House Republicans blast Governor and Speaker for failing to give members and the public reasonable notice of legislation for upcoming special session

Santa Fe- Today, House Republican leaders blasted the administration and the Speaker of the House for failing to give members reasonable notice of what would be on the Governor’s call for the Special Session.

“For three months we have been calling for a special session to address the economic crisis unfolding in our state and for three months we have been ignored,” said House Republican Whip Rod Montoya (Farmington), “For the Governor to call a special session and tell us what we are going to hear with less than 24 hours before we meet is incredibly disrespectful- not just to this institution, but to the people we all represent. This is legislating at its most cynical.” 

Today at noon, the Governor emailed legislators the list of legislation added to her proclamation, which included a number of partisan issues that have nothing to do with the massive economic crisis New Mexico is facing. Not included in the email was any draft text of the bills, nor has that information been made available to the public.

“None of this has been made public until noon today- we are expected to be taking up election law changes, setting up commissions to study qualified immunity, and the list goes on and on- all without draft legislation for review,” said House Republican Leader Jim Townsend (Artesia). “Focusing our efforts on anything other than our budget and our economic crisis is unacceptable. The people of New Mexico deserve better.” 

Furthermore, at the direction of the Speaker, House Republicans have hired a limited analyst staff as they were guaranteed by the Speaker that all matters before the House would be made available a week before the session. The Governor’s lack of transparency on what topics will be heard in the special session has left legislators, staff and the public at a severe disadvantage in preparing for and understanding what policies will be passed by the Governor and majority. The actions taken by the Governor and Speaker are at best a political move, and at its worst a complete disregard of public transparency in the People’s House. 

The 2020 Special Session will be the first time in state history legislators are going to be asked to pass legislation that has not been reviewed or even seen.