Bill 301 To Study Modernizing New Mexico Legislature Passes Final Committee And Now Heads To House Floor

Rep. Melanie Stansbury

NM House Democrats News:

SANTA FE — A bill to study modernizing New Mexico’s legislature so it is more responsive to the needs of New Mexicans has passed its final committee and is headed to the House Floor.

Sponsored by Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces) and Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque), House Bill 301 creates a bipartisan Legislative Process Review Commission to review New Mexico’s current legislative policies and procedures, and to develop proposals for improving and modernizing the 112-member legislature. Areas examined would include legislative transparency and public access, legislator compensation and staff support, session rules and procedures, and needed improvements to the capital outlay process. 

Rep. Angelica Rubio

“This is far from the first time a legislative review has been discussed, but the time to act is now,” Rep. Rubio said. “The Commission established by HB 301 creates a roadmap to getting things done more efficiently in Santa Fe and modernizing our legislature, particularly when it comes to issues surrounding public transparency.” 

“Building on bipartisan work over the past several years, HB 301 develops a framework for advancing our legislative process so it is more receptive to the needs of our state,” Rep. Stansbury said. “It’s of the utmost importance that we identify a path forward to address all of the structural issues we struggle with every year as we work to propose quality legislation and put forward the best policies possible.” 

House Bill 301 is based on the work of the Thornburg Foundation, which provided a report on how to modernize the New Mexico legislature in December 2019. A copy of the report is attached to this release. The Legislative Process Review Commission created by this bill would report their findings by Oct. 31, 2022. 

House Bill 301 passed the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee today on a party line 5-3 vote, and will be heard next on the House Floor.

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.