House GOP Leadership weigh in on Democrat push to hold a one-topic special Legislative Session

April 10, 2020

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

Santa Fe, NM– House Republicans continue to call for a special session to address the economic crisis unfolding in New Mexico.  The ongoing pressure to address economic concerns continues, while some Democrat leaders are asking for a limited special session to address primary voting concerns and nothing else. House Republican Leadership sent a letter to Governor Lujan Grisham asking her to include in any special session the ability to consider economic relief for New Mexicans.

From the letter: “We have asked you to call a special session to address the economic and fiscal crisis.  Instead, you have claimed a special session can wait until late June or early July.  While we disagree on the timing, one thing is quite clear, authorizing a special session only to address a partisan and special interest driven voting issue would be a horrific shock to all New Mexicans who are struggling to survive and need our assistance.”

The New Mexico Supreme Court is currently reviewing a petition by the county clerks and Secretary of State requesting the authority to proceed with an all-mail-in election for the upcoming primary. House Republicans have argued that it is not in the Court’s powers to usurp the Legislature’s constitutional authority in changing the election laws without legislative approval.  The Legislative Council has agreed with this assessment. [Clarification from original press release:] The Legislative Council and its contracted lawyer have concluded that should the Supreme Court rule that they do not have the authority to change the election law, there is no ability for a framework to be developed regarding a virtual legislative session without action taken by and consent of the full body of the Legislature. In other words, the Legislature would legally have to convene in order to create the framework for a virtual session.

Given the complexity of the issues surrounding the case, and likelihood of the Legislature having to reconvene, it has become imperative that all options and resources be made available to New Mexicans during the health crisis and beyond.

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