New Mexico Legislature Update: Day 15 Tuesday, January 31, 2022

All five of New Mexico’s Washington DC delegation are Democrats.  The southern part of the state has always had conservative leanings and has sent a Republican to Congress.  Not this year.  The south failed to send a Republican to Washington because of Redistricting, a process that occurs every 10 years and is based on population shifts.  This year the Legislature carved out a swath in Albuquerque so that the district includes a portion of Albuquerque and runs all the way down to Carlsbad.

A lawsuit challenging the Redistricting is now before the New Mexico Supreme Court.  In the meantime, Resolution 1 would create a 9-member independent board to draw up the redistricting map rather than leaving it up to the Legislature.

Souring Crime especially in Albuquerque is a major issue in the Legislature this year.  In an effort to reform the system,  Legislators heard testimony on whether there is a scientific means to determine if those taken into custody will re-offend and must remain incarcerated.  The short answer is “No.”

The Legislator’s attempt at reform is Senate Bill 123 which says if you commit a violent crime, say murder, you stay in jail.  The Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Senator Joe Cervantes, said, “Not so fast.”  Apparently, our liberal New Mexico Supreme Court has already ruled such a measure is unconstitutional.  So criminal reform remains in limbo at this point with the Senate Judiciary Committee not voting on the bill. 

Legislative UPDATE, Monday, January 30 2023

Two pro-life rallies were held at the Roundhouse last week.  On Wednesday, mass at the Cathedral was filled with pro-life supporters who then gathered outside the Roundhouse. On Wednesday a group of pro-life organizations organized a rally inside the Rotunda of the Capitol.  Heads of these organizations spoke along with pastors, politicians, and the head of New Mexico’s Knights of Columbus.  

Both events were well attended but received no follow-up publicity.  A small photo appeared in the Albuquerque Journal today in reference to one of many rallies at the Roundhouse.  The Albuquerque Journal pointed out, rallies, the number of people attending and persistence count in influencing legislation.  Unfortunately, publicity is also part of the mix.  If you want to get something done in New Mexico politics, you must persist, elect like-minded legislators and constantly be in touch with the legislative body.  Also, part of the mix, unfortunately, is hiring a lobbyist.

Also noted around the Roundhouse was the resignation of Dr. David Scrase, the head of Human Services.  The resignation of a cabinet member might not be that noteworthy but it comes on the heels of two other cabinet members who resigned within a weeks.  The Public Education Secretary and the head of General Services also resigned last week.  Also gone from the administration are the Secretaries for Finance and the Secretary for Indian Affairs. 

The loss of five cabinet members is certainly not about money.  Governor Lujan Grisham is noted for bloating salaries.  Salaries for the newly formed PRC for example went from $97,000 a year salary to $197,000 a year.

Please pray for the pro-life movement and the legislators who have taken such a strong stance namely Rep. Rod Montoya from Farmington who helped organize the Rally and Sen. Bill Sharer also from Farmington, a stalwart for the cause for many years.

Also, please pray for the Governor as she reforms her Cabinet.  

New Mexico Legislature UPDATE: Day 11, Friday, January 27, 2023

Getting bills passes in the legislature is somewhat like a beauty contest; whose getting the attention, who are the sponsors, which are the standouts.  A Governor supported bill gets moved to the top of most agendas.  If it’s “coming from the fourth floor” which is jargon for the governor’s office, the bill will get that special attention.

This year the Governor at a national meeting proposed a universal school lunch program for all New Mexico students, K through 12.  As a dramatic beauty contest like jester, the members of the Senate Finance committee members were served a, quote, “typical” school lunch, “just to know what they were talking about.”  A Farmington nutritionist testified in committee that 1 in 5 New Mexico students experience “food insecurity.”  On the other hand, American’s a facing an obesity rate of about one-third.  

The price tag on the bill is $30 million per year to feed approximately 69,000 students.  Private and tribal schools would not be included but in the program but would be encouraged to make meals available to their students as well.

Other bills that are being considered are penalties for cattle rustling – yes, the prevention of livestock theft; the development of geothermal energy, tapping into New Mexico’s hot springs as a form of natural energy; and a $250 million “Water Trust Fund” to upgrade New Mexico water infrastructure.

Please pray for our legislators as they being the laborious task of moving bills forward; that those bills worthy of consideration for the good of New Mexicans will be the bills that received consideration and passage.

New Mexico Legislature 2023: Daily Report

Thursday, January 26, 2023 Day 10

The most insidious sin of our time is undoubtedly pornography.  Its ubiquitous nature has even our very young addicted.  So it is a sign of our times that lawmakers feel it a necessity to teach our children how to negotiate sexual activity.  House Bill 43, AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT POLICY IN SCHOOLS, requires schools to teach that an “affirmative, conscious agreement” be given by our children to each other before engaging in sexual activity.  

New Mexico Voices for Children, a child advocacy program, brought children who were victims of sexual assault to the committee room to share their stories of assault.  Students would be taught that silence does not mean “yes” and that being passed out is not a “yes” to sexual activity.  Please pray for an end to pornography in this state, in the country and in the world.

Yesterday’s Sanctity of Human Life rally was well attended as was the mass at Santa Fe’s Cathedral Basilica.  The Knight of Columbus who traditionally provide breakfast for the legislators refused to do so this year sighting the Governor’s adamant promotion of abortion.  Archbishop Alan Wester put the best spin on the incident stating the breakfast promotes dialogue between the church and legislators.

New Mexico experienced the longest COVID lockdown of any state.  Legislation to limit the Governor’s power as the single authority to keep the state lockdown passed its first committee with only one dissenting vote.  Rep Gail Chasey from Albuquerque argued that things worked well under the Governor’s lockdown order.  The bill would require the Governor to call a special session of the Legislature after 90 days of lockdown.

Please pray for our children, the end to abortion and a truly democratic governance in our legislature. 

Has New Mexico State Representative Theresa Leger Fernandez Misrepresented the Facts About Born-Alive?

New Mexico WatchmanJanuary 16, 2023
  Has New Mexico State Representative Theresa Leger Fernandez Misrepresented the Facts About Born-Alive?

Has New Mexico Representative Theresa Leger Fernandez misrepresented the facts in the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” which would require medical care for babies born alive after a failed abortion?

Please Note:
1. The child is born, is alive, and is separate and apart from the mother’s body.
2. The mother sought an abortive procedure to rid herself of her child

New Mexico’s Representative Theresa Leger Fernandez gave the following justification for voting “No.” on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

Representative Theresa Leger Fernandez’s Statement:
“I am wearing white today to oppose the extreme Republican bill that they have brought forth that would criminalize woman’s decisions they would make about their own bodies.”
(The child has been born and is separate from the mother’s body.)

“And in this case, about a baby that may be born and does not have viability.”
(The name of the Act is “Born Alive,” born with viability.)

They (the Republicans) would wrench that baby from the parent and force them to take it to a hospital and spend their last minutes hooked up to a machine rather than in the arms of the mother who loved that child.
(The “loving mother” characterization is inconsistent with an abortive mother.)

“That’s why I voted ‘no’ today on the “Parental Interference Act” which they are calling something else but it is not.”