We have less than five weeks until the start of the session and to be fully ready, we have much to discuss and to resolve. We’ve got a packed Huddle agenda with guest speakers on hydrogen, criminal justice, public health and climate change and in this post we’ve got info on an interesting zoom conversation about a People’s Assembly and an important call to action from NM Voices for Children.
Huddle Up Tonight!… Much to discuss
Voters turned NM bold blue, and approved every bond measure in the entire state, that is a strong signal that they want bold. But our legislature is anything but bold, so if we want bold we need to seize it. What does that mean? What is on the agenda for tonight from 6-7pm?
- Possible new strategy to oppose hydrogen, with Indivisible ABQ’s Jeremy Sment;
- We will discuss Criminal Justice reform with Rachel Feldman, Chair of the Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Reform Committee of Indivisible SOS Santa Fe who is working with legislators on a criminal justice reform bill,
- Update on Modernizing the Legislature, paid legislators, paid legislator staff, longer sessions, find out what is being proposed.
- Report from Charles Goodmacher and Rebecca Neal on the Public Health and Climate Resiliency Act to be introduced by Liz Stefanics and Liz Thomson in 2023;
- Update on legislation to halt Holtec
- Update on Local Choice Energy
- Update on Food & AG Council legislative priorities for 2023
- Update on Tax & Rev Call to Action (below)
- Review of bills and how to prioritize them
Legislators are busily crafting bills as they see this is the year to go BIG and BOLD! But if we are to achieve bold, we need to be prepared and to do that we need you
Click here to register for the Huddle, TONIGHT 6-7pm.
Call To Action: Go Big Go Bold on our 2023 Budget
Despite a huge surplus last year and another huge surplus coming this year and despite voters sending a clear message that they want us to accelarate our investments in our future, the Legislative Finance Committee is applying the breaks, proposing a NEARLY flat budget even with inflation and tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest New Mexicans. We always follow Voices for Children’s lead on all things budget, tax and revenue, . Below is from Voices. They have sounded the alarm and issued a call to action.
Background: With an estimated surplus of $3.6 billion for the coming year, New Mexico is going to be awash in money when lawmakers meet early next year to pass a state budget. This revenue can help New Mexico address our many unmet needs and challenges, like assisting communities harmed by extreme weather and other climate-related events. We also need to increase our investments in education, health care, and public safety – all of which are relied upon by our families, communities, and businesses. In addition, the voters made it known that they expect big new investments in early childhood care and education.
Despite all this, LFC lawmakers are expected to propose a budget with only modest increases, especially when you factor in inflation.
And instead of going big with investments in our state, some lawmakers are talking about giving away $1 billion of the surplus money in permanent tax cuts. Unfortunately, $1 billion in tax cuts enacted this year will continue to cost us $1 billion (or more) every year after that. In those years when we don’t have the kind of budget surplus we have now, lawmakers may either have to cut funding for education, health care, public safety, and more or increase taxes.
The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) is meeting this week to develop a framework for the state budget that will be passed during the legislative session next year. Lawmakers should be cautious with permanent tax cuts that don’t directly advance equity and should propose a budget that reflects our values and meets the myriad of unmet needs in education, health care, the environment, and our communities.
Action Needed: Contact members of the LFC this week and ask them to increase the state budget for the coming year by making bigger investments in cradle-to-career education, health care, the environment, and more and to resist the temptation to pass tax cuts for big business and the wealthy.
What You Might Say: “As you craft the budget for next year, I urge you to make bigger investments in cradle-to-career education, health care, the environment, and more. Also, please resist the temptation to pass tax cuts for wealthy earners and big corporations that will cost us year after year and put future budgets at risk. Thank you.” But best to put this in your own words.
Contact Info: If your state senator or representative serves on the LFC (see list below), please contact them. If neither of the legislators who represent you in Santa Fe are on this list, contact the committee chair and/or vice chair.
- Rep. Patricia A. Lundstrom, Chair, email@example.com, (505) 722-2980
- Sen. George K. Munoz, Vice Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 722-0191
- Rep. Gail Armstrong, email@example.com, (505) 269-2364
- Rep. Brian G. Baca, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 565-0304
- Sen. Pete Campos, email@example.com, (505) 425-0508
- Rep. Christine Chandler, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 695-2646
- Rep. Jack Chatfield, email@example.com, (575) 673-2320
- Rep. Harry Garcia, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 290-7510
- Sen. Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales, email@example.com, (575) 758-2674
- Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, firstname.lastname@example.org, (575) 654-0683
- Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil, email@example.com, (505) 948-2320
- Sen. Gay G. Kernan, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 629-8081
- Sen. Steven P. Neville, email@example.com, (505) 327-5460
- Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 983-8913
- Rep. Nathan P. Small, email@example.com, (575) 496-9540
- Rep. Candie G. Sweetser, firstname.lastname@example.org, (575) 546-2915
- Sen. Pat Woods, email@example.com, (575) 357-8594
Find out who represents you in Santa Fe here.
Thank you, Voices for Children!
From Retake: Remember a state budget is not just abstract numbers, it is a moral document that defines what you value and what you do not. WE need to raise our voices, now.
People’s Assembly on Climate in NM?
350 Santa Fe invites you to join a discussion with Laura Berry, Director of People’s Voice on Climate, to hear about their experience organizing a People’s Assembly on Climate in Washington State in 2021. This will give us a basis for considering what we might accomplish with something similar here in New Mexico.
A People’s Assembly is a set of citizens chosen by lot to address important policy issues and make recommendations.
The Zoom will be at 10 am MT on Friday, 16 December.
Please feel free to share this invitation with other individuals and organizations who might be interested.
Laura Berry is a climate justice advocate and independent researcher working at the intersections of democratic engagement and the Climate Emergency movement. She brings over a decade of experience in climate advocacy, organizing, and policy to the work of People’s Voice on Climate, and served as a Monitoring Team member and lead advisor to PVOC during the Washington State Climate Assembly before taking on the Director role. Laura holds a MS in Global Environment, Politics and Society from the University of Edinburgh and a B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic.
For more info on The People’s Voice on Climate, click here
Topic: People’s Assembly Zoom
Time: Dec 16, 2022 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
In solidarity & hope,
Paul & Roxanne
P.S If you are not signed up for the alerts, now is the time to do so, as that is how you will know when bills we support will be heard in committees, Alerts include bill summaries, speaking points, and contact info for legislators who will be voting on the bill. The alerts make it easy to effectively engage in the process. Click here to sign up.