. SB 180 is awaiting hearing in House Judiciary Committee and then moves for final passage on the House Floor.
ELECTION SAFETY AND SECURITY
This crucial bill extends the protection already guaranteed to voters to include poll workers and elections administrators. Poll workers are the heroes of our elections and deserve better protection. SB 43 has not received any votes in opposition. It is awaiting hearing in House Judiciary Committee and then moves for final passage on the House Floor.
Guns and high-stakes elections just don’t mix. Firearms are already prohibited in schools and government buildings that frequently serve as polling locations. This commonsense bill would help prevent political violence and safeguard voters and poll workers. SB 44 has passed the Senate and all committees and will next be heard on the House Floor.
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