Date: February 17, 2022
The New Mexico 2022 Legislative session will be remembered for historic spending levels totaling $8.5 billion, an intoxicated legislator, and an unsuccessful power grab.
Getting into the Roundhouse required masks, proof of triple vaccine shots and no guns were allowed. If the requirements were meant to keep many people away, it was more than successful. One Christian church managed to host a weekly Bible study in the Roundhouse this year.
Five groups protested at the Roundhouse. They were young Planned Parent protegees chanting “Our bodies – Our Choice,” environmentalists saving the planet from fossil fuels, the teachers union, Native Americans and the Pro-Lifers.
The annual Sanctity of Life mass was held at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis and a Pro-Life rally brought 200 of the faithful to Santa Fe. At the rally Pro-life legislators reported on the roadblocks they experienced in attempting to move forward any Pro-life legislation.
The Voting Rights bill (SB8/144) Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver wanted you and the legislators to believe:
1. Any sixteen-year-old is as smart and mature as you are and should have the right to vote and cancel out your vote.
2. Everyone in New Mexico will live in the same place forever, and so developing a permanent absentee voter list and sending ballots to that address over and over again is a good idea.
3. If you’ve committed a heinous crime and didn’t get away with it, your voting rights should be restored once you get out of jail.
4. Accepting ballots through Friday night, three full days after an election, is a good idea.
5. Putting ballot drop-off boxes everywhere is an even better idea.
When the Governor proposed SB8/144The Voting Rights bill, it seemed impossible to stop – but stop it did. The Republicans implemented seldom used but allowable tactics such as requiring all members of the chamber to be present to vote on the bill (Call of the Senate/House) and the filibuster. Senator Bill Sharer spoke non-stop for two hours at the end of the session to disallow a vote on SB8/144.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham began the session with a State-of-the-State message calling for a transformative session. Her priorities were a new Hydrogen Hub, raises for everyone including herself, and radical changes in voter laws. Most of the Governor’s legislation fizzled. Police and Teachers were the real winners with retention bonuses for police and $50,000 starting salaries for teachers. Also, the Social Security tax on middle-class families was dropped.
A Daily Morning Prayer Call of the Christian faithful to surrounding the Roundhouse in prayer and covering our Legislators was the work of the faithful.
Finally, at the end of the session, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf announced his retirement. Everyone stood and applauded, some thankful for his service, others thankful for his departure.
God bless the State of New Mexico.