Legislative Roundup: 58 Days Left In 2021 Session

Legislative Roundup

Quote of the day: “One of my concerns is that we’re instituting all this security, and I have not heard of really a credible threat. I’ve heard what’s described as chatter – not real clear what that means – but we’re going through quite a bit of [an] extensive security operation there at the Capitol to combat this, and I just sometimes wonder if it’s all warranted or not.” –Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca, R-Belen, during Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce’s weekly statewide radio broadcast on Network New Mexico.

No parking, no money: Emergency street closures around the state Capitol, which remains under tight security amid threats of violence and civil unrest, could cost the city of Santa Fe some $208,000. According to a special use permit New Mexico State Police obtained from the city for the 60-day legislative session, the lion’s share of the costs stem from lost revenue from 400 bagged meters. But the cost may not end up being that high. The permit indicates state police will reassess the situation in 30 days to “determine actual costs”. The city waived the special permit fees but is tracking expenses in hopes of getting reimbursed by the federal government. 

From Santa Fe with love: After the U.S. Climate Alliance lauded President Joe Biden’s order to rejoin the Paris Agreement, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted she was proud to add New Mexico to the alliance as one of her first acts of governor in 2019. “I’m excited and energized to see [Biden] take swift action on his first day in office to reaffirm our country’s commitment to climate action by rejoining the #ParisAgreement,” she wrote on Twitter. 

Nothing better to do: Wednesday, the second day of this year’s 60-day legislative session, was an unusual one in that lawmakers did not convene either in person or virtually for floor or committee hearings. Expect minimal committee activity Thursday or Friday as legislative committees begin to gear up with organizational meetings, though a few pieces of legislation may be introduced here and there. Visit www.nmlegis.gov and click on the “what’s happening” link to get a daily schedule of hearings. 

GOP transparency push rebuffed: Before adjourning late Tuesday night, Senate Republicans tried to make the case for an amendment to require the posting of committee agendas at least 12 hours before a meeting in the final two weeks of the session. They argued a resolution that establishes rules in the chamber and called for agendas to be posted “as soon as practicable in advance of the meeting” could actually leave the public in the dark. “This is a very de minimis [trivial] requirement to allow us to have a little bit more transparency to make sure the public is involved in this process,” said Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, the minority caucus chairman. But Democrats, who control the Senate 27-15, didn’t budge and shot down the amendment. Agendas throughout the rest of the session have to be posted at least 24 hours in advance.