That’s a wrap!
New Mexico’s 2017 legislative session is done, at it may go down in the history books as one of the strangest – and our busiest!
I’m still crunching the numbers, but early indications show that New Mexicans like you used our advocacy tools to contact legislators more than 50,000 times and read our legislature reports more than 100,000 times a month during the session! If you missed any of our 40+ legislative reports, catch up here.
For 2017, voters gave Democrats control of the House and Senate and sent the largest progressive caucus to Santa Fe to get New Mexico working again. They passed a balanced budget with revenue enhancements to avoid the governor’s proposed cuts to public education and public safety, and they sent two minimum wage increase bills to the governor.
Our progressive champions didn’t disappoint in other areas either, introducing bills to raise income taxes on the 1% (Rep. Daymon Ely), guarantee access to birth control for women (Reps. Gail Chasey, Debbie Armstrong and Joanne Ferrary), limit for-profit testing in classrooms (Rep. Joanne Ferrary, Nate Small, Linda Trujillo, Christine Trujillo, Stephanie Garcia Richard) and require oil and gas companies to report the methane they release into our air (Sen. Benny Shendo and Rep. Georgene Louis).
See the House Democrat’s post-session press conference here:
— NM House Democrats (@NMHouseDems) March 18, 2017
But Republicans still managed to stop important bills New Mexico needs.
-After gun violence survivors campaigned for Republican leader Nate Gentry (R-Abq.) based on his promise to help pass background check legislation, Gentry organized the effort to kill the bill he helped write requiring background checks for gun sales (Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard & Sen. Richard Martinez).
-Republicans also stopped a bill to extend solar tax credits for homeowners (Rep. Daymon Ely) and stopped an override of the governor’s veto of the “Teachers are Human Too” bill letting teachers use sick leave when they are sick.
Read our wrap-up coverage of major initiatives this session:
Then, in the final days of the session, Gov. Martinez broke out a case of veto pens killing 10 (and counting) bills after Senators in her own party questioned her role in a pay-to-play real estate bill and led an override of her veto blocking teachers from using sick leave.
Maybe she’s mad that our poll showed that a majority of New Mexicans – including a majority of Republicans – oppose her budget plans? Either way, we’ll all be back soon for a special session to pass a budget. In the meantime, we’ll be ramping up the pressure on the gov to support some simple tax increases voters support instead of cutting more from education, public safety or working families.
In the meantime, I’m giving our staff a couple of days off to recover, then we’ll be back to help our Congressional delegation stand up for health care and stop Pres. Trump’s crazy budget cuts.
Thanks for making us New Mexico’s most read and most active progressive news hub.