We Need Your Calls to Senate Finance Committee

Tell Senate Finance Committee to hear and pass SB 160 to expand public financing to include District Court judicial races.

SB 160, Judicial Candidates in Voter Action Act, sponsored by Sens. Katy Duhigg and Peter Wirth

This bill will encourage an impartial judiciary by expanding a public financing option to District Court judicial candidates. Under current law, judges cannot know who is contributing to their campaigns, which is an absurd and cumbersome system. It is dysfunctional, and public financing is a better solution. This bill empowers justices to focus on their case dockets, rather than fundraising and dialing for dollars. Moreover, it will help eliminate any perceptions of corruption. This crucial bill is waiting to be scheduled in Senate Finance Committee. Please call members of this committee and urge them to hear and recommend a do-pass for SB 160!

HB 231, Requiring Tribal Agreement for Consolidating, Closing Native American Polling Locations, sponsored by Reps. Georgene Louis and Wonda Johnson

This legislation has unanimously passed out of its second committee, House Judiciary, with bipartisan support. This important piece of legislation will ensure voters residing on sovereign land are not disenfranchised and are afforded every opportunity to cast a ballot like all New Mexicans. Please call members of the House Judiciary Committee and thank them for their support on this important and essential legislation!

SB 266, Stagger Certain Judicial Terms, sponsored by Sens. Daniel Ivey-Soto and Katy Duhigg 

This bill passed unanimously out of the Senate on February 24th with a vote of 46-0. SB 266 not only allows judges to be placed on the ballot for retention every two years, but allows for a better evaluation system of judges, a shorter ballot for voters, and an added level of protection for our judiciary. Please call or email your senator and thank them for their support!

Additional bills we are supporting that are on the move:

SB 227, Inspection of Police Misconduct Investigation, sponsored by Sen. Linda Lopez

This groundbreaking piece of legislation seeks to limit the use of force by law enforcement, ensure officers are held accountable when they harm community members, and develop further transparency in law enforcement agencies across the country. By adopting this legislation, police departments will adopt much stricter standards on lethal uses of force, as well as less lethal, ensuring that far fewer New Mexicans are harmed/injured by the police because the police will be unable to legally rely on these uses of force immediately and will be legally required to use alternative methods before resorting to force. It also bans harmful policing practices that too often result in death and serious bodily injury. It passed out of its first committee, Senate Health & Public Affairs, on Feb. 24th, with a vote of 4-3. It is headed to Senate Judiciary. Be on the lookout for our next call to action for this bill!

HB 4, Civil Rights Act, sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis and Speaker Brian Egolf 

Was passed the House floor  on 2/16, with a vote of 39-29, and is waiting to be scheduled in Senate Health & Public Affairs. HB 4 was amended in House Judiciary to include a $2 million dollar cap on liability claims, including attorneys fees. Please call and thank your legislator for supporting this important legislation to end qualified immunity in NM. Find your legislator here and their vote here.

HB 55, Capital Outlay Transparency, sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen and Sen. Bill Tallman

This bill would require publication of capital outlay projects that passed the Legislature, listing the names of legislators or the Governor who allocated a portion of the funding and the amount of the funds designated by each legislator and the Governor. Capital Outlay transparency is not only necessary for the legislature, but a good government reform that would help ensure the public has access to information regarding the use of public funds for public projects. Passed House 64-1 on 2/11 and is waiting to be scheduled in Senate Rules!

HB 153, Campaign Reporting Changes, sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen

This important piece of legislation would increase disclosure requirements by adding additional campaign reports following the primary election, and the general election. HB 153 passed out of it’s second committee, House Judiciary, on Feb. 24th unanimously. Stay tuned for the debate on the House floor next!

SB 298, Legislative Election Changes, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth

This is a complimentary bill to SB 160, public financing for district court judges. This bill would expand the state public financing fund to include qualifying members of the state legislature. It is waiting to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee.

Check back midweek for more updates, and in the meantime, please reach out to your legislators on Senate Finance about SB 160 for a fair judiciary and to reduce the influence of big money donors in our court system.