The special session is just minutes old and we’re about to see the months-long standoff between the Democratically controlled House and Senate and the governor come to a head.
Companies capturing stopping leaks of Methane and other greenhouse and polluting gases at oil and gas drilling sites are expanding rapidly in New Mexico a new report shows. From the Public News Service – NM:
While cleaner air is good news for the environment in New Mexico, it might be just as big a boon to the job market, since these companies are hiring workers to perform methane mitigation. The report showed at least 60 mitigation companies working in 45 states. Marcy Lowe, chief executive of Datu Research, a group related to Duke University that published the report, explained why it’s important to stop these leaks. “Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas,” she said.
After facing criticism for leaving more than 200 bills unsigned on her desk while leaving the state to speak at a conference of Tennessee workers, Martinez surprised nearly everyone by coming back to the state to announce hundreds-of-millions of dollars in vetoes, including vetoes to the entire budgets of every state college and university and the entire budget of the legislature, a branch she admits in her veto message is supposed to be a co-equal branch of government. The vetoed version of the budget includes line-item vetoes of the entire legislative budget.
At $18.7 million, the budget for the entire branch of government amounts to just 0.03% of the state’s $6 billion budget. Gov. also vetoes legislator memberships, keeps $100,000 in memberships for her out-of-state conferences and travel
Martinez also vetoed memberships and funds for travel for state legislators to attend legislative events but she kept more than $100,000 for her own memberships to governor’s conferences she frequently attends of out state at taxpayer expense, including the National and Western States Governors Associations.
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UPDATE: Here’s how three important bills we were tracking ended up this session: (1) Health Coverage for Contraception (HB 284) – a bill aiming to expand contraceptive access by covering both women and men and requiring insurance companies to cover up to one year’s supply of contraception at once – passed the House and one Senate committee but wasn’t voted on by the whole Senate. (2) Hospital Patient Protections (SB 282) would have prevented New Mexico hospitals (often religious institutions) from blocking reproductive health care that could put a patient’s life or health in danger. It, however, was not voted on by the full Senate. (3) In a major win, the Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act (HB 179) passed both houses and now awaits action by the Governor. This important bill will ensure pregnant workers will be able to continue working and support their families while they are pregnant.
Over the duration of the 2017 regular session, we fought to create laws that would result in keeping guns out of dangerous hands. In the end, major legislation that would have changed the way that people purchase firearms by requiring background checks for all gun sales, had its language changed and eventually met its fate in the House Judiciary Committee. However, not all gun violence prevention legislation reached the same result.
On November 1st, I accepted a position as the Community Engagement Strategist for ProgressNow NM. When I spoke with Executive Director, Pat Davis about the job, what it entailed, what my skill set was and how it applied, and how it didn’t – in regards to the things I would “learn on the job,” I was still feeling like a foreigner in only a slightly less intimidating environment.
Remember last week when she complained that the two chambers were being lazy and not giving her enough bills to sign (even though they’d passed 175 bills at that time)? Now she’s vetoed 6 that were supported by many members of her own party, some of which would also have had a direct economic benefit on the state.