|1. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE MEASURES ADVANCE IN
HOUSE AMID CONCERNS
House legislation HB83 and a joint resolution HJR1 designed to create a fund for early childhood education and care have both passed in the House Education Committee. As we’ve told you, many worry about keeping this fund solvent. There are other concerns as well. The legislation would allow any family, no matter what its income level, to use this free early education and child care. Our kids need early education and good child care, but allowing all families to use this program for free is a big disservice. Sounds like socialized child care. Did these progressive lawmakers get the Elizabeth Warren playbook?
2. REPUBLICANS CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY IN RESOLUTION TODAY
Today the Republican Caucus will call for transparency when it comes to tabled votes. The House Rules & Order of Business Committee will discuss a resolution sponsored by Minority Leader Jim Townsend. House Resolution 1 calls for any tabled motions for any bills to be made public. Tabling legislation virtually means a bill is killed, and Townsend wants such action to be made available for citizens.
3. REPUBLICANS ANGRY AT NM SUPREME COURT ENERGY RULING AND LEGISLATIVE PRC POWER PLAY.
A New Mexico Supreme Court ruling yesterday could be costly for taxpayers down the road. The High Court sided with Gov. Lujan Grisham and progressive Democratic lawmakers and ruled to apply the Energy Transition Act as part of the proceedings over shuttering the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington. The law allows PNM and other owners of San Juan to recover investments in the coal-fired plant by selling bonds that will be paid off by utility customers. The repayment plan under the law is an advantage to utility stockholders and will end up raising electric rates and costing jobs. This, as the governor tries a power grab: left-leaning Democrats are pushing HB 11 to change the independent Public Regulation Commission, the agency that oversees utility rates, from an elected body to an appointed one. Lujan Grisham wants Administrative control and to take away power from the people.
Republicans aren’t happy.
House Minority Whip Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington) has issued a statement regarding the High Court’s decision and the governor’s legislative push to dismantle the PRC.
“The Supreme Court just issued a ruling on New Mexico’s Green New Deal that undercuts the work of many leaders across the state to protect residential utility customers…This decision coupled with the Governor’s unconstitutional legislative push to bring the Public Regulation Commission under her sole control will force utility rates to skyrocket in years to come.”
This is a perfect example of why we need to make changes in our courts. If we don’t do that, then things like this will continue to happen. There are two vacancies on the Supreme Court and two on the Court of Appeals this fall, and we need Republicans in there. We need conservative judges on our New Mexico benches. You can help! There are two days left to sign nominating petitions for Supreme Court candidates Kerry Morris and Ned Fuller and Court of Appeals candidates Barbara Johnson and Gertrude Lee. Hurry! Go to our Party website. Go to the upper left on the Home Page and download and sign all petitions. These are not separate races, so please sign them all. You need to return them to RPNM Headquarters or by snail mail by tomorrow. Instructions are on the website. No emails, please.
4. REPUBLICAN-SPONSORED CRIME BILL ADVANCES IN HOUSE
The House Judiciary will soon take up HB 113. That bill, sponsored by Republicans Rep. Bill Rehm, Rep. Gregg Schmedes, Sen. Candace Gould and Rep. Kelly Fajardo, would toughen penalties for a convicted felon caught with a firearm. It would become a third-degree felony, bumped up from a fourth-degree offense. The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 4-1 to advance that legislation.
5. PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS CALL TO REMOVE VOTER IDENTIFICATION FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS
This bill is beyond comprehension. Two lawmakers are proposing House Bill 229, an election bill called Election Laws Cleanup. The legislation focuses on tweaks in the election process, until, buried more than 20 pages into the bill, the legislation calls for the removal of all three mandatory forms of voter identification for absentee ballots. This reverses a current law that requires a voter’s name, address and year of birth. Why would this be in there?! If this bill passes, it would lead to voter fraud and all kinds of absentee ballot problems. No one would know if a ballot belonged to the right person. This is irresponsible and would lead to election chaos.
CALL TO ACTION: The sponsors of this bill are Rep. Linda M. Trujillo (505) 986-4436 and Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto (505) 986-4270. Hit the phones and tell them this legislation is unacceptable and would lead to election violations.