[UPDATED] Session 2017 Recap: How Did Progress for Women Do?

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.

[UPDATE:] Bill to decriminalize abortion in New Mexico PASSES in the HOUSE

[UPDATE:]House Bill #473 that decriminalizes abortion PASSES in the House. The bill now moves on to the Judiciary Committee. You’ve done it again! Thank you for turning out on a SUNDAY to show lawmakers you are invested in the health of New Mexico women! HB 220, the Late-term Abortion Ban was defeated, along with HB 221, the Forced Parental Notification Bill. These two Draconian bills have no place in a society that values the lives and healthcare of women – thank you for your support.

[Video] Pearce’s office denies entry to Korean War Vet, others, with security officers after Pearce tweets to “come on by”

Over 200 people arrived at Congressman Steve Pearce’s Las Cruces office on Friday to find that, once again, they were locked out of meeting with his staff. Read more: [Watch] Rep. Steve Pearce (R) office locks constituents out, then sneak out the back door to avoid answering questions on Trump
Local activists associated with the Indivisible movements in Truth or Consequences, Las Cruces, Otero County, Lincoln County, Sierra County, Grant County, and Luna County planned what they called a Mock Town Hall event Friday afternoon. ProgressNow New Mexico staffer Lucas Herndon was on site to bring the event live via Facebook. You can check out footage of the whole event here:

Constituents who arrived to schedule appointments with the Congressman found the door blocked by private security officers.  In response, the group chose to organize a protest, eventually lining up again to knock on the door to request meetings.

City of Las Cruces just said NO to Trump’s wall: Support our state legislators trying to do the same thing!

In a 6-1 vote yesterday, the City of Las Cruces sent a resounding message to President Trump: No border wall in our backyard. Las Cruces is the county seat of Doña Ana County which shares 62 miles of its southern border with Mexico. The treaty which ended hostilities between the two countries in 1848 was signed in Mesilla, the village just west of Las Cruces and at the time, still a part of Mexico. The resolution, introduced by Mayor pro-tem Greg Smith, states among other points, “Whereas, the economic, historic, and cultural connections between our part of the United States and just across the border in Mexico is underscored by the families whose members have been connected across this region for hundreds of years before there was a border between the modern countries of the United States and Mexico.”

The dissenting vote was cast, unsurprisingly, by perennial conservative Ceil Levatino. Levatino didn’t hold back her contempt for those speaking against the wall by making a condescending joke about such a wall “becoming a tourist destination” and by glibly referencing the Bracero program, which drew harsh murmurs from the audience and a slew of angry Twitter comments.

House Republicans Stop Solar Tax Credits, Jobs in Committee

From KRWG, Las Cruces: 

 House Republicans Wednesday voted against House Bill 193 in the House Business and Industry committee along a partisan 5-5 vote. HB 193 would have made permanent and expanded New Mexico’s investment in solar energy, creating jobs and diversifying the state’s economy at a time when its over reliance on oil and gas has left us in a deep financial crisis.  Sponsored by Representative Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), HB 193 made permanent the Solar Market Development Tax Credits as well as offering them to both private individuals, low income families as well as commercial businesses. “Never has our state had such a huge need to diversify its economy and to create jobs in industries that are immune to cuts in the federal budget or swings in the price of oil and natural gas,” said Representative Ely. “At a time when New Mexicans are wondering why we aren’t the solar capital of the world, it is really disappointing to see my colleagues across the aisle fail to recognize the job creating potential of solar energy.”

House Bill 193 would have increased the solar tax credit from 10% to 15% of the cost of purchase and installation for families making less than $43,871 per year. The new “solar market development corporate income tax credit” would’ve allowed businesses to claim 10% of the purchase and installation cost of a solar energy system. Currently, there are 96 solar companies who call New Mexico home that employs around 2,000 individuals.

Sec. of State takes huge step toward more transparency in state government

In a step toward a more open and transparent government, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver launched a new online resource today aimed at tracking the financial interests of elected officials around the state. Financial Disclosure Documents have been a part of public service in New Mexico for years but were previously only available in hard copies found in Santa Fe.

3 Bills Aim to Protect Reproductive Rights in New Mexico

[UPDATE: SB 282 Passed in the House Judiciary Committee, March 10! Now it moves on the the Governor’s desk.]

Respect New Mexico Women, a coalition of local organizations committed to supporting women’s health care access launched their reproductive agenda this week with a trio of legislative bills that expand the reproductive rights of women in our state, where New Mexicans remain unapologetically in favor of a woman’s right to access all forms of healthcare, including abortion. This is not necessarily true across the nation, where supporters, activists and healthcare providers face the possibility of dangerous rollbacks in legislation. Committees are reviewing at least forty-six anti-abortion bills in 14 states that challenge access to reproductive health including the right to a legal and safe abortion. With the appointment of religious zealot Betsy DeVos, whose family money has “funded crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)” that lie to patients about pregnancy, abortion, and other health concerns,” women’s health may soon find itself in limbo, but not yet.

In first post-Trump elections, progressives sweep school elections helped by record voter turnout

Progressive candidates fought off pro-Trump Tea Party candidates in school board elections around the state, Tuesday. It was the first election test of the newly energized progressive movement in the Trump era. The results are still coming in but the early results are already clear:  this movement isn’t just about resistance in the streets – we’re voting, too! “Voter turnout in Albuquerque was almost double what it was two years ago, and early numbers show that those voters came out for a slate of progressive candidates endorsed by educators unions, progressive elected leaders and community organizations, including ProgressNowNM,” says Pat Davis, executive director of ProgressNowNM. In a sign of progressive voting power:

ProgressNowNM’s Progressive Champions PAC Voter Guide was viewed online more than 25,000 times – 14,511 times in the 7 days preceding the election.