House Republican call for increased transparency moves forward in committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 30, 2020

Contact: Matt Garcia-Sierra, m.garciasierra@nmlegis.gov

Santa Fe, NM- The House Rules & Order of Business committee today met for the first time during the 2020 legislative session. House Republican Leader Jim Townsend presented House Resolution 1 that will make public committee votes to table legislation. Voting to table a bill in a committee effectively stops most legislation from moving forward. Currently, the votes of House members to table bills are not published and the public must watch the entirety of the committee proceedings to learn how their Representatives voted.

“The Republican caucus fully backs a transparent and fair legislature. The public deserves to know what their leaders are doing in Santa Fe,” said House Republican Leader Jim Townsend, “I am pleased that transparency is being discussed at the Roundhouse. By letting the sunshine into the process at the capitol we are ensuring our citizens have fair and equitable representation.

The House Republican leadership sent a letter to the House Speaker at the beginning of the year asking for three transparency changes to the operations of the chamber. The House Rules and Order of Business committee convenes at the call of its chair to discuss rule change requests and other matters. The two pending transparency concerns are HR 2 which reverts the special one-time change that allowed bills to be fast tracked on the Governor’s “rocket-docket” and HR 3 that would requires that the public be given 24 hour notice of any legislation that will be debated by the full body of the NM House of Representatives.

“The three transparency changes that Republicans are asking for are solutions to problems that are well known to both sides of the aisle,” said House Republican Whip Rod Montoya, “Hearing one transparency change is not enough, our two other transparency requests will dramatically provide the public with more access to the legislative process.”

HR 1 passed the House Rules committee today with only one dissenting vote. The tabling vote rule change is expected to be heard by the full body of the House in the coming days.

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