House Speaker Egolf up to his usual dirty tricks

With the 2022 legislative session underway, for a few weeks we will be providing you a special edition of the Intelligencer that includes summaries of Roundhouse activity, where we will be tracking the latest movidas, legislation on the move, and all other important legislative activity - including some of the chatter going on behind the scenes in a legislative session with very limited public access. 

Our coverage this week comes with only a week left to go in the 2022 session, when House bills are going to the Senate and vice versa. Of hundreds of bills, many won’t be heard let alone make it to the Governor’s desk. Also this week, a New Mexico watchdog group calls for more transparency from U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján's staff, the renewable push by MLG and her allies threatens blackouts in the new future, and parents go viral by speaking out against despotic school boards.

We'll be monitoring the closing of the 2022 session in our newsletter, but for more up to date information please follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Send us any feedback (including chismes and quejas) by going to our website or shoot me an email at dax[AT]nmhispanos.com. And if you are not already subscribed, sign up here.


Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos

2022 Legislative Session Recap: Week Three

Last week House Speaker Brian Egolf was blasted publicly by the venerated Rep. Miguel Garcia – a fellow Democrat, who called for the people’s house to censure Egolf for a long train of abuses.

On Monday, Egolf proved Garcia right once again, as Egolf used his power to pull an unprecedented parliamentary trick to blast a bill through the House by allowing what was essentially a fake appropriation amendment in order for it to be “germane” to the budget-only session, all while another old school and respected Democrat, Rep. Eliseo Alcon sounded off for 30 minutes in opposition.

As Democrats were overheard scrambling behind the scenes to strong arm Rep. Alcon into backing down, Egolf is believed to have called the Governor and asked for an executive message – meaning MLG allegedly bailed him out by pretending the bill was indeed germane. But it left folks inside the Roundhouse speculating on what Egolf had to give Lujan Grisham in return.

The procedural maneuvering didn’t stop there, of course. The race between rival election bills (SB6 vs SB8) to see which can get to the floor first decelerated, as Rep. Ely motioned in committee to holdover the bipartisan SB6 until Friday – an attempt to stall it in order for its evil twin, SB8 to catch up.

Ely and Rep. Chasey evidently both prefer the radical SB8 but it was Ely making what appeared to be fake arguments and asking fake questions in order to stop Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto’s bill. But one of his House co-sponsors, Republican Nibert politely smacked down Ely’s interference and the bill was passed 8-1.

It now moves on to the House Judiciary, where it will likely be debated for the full 3 hours, that is, whenever HJC chairman Gail Chasey puts it on the agenda as she is expected to drag her feet. The winner of this election bill will have a major impact on our state’s democracy: SB6 will provide election security while SB8 would allow 16 year-olds to vote with only a student ID to register with. Be ready to see the SB8 schemers try to inject some of the worst of it into the bipartisan SB6.

Here is a briefing of some of the other news coming out of the Roundhouse:

Senator Luján needs to be more transparent following his health scare

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Details: A leading New Mexico transparency group is urging U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and his staff to release more information about his health.

Background: The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (NMFOG) said in a statement earlier this week that New Mexicans have been "left confused and concerned" about the lack of information.

What they're saying: Luján is notoriously private, but a lack of health updates is making some New Mexico Democrats nervous about the future of his seat in a 50-50 Senate.

Following the failed California energy model is threatening blackouts this summer

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Background: There is a growing probability that Public Service Company of New Mexico (the state's largest electric utility) customers will face rolling blackouts this summer and is asking for emergency measures to mitigate the looming crisis.

Details: PNM says it won’t have enough generating capacity to meet demand this summer, particularly in the hottest months of July and August, when electricity demand climbs to its highest levels. To resolve its power shortages this summer, PNM is considering extending San Juan operations.

What they're saying: “It’s Monday-morning quarterbacking,” PRC Commissioner Fischmann told the ABQ Journal. “COVID-19 and the supply-chain issues contributed to a set of circumstances that no one could have guessed. We need to stay focused on solving the problem for customers and not getting into a blame game.”

The big picture: Actually no, Commissioner. Those of us who haven't been drinking the renewable energy Kool-Aid have been warning regulators and New Mexicans that following the failed California model would lead us to exactly these kind of reliability problems: these failed climate policies are causing brownouts and blackouts in California. Unless we change course and add dependable sources of energy such as natural gas-powered energy to our grid (as California has recently started to do), our energy grid will fail when renewables don't show up.

Mom calls out public school superintendent in epic speech

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Tensions rising: These days parents have to defend themselves from accusations from politicians (and "Karens") that they don’t care about the safety of their own kids. And while some mask extremists are motivated by power and others are simply lemmings, parents are pushing back.

Going viral: A woman in the notorious Loundon County, Virginia used her 3 minutes of public comment at a recent school board meeting to present a cogent, logical, and fiery defense of body autonomy and parents rights. “This is asinine. This is blatant political theater. And it needs to end.”

The big picture: As even the deepest blue states like New York and California are ending their mask mandates, our resident dictator, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, keeps her boot on the neck of New Mexicans of all backgrounds. Come November, the people will finally have the opportunity to throw the tiny tyrant out of office.

 

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