[RECAP] “Alternative facts” by Gov mask big progressive agenda wins in legislature

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Fresh off a ski trip to Utah alongside national Republican donors, Gov. Susana Martinez chided Democratic legislative leaders for wasting time in the closing days of the 2017 legislative session. Alternative facts aren’t just for Washington, DC anymore.

Don’t let the governor’s spin machine fool you. A review of legislation sent to her desk by legislators shows that the legislature has been busy, just not busy passing legislation she wants.  In fact, the legislature’s bill tracker shows that 175 pieces of legislation have passed in the first seven weeks of the two-month session.

There’s just one week left to go in the legislative session. Democratic majorities in both chambers – bolstered by stronger progressive caucuses after big wins in the 2016 elections – have accomplished a ton, but there is still a lot left to do.

 

With a dismal track-record over the past 7 years and new polling showing an historically bad job approval rating, Gov. Martinez is clearly trying to distract from her failed leadership.

FLASHBACK: NM ranked “worst-run-state” in US for last two years.

The governor might have a better bead on what’s of concern to New Mexicans if she stopped skiing and started working like the legislative branch has been doing for the past two months.

Since this is highly unlikely, however, we thought we should take some time to recap some of the 2017 legislature’s accomplishments so far.

Here are just a few of the bills Governor Martinez already vetoed:

  • The “jobs governor” vetoed another bill allowing New Mexico farmers to develop and grow hemp. That bill would have created new agricultural jobs for an industry that uses half the water of traditional New Mexico crops.  32 other states have already passed hemp legislation.
  • On Thursday, Martinez vetoed a bill to let teachers use their contractually-negotiated sick days when they get sick. Yep.

Here are some of the biggest progressive policy victories the legislature has already accomplished this year:

  • Facing one of the worst budget crises in state history, the Legislature quickly solved the looming crisis and balanced the state budget – sparing the state from harsh cuts to education, health care, and other critical services.
  • After a years-long fight, the House passed a proposal that would increase funding for K-12 and early childhood education by tapping the state’s $5 billion permanent fund. That bill now goes to the Senate.

And now, with just one week still to go, we’re watching some of the most exciting legislation that’s still to come:

  • House and Senate versions of legislation to (finally) require background checks for guns sales at gun shows and for online and newspaper sales are coming to critical votes this week.
    [ACTION ALERT: Make calls now]

The head-to-head matchup over the budget is going to be the biggest issue to watch as the clock ticks towards sine die at noon on Saturday, March 18th.

 

What can you do to support the hard work of New Mexico’s Legislature and push back against the Gov’s alternative facts?

Join one of our Rapid Response teams:

TAKE ACTION: Join our Reproductive Justice Solidarity Action List

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TAKE ACTION: Join our Immigration Solidarity Action List

TAKE ACTION: Support responsible gun laws

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