To Fund or Not To Fund: The Reality Facing the Ethics Commission
After successfully passing all six of our priorities in the fast-paced 60-day session last year, including legislation to guide the work of our new State Ethics Commission, the wheels are turning slowly to get things fully funded this year.
Luckily, Common Cause NM staff have been busy connecting with legislators and partners about our slate of priority bills months prior to the start of the session. We have taken a change of pace this year, keeping our legislative agenda concise and playing a supportive role in the legislation that many of our partner organizations are leading this year.
For a full list of 2020 priorities, click here.
We are eagerly waiting for the final drafting and filing of a couple of our top priority bills, however, our main priority this year is ensuring that our newly established Ethics Commission receives the budget funding that they need to operate effectively and efficiently. Currently, the Executive Budget Recommendation for FY20 supplemental funding is $385,000 and for FY21 is $1,244,000. The LFC Recommendation for FY20 supplemental is $0, and for FY21, $985,000.
On January 15th, the Ethics Commission presented their Executive Budget Recommendation to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee working group. Both the HAFC subcommittee and the HAFC working group on specials and supplementals approved the LFC recommendation for FY21 and FY20. The Ethics Commission is not currently scheduled to present to HAFC. Please stay tuned for a call to action to you when they finally do!
SB 4; Complete Count in 2020 Census
There is a real possibility of New Mexico experiencing an inaccurate count or a population undercount during the 2020 Census –meaning our state could lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid annually for the next 10 years. CCNM has also been actively participating in 2020 Census related advocacy, especially with the upcoming redistricting process. SB 4; Complete Count in 2020 Census; which requests $8.4 million in FY2020 supplemental funding. Every New Mexican child and family deserve their fair share of funding and representation that will ensure they can build thriving communities.
CCNM is part of the Complete Count coalition led by the Center for Civic Policy are requesting this additional funding of $8.4 million to be distributed to state counties for use by community organizations leading Complete Count census efforts. On Thursday, January 23rd, the Senate Public Affairs Committee unanimously passed SB 4. It now waits to be scheduled in Senate Finance.
Other CCNM priority bills, such as a memorial to create a task force to help modernize our state legislature, are just getting their finishing touches on their final language and will be introduced next week!
Coming up this week:
Monday, January 27, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. – Room 305
Meeting with Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to discuss redistricting.