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.”


New Mexico State Legislature2022: Final Report

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.

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.

Close of the Session: A Big Budget and Egolf’s Resignation

The New Mexico State Legislature’s 2022 session closed today at noon with a filibuster ending in the Senate and the Speaker of the House announcing his retirement in House.

The session will be remembered for a 14% spending increase for a budge ot $8.5 billion made available through oil and gas revenues and the unfortunate arrest of Rep. Georgene Louis here in Santa Fe

The Senate budget was approved early this morning and has been sent to the House for concurrence.  The budget includes:
1) a repeal of the State Tax on Social Security tax on Social for middle class tax payers
2) tax rebates in the amount of $250
3) a gross receipts tax cut of a quarter cent
4) teacher starting salary increases with a starting pay of $50K
5) a drop in PayDay loans from 175% to 36%

Major construction projects were approved for such things as improvement at the State Fair in Albuquerque, the Veterans Home in T or C and the reconstruction of the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater on the Indian School campus here in Santa Fe.

The House side approved monies Police retention and recruitment and stiffer penalties for violent offenders and free college tuition for New Mexico Universities.

Despite desperate moves both the block and save SB8, now title the Voter Fraud Bill, it failed to pass.  Senator Bill Sharer filibustered the session to a finish disallowed the bill’s consideration.  
New Mexico Watchman

Legislative Report for Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Legislative session ends tomorrow, Thursday, at noon.   

The bills that have passed the Legislature and are on the way to the Governor are 1) increased salaries for teachers with starting pay at $50K, 2)  removing opioid test kits from the drug paraphilia list to making them legal to possess (deaths as the result of Fentanyl overdoses have skyrocketed in the state) and 3) slashing interest on PayDay loans from 175% to 36%.  These bill have passed and await the Governor’s signature.

Regarding Election Reform, Senate Bill 6, was a bill that allocated funds for training election poll watchers and challengers.  It was supported by both parties and could have been passed into law.

Senate Bill 8 would allow felons and 17 years the vote, allow online registration with only a Social Security number and would have allowed absentee ballots to be sent ongoingly after only one request.  The bill was stopped before debate on a procedural move by Republican

Senate Bill 144 would make it a crime to intimidate poll workers. 

Now SB 144 has been amended with all of the above.  It is called the Voting Rights Omnibus bill containing all 3 bills, training for election workers, making it a crime to intimidate election workers, allowing 17-year-olds to vote, online registration, and a lifetime of absentee ballots.  The Democrats, who are in control of both houses and the  Governorship, are hoping to pass the bill in one fell swoop.

The budget remains the big issue in the final hours to include the fate of the Social Security tax. 

As per usual, the last-minute deals and compromises will define the 2022 Legislative session.

New Mexico Legislative UPDATE: Friday, February 11, 2022

1.  The Voter Rights Bill SB 8 passed the Senate Rules Committee. In addition to allowing felons to vote and absentee ballots forever, the law would allow the ballot to be received for the remainder of the week following an election, up to the next Friday at 7:00 p.m.  The bill now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.  With 7 days remaining in the session, final passage seemed unlikely but the fact that the bill has progressed speaks to the political prowess of the Governor and the Democrat party.

2.  House Bill 157 The Infant Surrender of Infants Bill, passed two House Committee, Health and Human Services and the Appropriation and Finance Committee. Bringing the bill forward requires its being placing on the House Calendar by the Speaker of the House Brian Egolf. Instead, the bill has been temporarily tabled.

3.  SB 67 The Sex Education bill which will facilitate teen abortion without parental consent has received a “Do Pass” from the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee and is a the Senate Finance Committee. It is not on today, Friday’s, schedule. The Committee has 7 Democrats and 4 Republicans on the committee.

4.  The Legislature has to produce a budget before the sessions’ end next Thursday. Exempting Social Security and reducing the state’s gross receipts tax is still in play on the Senate side. Reports yesterday indicated the nation is experiencing an inflation rate not seen in 40 years.

The Session ends next Thursday, February 17, 2022.

New Mexico Legislative Report for Thursday, February 10, 2022

UPDATE: Today is Thursday, February 10, 2022.  A week remains in this Legislative session. 
1.  The Voting Rights Bill received a “Do Pass” from the Senate Judiciary Committee after the sixteen-year-old vote was removed in a previous committee hearing.The bill allows anyone to register online with only a social security number. It allows 17 years old to register to vote if they are 18 on election day. If you are a felon who completed your sentence, you are allowed to vote. And if you ask for a ballot in the mail you’ll get on in the mail for the rest of your life. The bill closes schools on election day but does not make election day a state holiday. The bill goes next to the Senate for a vote. 

2.  The House Taxation and Revenue Committee voted to continue the tax on Social Security. Two bills would have given seniors and the disabled the tax break.
The argument for dropping the tax on Social Security is it would give relief to our New Mexico seniors on fixed incomes. The argument against is that it would give the wealthy a tax break.  Similar bills remain in play in the Senate.  Income to the state from the tax is $118M. 

3.  The PayDay loan bill that reduces interest rates from 175% to 36% has passed the House. It now goes to the Senate where similar bills are being considered. 

4.  The 2022 session was to be a “Tough on Crime” session. The first bill to pass the Senate makes it easier for young offenders to get out of prison.  The bill ends teen sentencing to life without parole. The bill required young offenders to be eligible for parole after 15 years and in the interim for another 5 years. The bill has passed the Senate and now goes to the House.

New Mexico Watchman