new mexico legislature
Citizens Really United
Activists prompt New Mexico to take a stand
A megaphone made of cash. That’s what Stephen Colbert sought when he created his super PAC in a satirical dismantling of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.
It’s Gov. Martinez’ bash, and she’ll pack it with controversy if she wants to
Special Session Crib Notes
Veto That Veto
Criminal justice reform may still be in the cards for New Mexico
Playing Chicken With Millions
Senators battled as the final moments of the 2011 legislative session ticked away
If an eye for an eye makes everyone blind, a bill for a bill leaves our roads messed up and our senior centers unfunded.
During the legislative session, most measures are passed in the final days, hours and even minutes. As the clock wound down on Saturday, March 19, lawmakers threw a wrench in the works to force one of the governor’s priorities through. But it didn’t work, and in the end, Gov. Susana Martinez’ “social promotion” education bill got left behind—and so did millions for improvements around the state.
Free the Data—Crack open the databases, New Mexico. Taxpayers want a look. Under Rep. Joseph Cervantes' (D-Las Cruces) bill, the state would allow people to peruse electronic collections of data "maintained by or on behalf of a public body."
When closing the gender divide, an elected woman’s work is never done
The number of female legislators in New Mexico is at a record high—30 percent going into the 2010 elections. That's higher than the national average of 24 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More women are taking on professions that tend to produce elected officials. But there's still a gender gap.
Music to Your Ears
An Uncertain Future for the New Mexico Music Commission
When Republican Susana Martinez was elected governor in November, her transition team informed all state political appointees—otherwise known as exempt workers—that they had to resign by Gov. Richardson's last day in office. New Mexico Music Commission Director Nancy Laflin was among those who lost their jobs. The agency—which was established by Gov. Richardson in 2005 and approved by unanimous votes in the house and senate in 2009—now has no paid staff.
Ortiz y Pino
An Unhappy Compromise
The special session of the Legislature accomplished in four days what was impossible in 30: reaching an agreement on how to plug a $600 million gap in next year's budget. Legislators did it because the pressure was on—and because a lot of preliminary work was done the week before. That work at least provided a starting point for heavy negotiations.
The Bills that Made it Out of the Grinder
As promised, here’s a list of bills that passed the House and Senate. Click on the links to read them for yourself. (To look at all the measures that were in play during the regular session, click here.)
Ortiz y Pino
The Bishops Are Back
They are not yet as eagerly anticipated as the swallows returning annually to Capistrano or the vultures’ flight back to Hinckley, Ohio, each spring. But the yearly arrival at the Roundhouse of the three prelates who make up the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken on the same predictability as those other seasonal gatherings.
Most of the attention during this 30-day session is focused on budget woes. But with all the bad press state politicians ate last year over accusations of dirty dealings, some ethics bills may have a shot after all.