2-7-22 pm Alert

Good Evening New Mexico Activists:

First, please join our Legislative Huddle via Zoom, Weds., Feb. 9, 6-7 p.m. There’s so much to talk about! And we want to hear from you. Our guest is former Senator Dede Feldman, author of Inside the New Mexico Senate (2014), Another Way Forward: Grassroots Solutions from New Mexico (2017), and Ten More Doors: Politics and the Path to Change (2021). She’s a busy woman! She has unique and insider insights to the legislative process, so we’ll discuss some of the crazy stuff we’ve seen in this Session and get her thoughts and advice. You must register to participate. Click this link to register.

Before we get to new hearings, some mostly good news:

As Speaker Egolf told us on Sunday, the new Hydrogen Hub bill (HB 227) was pulled from House Appropriations & Finance today, and he later placed the bill on the “Speaker’s Table” on the House Floor, which basically means the bill is dead. That’s the fastest downfall of a bill we’ve ever seen! Though we were unhappy with Speaker Egolf and Rep. Lundstrom for the sneaky way they tried to revive the Hydrogen Hub and bypass the usual committee hearings, we’re grateful that Egolf saw the error of his ways and killed the bill. But we’ll be sure keep our eyes open for further possible Hydrogen Hub developments!

HB 6 Clean Future Act, which we oppose in its current form, was held over today until Wednesday in House Govt., Elections & Indian Affairs. We’ve heard that it was held because environmental groups are working with the sponsors to amend this bill to make it better. We’ll let you know when we have more information. The hearing is not yet posted, so we hope we’ll be able to get that for you tomorrow sometime.

SB 8 Voters’ Rights Provisions passed Senate Rules today along party lines, 7:4. This bill underwent 10+ hours of discussion in Senate Rules in two hearings! As you might expect, a lot of the “stop-the-steal” types participated. One amendment was to remove giving 16-year-olds the right to vote. Unfortunate, but they had to make some compromises to get this through Senate Rules. This bill now moves on to Senate Finance, but no hearing scheduled yet.

HB 132 Interest Rates for Certain Loans, the bill that reduces the small loan rate to 36%, ran into some trouble on the House Floor today when Rep. Alcon (who raised the rate in last year’s bill from 36% to 99%) tried to have the bill pronounced not “germane” because the sponsor had removed the funding. You’ll recall that Rep. Herrera and Speaker Egolf had to add a budget allocation to get this bill deemed “germane” in the first place. They later amended it to remove the allocation to avoid the bill being sent to House Appropriations & Finance, where it surely would have been killed. Speaker Egolf went out on a limb for this bill (which we appreciate!), and today he convinced the Governor to issue House Executive Message #28, putting HB 132 on her “call,” which makes it automatically “germane.” Whew! Sorry for all the lingo, but it looks like the 36% cap will finally pass this year, in spite of the money poured into certain legislators’ campaigns by the Payday Lending Industry! One last note: HB 132 could be heard on the House Floor tonight when they reconvene at 8 p.m. If you want to watch the drama, catch it at nmlegis.gov by clicking Webcast in the top menu bar and selecting “House Chamber.”

Now, let’s look at tomorrow’s hearings:

Tues., Feb. 8, 9 a.m., Rm. 311, Senate Conservation is scheduled to hear SB 194 Additional Energy Acts Definitions.  We’d originally thought this was the new Hydrogen Hub bill, but this bill basically just adds hydrogen production to the acceptable forms of renewable electricity generation in our state. Bad enough – hydrogen is not “renewable” — but this bill doesn’t incentivize and attempt to develop hydrogen production. We OPPOSE this bill. Please read the NEW talking points in the link above, and – if you haven’t yet – please call and email committee members to urge them to vote NO on SB 194. We also encourage you to join the Zoom webinar using the link below to offer public comments, take the on-screen poll, and express your opposition to this bill.

Join the Zoom webinar at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86543845863. Or via telephone US: +1-253-215-8782. Webinar ID: 865 4384 5863. Or you can watch the Webcast at nmlegis.gov. Please note that the Webcast is not interactive — you cannot participate in polls, raise your hand, or offer comment while watching the Webcast.

Senate Conservation

  • Chair: Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (D). District 39 (Bernalillo, Lincoln, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Torrance and Valencia). Room 328B, (505) 986-4377. Email: lstefanics@msn.com
  • Vice Chair: Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D). District 16 (Bernalillo). Room 218C, (505) 986-4389. Email: sedillolopez@nmlegis.gov
  • Ranking Member: David M. Gallegos (R). District 41 (Eddy & Lea). Room 415A, (505) 986-4278. Email: rsi@hotmail.com
  • Member: Joseph Cervantes (D). District 31 (Doña Ana). Room 319, (505) 986-4861. Email: cervantes@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Carrie Hamblen (D). District 38 (Dona Ana). Room 416G, (505) 986-4266. Email: hamblen@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Steven P. Neville (R). District 2 (San Juan). Room 415B, (505) 986-4701. Email: neville@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Harold Pope (D). District 23 (Bernalillo). Room 416E, (505) 986-4365. Email: popejr@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Gregg Schmedes (R). District 19 (Bernalillo, Sandovalj, Santa Fe & Torrance). Room 415F, (505) 986-4395. Email: schmedes@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: William P. Soules (D). District 37 (Doña Ana). Room 328C, (505) 986-4834. Email: soules@nmlegis.gov

To send group email, copy and paste this block: “Joseph Cervantes” <joseph.cervantes@nmlegis.gov>, “David M. Gallegos” <david.rsi@hotmail.com>, “Carrie Hamblen” <carrie.hamblen@nmlegis.gov>, “Steven P. Neville” <steven.neville@nmlegis.gov>, “Harold Pope” <harold.popejr@nmlegis.gov>, “Gregg Schmedes” <gregg.schmedes@nmlegis.gov>, “Antoinette Sedillo Lopez” <a.sedillolopez@nmlegis.gov>, “William P. Soules” <bill.soules@nmlegis.gov>, “Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics” <lstefanics@msn.com>

Tues., Feb 8, 1:30 p.m. (or 15 mins. after floor session), Rm. 317, House Consumer & Public Affairs is scheduled to hear HB 172 Interest Rates on Certain Loans. We OPPOSE this bill. It was introduced to counter HB 132 Interest Rates for Certain Loans. (See updates on HB 132 above.) This new bill, HB 172 sets the small loan interest rate at 99% instead of the 36% rate in HB 132. Did they think we’d get confused because they gave the new bill nearly the same name? Sponsors have claimed they introduced this 99% rate bill “in case 36% doesn’t pass.” Well, the 36% rate bill already passed HCPAC and House Judiciary and it’s on the House Floor Calendar, and now with the Governor’s blessing! Could they try to raise the rate to 99% on the House Floor? Maybe, because some Reps. are trying to please their campaign donors. But please contact committee members and urge them to vote “NO” on HB 172. Let’s stick to 36%! Remember, HB 132-Good; HB 172-Bad.

We also encourage you to join the hearing Zoom to offer public comment and take the on-screen poll to express your opposition to this bill. Join the Zoom webinar at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82353539692. Or One tap mobile: +16699009128, 82353539692# or +12532158782, 82353539692#. Or dial a number based on your current location: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799. Webinar ID: 823 5353 9692. Or watch the hearing Webcast at nmlegis.gov. Please note that the Webcast is not interactive — you cannot participate in polls, raise your hand, or offer comment while watching the Webcast.

House Consumer & Public Affairs

To send group email, copy and paste this block: “Joanne J. Ferrary” <joanne.ferrary@nmlegis.gov>, “Stefani Lord” <stefani.lord@nmlegis.gov>, “Randall T. Pettigrew” <randall.pettigrew@nmlegis.gov>, “Andrea Romero” <andrea@andrearomero.com>, “Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson” <liz.thomson@nmlegis.gov>

That’s all for tonight! Plenty, I know… Thank you so much for being in this effort with us!

In Solidarity and Hope,

Roxanne and Paul