News from the Roundhouse is the visitations from our Washington delegation. Senator Martin Heinrich, Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez, and Representative Gave Vasquez spoke to a joint session of the Legislature yesterday. Senator Heinrich stressed rural health care. He wouldn’t commit to running for governor in 2026; Leger Fernandez talked about mental health and drug treatment while Gave Vasquez stressed his roots living in poverty in Mexico.
An effort to increase the state’s minimum wage to $12.00 appears to have been stopped this session. The argument that increasing the minimum wage is inflationary seems to have won the day.
The federal government has used New Mexico for the deposit of nuclear waste. A $230 million project is slated by the federal government for a facility to be built between Carlsbad and Hobbs. Democrats in Senate voted to halt the projects at least for now.
Please pray for wisdom for the Legislators. Happy Valentine’s Day.
The question has always been is Governor Michele Lujan Grisham using the New Mexico governorship as a steppingstone to big and better things in Washington DC. Governor Grisham has just been appointed by President Joe Biden to the Council of Governors. The Council is a 10-member bipartisan group that was begun by Barack Obama to examine issues related to state and federal government. As we approach the mid-point in New Mexico’s Legislative session, the Governor has taken five days off in DC.
Gun safety remains a major topic with the legislators. HB 9 UNLAWFUL ACCESS TO FIREARM BY MINOR requires all gun owners to “lockem up.” HB 9 has passed the House.
MATERNITY & SICK LEAVE:
Maternity and sick leave are issues that also have advanced. A new tax law on employees and businesses would set up a program for 12 weeks of medical and paternity leave. SB 11 PAID FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE would tax employers $4.00 for every $1,000 they pay in wages and employees $5.00 for every $1,000 they receive. If passed, the program would begin in 2026.
An employer would anxiously want to know if new hire was pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant. According to the Left, the question would apply to both men and women. Three months is a long time for an employee to be gone and a tricky amount of time to find a replacement.
Please pray for wisdom for each Legislator as they define the line between government imposition and personal freedoms.
The Democrat Party has a vice grip on the New Mexico State Legislature. The Governor’s progressive agenda continues unabated.
HB 7 the Reproductive, Gender Affirming Health Care Freedom Act passed the House Judiciary Committee on a party-line 7–4 vote. The bill is described as a Health Bill but it disallows teachers or anyone in government from counseling kids against abortion, castration, mastectomy, or puberty blockers. If teachers or anyone else are caught counseling against these procedures, they will be fined $5,000.
Also considered is House Bill 4 A Voter Registration bill that requires voter registration when you go to the Motor Vehicle Division, it would create a permanent absentee ballot list, felons would receive voting rights upon release from prison, and it would make Election Day a state holiday. Also under consideration is allowing 16 year olds to vote.
Please pray for the Democrat Party, that individuals would vote their conscience rather than party dictates.
In 1967 the New Mexico State Legislature passed legislation making abortion illegal in the state. In 2020, amidst the COVID lockdown, that same body dissolved that legislation leaving abortion in the state unregulated. Fast forward to today, New Mexico’s Governor has vowed to “codify,” that is make legal, abortion in the state.
To make sure nothing gets in the way of an abortion HB 7 Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care Freedom Act has been proposed. The act makes it a criminal offense punishable by a $5,000 fine for anyone receiving a government paycheck to “deny, restrict or interfere, with another person getting an abortion, gender-blocking chemicals, mastectomy, or castration.
In other words, if a 15-year-old tell his teacher he wanted to be a girl and wants to be castrated, the teacher is disallowed counseling that student.
In 2020 there was no real debate regarding the abortion bill. Republicans offered amendment after amendment to the bill, such things as protection of conscience and protection of children. The conversation was one-sided. The Democrat sponsors made no concessions and refused all amendments. Abortion is now unregulated in New Mexico.
In last week’s “debate” regarding HB 7, Republicans pointed out how egregious the bill is. Their comments fell on deaf ears. No attempt to support the bill was made by the Democrat Representatives. HB 7 passed on a party-line vote of 7 to 2.
Committee agendas are published online at the beginning of the week. Interestingly, HB 7 was not published but was heard by the committee without public notice.
HB 7 will next be heard by the House Judiciary Committee. HB 7 does not appear on the published public schedule.
New Mexico State Legislature
Major corporations in the U.S. such as Disney Corporation and Home Depot have adopted a “woke” philosophy, adopting the gay agenda and promoting racial division. These companies are betting on one thing, that the coming generations will have embraced that stance. The reason they can be thus assured is because our schools are indoctrinating our children in the woke agenda.
The one thing that could immediately change the landscape is “School Choice.” If parents were given a voucher to place their children where they wanted, the hold on our children would end.
Unfortunately, the Teacher’s Union, the National Education Association, has enormous power and political influence to allow such a change.
The school choice bill was debated and tabled in the Senate Education Committee yesterday.
Another question brought before the legislators is “Should a landlord be able to charge what they want or should the State set limits on that amount.”
Rent Control was debated in the Senate Health and Public Affairs committee. The committee rejected the idea, say it would stifle construction in the state. Please pray for a change of course in ou
We have raised a generation away from God, a generation whose self-centeredness has replaced godliness. Three Albuquerque High School seniors have crafted a bill requiring the government to provide them with feminine hygiene products. House Bill 134 would make available to girls such things a tampons in the name of “equity.”
HB 7 The Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care Freedom Act is also a bill that comes under the clear demand of “give me what I want when I want it.”
HB 7 will force all public employees to facilitate any request for an abortion or any “gender-affirming health care, ” despite the best interest of the child for the procedure. In other words, public employees must help in obtaining an abortion, breast removal or castration if the child so request.
The bill will penalize anyone who “directly or indirectly” denies, restricts, or interferes with a person’s ability to access such procedures with a fine of up to $5,000. It also disallows local and state lawmakers from legislating against abortion or “gender-affirming health care.”
As Elisa Martinez from Alliance for Life states, “HB 7 violates the constitutional rights of all New Mexicans for due process, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equal protection. It penalizes New Mexicans under threat of prosecution and civil penalties up to $5,000 for exercising any of these constitutional rights.”
To SIGN THE PETITION and to PARTICIPATE REMOTELY in the hearings, please click on the following link from ALLIANCE FOR LIFE.
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.
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.
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.