Greetings New Mexico Activists:
There are some interesting topics coming up for discussion in Interim Committee meetings next week. We want you to know that, in part due to our persistent inquiries about making the meetings available via Zoom and scheduling public comment, many of the Interim Committees are making an effort to do so. Committee staff have been surprised to hear of our interest in their meetings, which points to a historic lack of attention to and participation in these meetings by the public. We may be changing that, which can only strengthen democracy in our state!
As we’ve said before, Interim Committee meetings are where our legislators often get their first exposure to new ideas, issues, and potential legislation. If we participate and learn what they are learning, we will advance the effectiveness and success of our advocacy. So, thank you for hanging in there and learning along with us. Pay special attention to the Water & Natural Resources Committee agenda, #4 below. And please note the next meeting of the PRC Nominating Committee on Aug. 29, #5 below. Here’s what’s coming up:
1. The Mortgage Finance Authority Act Oversight Committee will meet Monday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m. to Noon, at the NM Mortgage Finance Authority Office, 344 Fourth St. SW, Albuquerque. Not a very sexy committee name, but if you’re interested in housing issues, agenda topics include Affordable Housing Act Update, Regional Housing Authority Update, and Housing Individuals Experiencing Homelessness. Review the full agenda at this link. No public comment is scheduled, but the meeting is open to the public and available via Webcast at this link. You can find the committee roster at this link.
2. The Courts, Corrections & Justice Committee will meet Aug. 22-24 in the Senate Chamber at the Roundhouse. Agenda topics include Affordable Housing’s Connection to Crime, Cannabis Equity in New Mexico, Addressing Drunk Driving in New Mexico, and more. Review the full agenda at this link.
Public comment is scheduled at 4 p.m. on Aug. 22 and 23, and 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 24. Please follow this link to read instructions about making public comment. Unfortunately, the instructions are a little confusing, but it looks as if you must pre-register to make public comment via Zoom, and you can only do so the morning of the meeting. Use this link to join the meeting via Zoom. Or watch the meeting via Webcast at this link. You’ll find a list of committee members at this link.
To comment in person, there is typically a sign-up sheet as you enter the meeting room. A note at the top of the agenda says you may submit written comments that will then be “made public on the committee’s web page.” There’s no info about where to submit written comments, so please email them to the secretary, Sean Dolan, at Sean.Dolan@nmlegis.gov. I’m sorry this isn’t more straightforward.
3. The Rural Economic Opportunities Task Force will meet Aug. 23-24 at Los Luceros Historic Site, 253 County Road 41 in Alcalde. Agenda topics include Broadband Status Update, a State Rural Infrastructure Program, a report on last year’s Rural Summit, Opportunities for Value-Added Agriculture, and more. Review the full agenda at this link.
Public comment is scheduled at 4:15 p.m. on Aug. 23, which may only be possible in person – no Zoom info is posted as of today. We suggest you email your written comment in advance to the committee secretary, Mark Edwards, at Mark.Edwards@nmlegis.gov. And FYI, if you’re interested in the 2021 Rural Infrastructure Needs Study, you’ll find it at this link. You can watch the meeting via Webcast at this link. And you’ll find the committee roster here.
4. The Water & Natural Resources Committee will meet Aug. 25-26 at the Clovis Civic Center, 801 Schepps Blvd., in Clovis. This is an important one folks! Agenda topics include Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Contamination, Update on the Ute Pipeline Project, Status of the Avangrid/PNM Merger, Public Power Options, EV Charging in NM, Geothermal Developments & Opportunities, Green Hydrogen Development & Potential, Carbon Capture Sequestration Costs & Effectiveness, Methane Regulations, and Orphaned & Abandoned Well Cleanup. Whew! Review the full agenda at this link.
Public comment is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 25 and will be accessible via Zoom. The link to the Zoom will not appear until just before the meeting begins at 9 a.m., and it should be posted at this webpage, according to committee secretary Tom Kricka. If you prefer, you can email your written comment to Tom.Kricka@nmlegis.gov, the earlier the better. Or you can watch the meeting via Webcast at this link. and you’ll find the committee roster here.
5. The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) Nominating Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 9 a.m. in Room 307 at the Roundhouse. The focus of this meeting, according to the draft meeting schedule, is “Public input from stakeholders on qualities they want to see in the appointed Commissioners.” You can find more information at this link.
An agenda has not been posted, but here is the info I did find: “This will be held in person and via Zoom. The public is welcome to attend the meeting at the New Mexico State Capitol, Room 307, located at 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. The public may also view the meeting remotely via a livestream on http://www.nmlegis.gov. Information on how to connect to the livestream of this meeting will be posted at https://www.nm-prc.org/nominating-committee/ several minutes before the start of the meeting.
Individuals wishing to make public comment at this meeting may do so in person at the State Capitol, Room 307, or via Zoom. It is advisable to sign up for public comment as early as possible and no later than two hours before the start of the Committee Meeting; individuals who do not sign up will not be allowed to make comment. To sign up for public comment please contact Wayne Propst by email at email@example.com. A specific agenda will be posted at least 72 hours before the meeting on https://www.nm-prc.org/nominating-committee/. The order of the agenda items may be revised at the Committee meeting. For additional information regarding this notice or for any other Committee meeting information, please contact the Commission’s Office of Chief of Staff at (505) 470-8984.”
Please consider offering public comment at this meeting. It may be the only opportunity for the public to influence the composition of our new PRC in 2023.
Thank you for reading to the end of this Alert! We know you’re busy and you have to be selective about where you devote your activism time. Please choose what feels most essential to you and do what you can to make your voice heard.
In Solidarity and Hope,
Roxanne and Paul
Greetings New Mexico Activists: