Legislative Update

In the 30-day sessions, the statewide budget is generally the main focus – as it was this session – along with a few others. SB-12 Capital Outlay fell into that category.

We also saw election bills that were stopped during the session much to the delight of most Republicans. While there were good items in the bills, they were weighed down with items that were detrimental.

In the 1800’s and even into the early 1900’s, 16-year-olds had the responsibility of homes, land, and families. Today’s world is very different. When the proposal came out for 16-year-olds to be allowed to vote, it raised concerns around the state. With permanent absentee ballots being created, we already see a problem with removing people from voter rolls… why create a list that can be set aside and not followed any closer than any other voter role? And who would be accepting the absentee ballot?

This bill also contained the clause proposing convicted felons being allowed to vote if they were not already in an institution. For more information see SB-6 and SB-8 in the 2022 session. The Legislators did pass SB-144 – making it a crime to intimidate election workers (a win in everyone’s book).

More than 40 crime bills were introduced in the 2022 session, many of them did get stuck in Committee debates however, SB-68 passed at the end of the session. This legislation rolled key parts of other crime bills into one and added penalties for crimes such as fleeing from law enforcement as well as setting penalties for operating a chop shop, etc.

Legislators passed SB-1 unanimously, giving licensed teacher raises in New Mexico. There were other pieces of legislation concerning education that either did not have the same approval, or did not fall in the range of topics that legislators were allowed to consider in a 30-day session, and so died in session.

Conclusion

Our Legislation Committee for the RGFRW has put together a plan that includes watching, following, and talking about the legislation as it is presented, talking to our legislators, and letting them know how important they are to all of us.