1-18-23 Alert

Good Morning, New Mexico Activists:

The Session has begun! The Governor gave her State of the State Address, which you can find at this link. And Javier Martinez was elected Speaker of the House, as expected. Near the end of the day, Martinez removed conservative Democrat Patty Lundstrom from her powerful post as chair of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. She’ll be replaced by Rep. Nathan Small. Needless to say, she didn’t take it well. She claimed “that the new progressive regime has inappropriately replaced my steadfast and prudent leadership of the HAFC and LFC in a pathetic attempt at political retaliation.” Read this morning’s story in the Santa Fe New Mexican. We’ll write more about the significance of this in the coming days. 

In his acceptance speech yesterday, Martine said he supports modernizing the Legislature — paying legislators, giving them more paid staff, and extending the length of the sessions. Learn how New Mexico would benefit from a modernized legislature at this link. And read HJR 2 Legislative Session Changes here, introduced by Rep. Natalie Figueroa, the first of three related pieces of legislation, this one to amend the state constitution (voters will decide) to lengthen even-numbered sessions to 60 days, allow bills of all subjects (not just revenue and budget bills or those deemed “germane”) and add a 5-day recess in the middle of sessions.

More than 100 House bills and joint resolutions and 100+ Senate bills have been pre-filed as of last Friday. You’ll find the House bills at this link (make sure the Session drop-down menu is set at “2023 Regular” and then click “Go” to populate the page). And the Senate bills are only available at this link to a PDF, they are not yet named or numbered.

Upcoming Legislative Huddles

Next Zoominar

Join us on Thurs., Feb. 2, 6-7:30 p.m., for a Zoominar on the Green Amendment: What It Is, What It Isn’t. We’ll discuss why NM needs the Green Amendment and help counter the misinformation swirling around our legislators. Panelists include Green Amendment founder Maya van Rossum, and attorneys Mark Freed from Pennsylvania and Todd Ommen from New York, who will tell us how the Green Amendment was implemented in their states and discuss cases that have come up so far. A fourth panelist from NM will be added soon. Click here to register. You must register to participate.

Bills We Support

We are adding bills and information almost daily to our NM Legislation page at this link. We’ve now begun to categorize and rank them — “high-priority” bills, which we will track daily, inform you when they come up for a hearing, provide talking points, have observers take notes at hearings, and post bill progress throughout the session; and “second tier” bills that we support but don’t have the capacity to track daily as we do with high-priority bills, so we encourage you to advocate for these bills on your own and we provide brief summaries and links to the bill pages at nmlegis.gov.

Once the legislature has reviewed all the bills and assigned them a “committee path” – which committees will hear the bills – we will add a link to the committee path for each of the high-priority bills we support. We’re hoping that info will be available by the end of the week or early next week. There likely won’t be any hearings of our bills this week, but we’ll keep you posted through this Alert!

Remember, you don’t have to wait for a committee hearing to contact legislators about a bill you support. You can contact your own House and Senate members now, and once we have the committee assignments, we’ll provide committee member contact info for you even before the bills are heard. There’s no need to wait to urge them to support your bills!

Santa Fe Town Hall with Sen. Wirth and Rep. Szczepanski

If you live in the Santa Fe area, we’ll hope you can attend an in-person Town Hall with Senator Peter Wirth and new Rep. Reena Szczepanski, this Saturday, Jan. 21, 3 – 4:30 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail. No need to register, just show up. Paul and I plan to attend, so we’ll see you there!

That’s all for now. We’re looking forward to a productive Session and we hope you’ll continue to put your time and energy into helping pass progressive legislation in our state to achieve social, economic, and environmental justice.

In Solidarity and Gratitude,

Roxanne and Paul