Days left in session: 3
We graciously accept: Lawmakers are still in the midst of what is known as the “prohibited period,” during which they cannot solicit campaign contributions.
For legislators, the period stretches from Jan. 1 to the end of the session.
But there’s a catch. Legislators can still accept contributions, they just cannot ask for the money.
Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Galisteo, is sponsoring a bill that would close that loophole and bar legislators from taking contributions at all during this period — solicited or not.
The Senate Rules Committee stripped that provision out of House Bill 310 on Tuesday.
Some on the committee argued the proposed ban would turn into a “gotcha” and noted they may happen to receive contributions in the mail during the session but written before the Legislature convened.
Now, the bill would just extend the prohibited period to include other statewide elected officials, such as attorney general and land commissioner, who can be actively involved in advocating for legislation.
Still, they’ll get to benefit from the same loophole as legislators.
Let’s dance: Some House of Representatives members joined in for a performance of “La Marcha de los Novios,” a traditional wedding dance, during Tuesday’s morning session of the House. The march is usually danced in a group and involves much turning, twisting and joining of hands.
House members later voted 53-0 in favor of designating the march as New Mexico’s State Dance.
Senate Bill 386 is sponsored by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque. His two-page bill notes that New Mexico has a state flower (the yucca), state bird (roadrunner) and state gem (turquoise), among other official designations, and says it’s time for a state dance.
The Senate already approved the bill on a vote of 37-0, which means it next goes to Gov. Michelle Lujan for consideration.
Quote of the day: The Senate Rules Committee advanced a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow for runoff elections. Current law only allows runoffs in races for municipal offices, like mayor or town council. One of the committee’s members noted the amendment could be the first bill its sponsor, retired physician Bill Pratt, D-Albuquerque, passes as a member of the House. “Which is appropriate because for his professional career, he’s been dealing with people’s constitutions,” quipped Sen. Daniel Ivey Soto, D-Albuquerque.