Local Leagues in New Mexico

Action Committee 2014 Thirty Day Session

Photo of the Roundhouse after a winter snow

2015 Legislative Calendar is Up!

The dates of the 2015 Short Session of the New Mexico Legislature are now available! The full legislature will not be in session untion January 2015, but Interim Committees will be holding hearings throughout the state during the summer and fall, and this is where most of the bill preparation and public input takes place.

New Mexico Senate Gets a Failing Grade on Ethics Legislation

During the 2014 session of the New Mexico Legislature, the Senate blocked an important piece of legislation that would have improved the public's confidence in the accountability and fairness of their government.

Senate Bill 96 (Senator O'Neill) and House Bill 82 (Rep. Kane) would have barred legislators and cabinet secretaries from being paid lobbyists for two years after they leave office. Governor Martinez stated in message that she had already secured this commitment from her appointed cabinet secretaries.

House Bill 82 passed committees and the House Floor 43-23 with bipartisan support. HB82 then died in Senate Rules. The Senate leadership says they received the bill late in the session, so time just ran out. That may have been a valid reason; however, they killed the Senate companion bill early in the session. In 2015, The League of Women Voters will join with others to call upon New Mexico Legislature to pass a law similar to those of 31 other states and the federal Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, which increased the lobbying prohibition to two years and strengthened public disclosure requirements concerning lobbying activity and funding.

Dick Mason and Meredith Machen
League of Women Voters of New Mexico

LWVNM advocacy is coordinated by the LWVNM Action Committee. All League members are invited to participate in the Action Committee, whether or not they wish to become registered League lobbyists. The Action Committee meets by phone on approximately weekly during the legislative session, and monthly throughout the year. Meeting times and agendas, as well as more extensive discussions of proposed legislation, are found on the LWVNM Action listserv. To join the conference call from your city, please get in touch with the president of your local League, or phone in on your own.

You can receive Action Alerts by subscribing to the LWVNM Action listserv. To join, send a message to LWVNMTopics-subscribe (at) Yahoo Groups dot com. You will receive an email from the listserv, asking you to confirm your request to join the list - reply to it immediately, and you will be on the mailing list.

Legislative Calendar, 2015 Long Session
Date Time Description and Place
Dec 15 - Jan 16   Legislation may be pre-filed
Jan 20, Tue noon Opening Day
Feb 19, Thu   Deadline for Introduction of Bills
Mar 21, Thu noon Session Ends
Apr 10, Wed   Legislation not acted upon by Governor is pocket-vetoed
Jun 19   Effective date of legislation that is not a general appropriations bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date

League Priorities

The current League bill tracking sheet is now up (PDF)! Updated 01.31.2014

League Position Sheets

Here are the factsheets which were distributed at Feb 5th's League Day at the Legislature:

Contacting the Legislature

Call the legislative switchboard at (505) 986-4300 during the legislative session to contact your legislator or a legislative staff member. Other links are provided on the Legislative contact page.

Download the appropriate legislative agenda (House Committees, Senate Committees, House Floor, Senate Floor, HAFC, SFC) in order to find out if the bill is scheduled for a hearing. These agendas usually cover meetings coming up in the next two days, although some committees report their agendas farther in advance than that. Near the end of the session agendas may be posted only the night before a meeting.

The Legislative Council Service provides "Fiscal Impact Reports" for most bills, linked on the bill’s web page, which provides a general analysis of the bill as well as its fiscal impact. The Attorney General’s office also provides analyses of some bills, which discuss legal and other issues. (as of 12/20/13, nothing had yet been posted for 2014)

2014 Legislative Almanac

The New Mexico Electric Cooperatives publish the most comprehensive guide to the 2014 Legislature. It includes full contact information for each legislator, their background, committee assignments and a photo. Also contains info on the legislative path for a piece of legislation. If you are going to the State House, these are available in both the East & West lobbies. They're the full color tabloid-sized publication with a photo of the Round House on the cover

The League's 2013 Voters Key

The League is updating its Voters' Keys based on outcomes of the 2013 election. Meanwhile, the detailed information about your elected officials and how to contact them is available:

Guide to the Legislative Web Site

Most committee hearings and floor sessions are available through web-streaming (you will need to install special software to view them). Proposed legislation, fiscal analyses, schedules and more are available on the legislative website.

If you know the number or sponsor of a bill, you can most easily find it using the bill finder. This page also allows you to search by key word, subject, or status. The subject index is updated only weekly, but it provides a well-organized index to the bills introduced to date.

Alternatively, the locator provides a list of all bills introduced to date. The titles are usually sufficiently descriptive to determine whether the bill is of interest. Locator reports provide other ways to search: by date of introduction or date of legislative action, or by current location, referrals, actions, etc. You can track bills that are of interest to you by using the My Roundhouse" service (formerly known as "Bill Watcher").

The page for each bill lists the referrals and actions to date on the bill (use the link to the Key to Abbreviations provided on each page, also available on the left-hand side of most pages) as well as PDF files of the bill as filed, all amendments, and if appropriate the Financial Impact Report, which often contains a useful summary of the bill in addition to the financial analysis.

Contact information, committee assignments and other information including a link to sponsored legislation can be found through the members’ page.

Become a League Lobbyist

At the state level the League lobbies primarily on the basis of its state positions, which reflect the interests of the New Mexico Leagues, supplemented occasionally by national positions. We can not advocate at the state level on the basis of local League positions that have not been adopted by LWVNM.

If you wish to advocate in the name of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico, you must register with the Secretary of State’s office. Registration is free, as the League does not pay its members to lobby, but the registrant must file an authorization form signed by the president of the LWVNM together with his or her application in order to become a League lobbyist. The required forms can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s web site. You will need the lobbyist registration form and the lobbyist authorization form. These will also be available at League Day at the Legislature, January 24, 2012.

An individual representing only himself or herself when speaking with a legislator or other state official or employee is not a lobbyist under the terms of the law and does not need to register. Individuals can be very effective without representing a group. Indeed, the most effective citizen lobbyist is the one who engages with his own state Senator and Representative. League members who visit their legislators on League Day( Jan 28, 2014) should speak only as individuals unless they are registered as League lobbyists.

Notes from the 2012 Lobbying Workshop

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(To read the PDF files, you can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader:)