Greetings New Mexico Activists:
Many of you heard about yesterday’s inexplicable decision by the Governor to veto SB 48, the Junior Bill, which contains funding for hundreds of legislator-identified projects. The Governor insultingly characterized these projects as “litter,” but even a cursory review of the bill reveals funding to repair senior centers, dilapidated roads, wastewater treatment programs, and drug treatment facilities. It funds hundreds of vehicles for first responders, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, affordable housing programs, and veterans programs. And it would provide $640K in funding to sustain the Health Security Act Planning & Design study.
Paul will post a separate blog about the Junior Bill process, which is not without significant flaws and may need to be done away with entirely. But that should occur in the context of completely revising the legislative process, which operates under rules designed in 1916 to create a volunteer legislature whose scope of work included a fraction of what today’s legislature must tackle. But that discussion can wait for another day.
Today, we ask you to contact Democratic leadership and ask that they call an “extraordinary session” with the purpose of voting to override the Governor’s veto. We appear to not be alone in seeking such an action.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Senate Republicans characterized the veto as “an obvious slight to the legislative branch of government.” Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen said, “The veto of this legislation is a shameless attempt to beat the legislative branch into submission and again eat away at our appropriating authority. I call on my colleagues in the Senate and House to convene the Legislature in extraordinary session for the purpose of overriding this unconscionable and irresponsible veto.” Senate Finance Committee Chair George Muñoz, D-Gallup, also chimed in to say he supports an extraordinary session, not only to override the governor’s vetoes but also to suspend the state gas tax.
To override the Governor’s veto, Dem. leadership must encourage and lead the Senate and House Democratic caucuses to support convening an extraordinary session. So we ask you to contact your own Senate and House members and the members of Democratic Leadership listed below with a clear, succinct message:
“Please call an extraordinary session to override the Governor’s veto of SB 48, which includes $640K in funding vital to sustain the health security planning and design study, as well as tens of millions of dollars for critical housing, health, mental health, public safety, domestic violence shelter, and transportation funding. We can fix the flaws in the Junior Bill process another day and in the context of broader legislative reform.”
To find contact info for your Senator and Rep, go to this link at nmlegis.gov. See contact info below for House and Senate Leadership. Calls to capitol phones may go unanswered, so please use the home number if listed. These are all taken from the nmlegis.gov website. Please call and email today!
House Speaker Brian Egolf
Capitol Phone (505) 986-4782
Majority Floor Leader Rep. Javier Martinez
Capitol Phone (505) 986-4780; Home Phone: (505) 289-3939; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos
Capitol Phone (505) 986-4780; Home Phone (575) 649-6325; Email email@example.com
Senate Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Peter Wirth
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4727; Office Phone: (505) 986-4727
Senate Pro-tem Mimi Stewart
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4734; Office Phone: (505) 986-4733
Senate Majority Whip, Sen. Linda Lopez
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4737; Home Phone: (505) 831-4148
Just when we thought we were done with legislative session craziness, there’s more work to do. Let’s not allow the Governor to keep these essential programs from being funded!
In Solidarity and Hope,
Roxanne & Paul