New Mexico’s 60 day Legislative Session begins on January 19th this year. But like most things lately, this year’s session will feature some unprecedented changes. With the continuing Covid-19 pandemic in the state, the capitol building will be off limits to the public and lobbyists for the entirety of the session. Additionally this will be the first full legislative session with legislators participating remotely from home or other locations. Some lawmakers are arguing that in spite of the public being barred from entry, this will be the “most accessible session in the history of New Mexico,” according to Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas. House Speaker Brian Egolf has stated there will be “robust” opportunities for public participation via online platforms, but the sentiment is not unanimous amongst lawmakers.
The Legislature’s administrative department said it has made improvements to its internal servers and worked with an outside vendor to try to avoid webcasting outages, like the ones that occurred during the special session last year. The Legislature will also be broadcasting committee hearings and debates on Youtube in case of technical failures. Along with pandemic-related measures, other issues expected to be debated include legalizing recreational cannabis for adults, repealing a long-dormant state abortion ban and the state’s emergency powers laws.
NMBC will continue to be engaged throughout the entirety of the Legislative Session as usual. As businesses across the state struggle to remain open and providing employment to New Mexican families, a voice for our community of job creators is needed more than ever. No matter the obstacles of this remote session, you can rest assured that NMBC will be doing our utmost to fight for common sense legislation that promotes a healthy business climate in the state and elected accountability. Click HERE to read more.