Last week, the Legislative Session continued with multiple committee hearing and events. Much is happening—some good, some bad, and some ugly.
The GOOD – Pro Life Legislation Introduced
Although Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has not yet placed abortion legislation on the Session agenda, Representative Rod Montoya (R-San Juan) has introduced pro-life legislation aimed at ending late-term abortion up-to-birth, banning infanticide, and requiring parental notification when a minor obtains an abortion. House Bills 208, 209, and 210 cannot be considered without a message from the Governor. Therefore, we encourage you to call the Governor’s Office today and ask her to, “Please put House Bills 208, 209, and 210 on the Session agenda.” Although you may feel this is a waste of time, we assure you—it is not. Last year, we made our voices heard by the thousands, and the Governor must continue to hear from us. Please call the Governor’s Office at (505) 476-2200 today!
The BAD – Recreational Weed Advances & Speaker Ends Clergy-Led Prayer
On Tuesday, our Executive Director, Vince Torres, partnered with law enforcement, business community leaders, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and our national ally SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) at a press conference to express shared and serious concerns about the negative impacts of recreational marijuana. The group then offered testimony in the Senate Public Affairs Committee in opposition to SB115 which would legalize recreational pot in New Mexico. The committee subsequently advanced SB115 on a 4-3 party-line vote with all Republicans voting in opposition to the bill. SB115 now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it faces an uncertain outcome. Please stay tuned for an Action Alert asking you to contact the Judiciary Committee members!
Last week, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) ended the longstanding tradition of having local clergy deliver the daily invocation. For more than a century in New Mexico, local priests, pastors, and other faith leaders have been invited to the Senate and House Chambers to begin each daily session in prayer. In the House, however, this will no longer be the case. Instead, members of the House will now deliver the daily invocation. Representative Gregg Schmedes (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval, & Santa Fe) noted: “Leaders of all faiths should be welcome in the Roundhouse to offer prayer. By closing our doors to priests, pastors, and faith leaders, House leadership is sending the wrong message to the faith community.”
The UGLY – Two House Democrats Table Sex Offender Bill
On Tuesday of last week, another disturbing maneuver took place, as Democrats in a House Committee voted to table a bipartisan bill (HB43) aimed at closing a dangerous loophole in our Sex Offender Registry laws. Representative Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) and Representative Angelica Rubio (D-Dona Ana) refused to advance HB43 even after hearing compelling testimony regarding the loophole that allowed convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, to avoid registration in New Mexico because he was convicted in another state.
On to Week 3
The Legislative Session continues this week and, as always, we will be working hard to keep you updated on important legislation impacting life, families, and religious freedom. Please stay tuned for Action Alerts and other opportunities for you to engage in the process and make your voice heard.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
STATE OF THE STATE
Last Tuesday, the 2019 Legislative Session kicked off with the State of the State Address from newly elected Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham. During her address before a Joint Session of the House of Representatives and Senate, the Governor outlined several of her priorities regarding education, gun control, criminal justice reform, and economic development. She also addressed the state’s abortion statute, stating, “The old criminal abortion law of this state…must go. Bring me that bill. I will sign it.” The Governor was referring to House Bill 51 which would completely repeal one of New Mexico’s only abortion laws which, among other things, requires a licensed physician to perform abortions and protects faith-based hospitals and medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortions against their conscience.
SANCTITY OF LIFE AWARENESS AND UNITY DAY
On Wednesday, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico was proud to partner with New Mexico Prays, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico Alliance for Life, Right to Life of New Mexico, Care Net, and Students for Life for the annual “Sanctity of Life Awareness and Unity Day” at the State Capitol. Altogether, more than 1,000 people gathered for the “Walk for Life” and a special rally in the Capitol Rotunda featuring Archbishop John Wester, other local bishops and pastors, legislators, and guest speakers. Thank you to all who participated and helped make this the largest pro-life gathering in the state.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I’m still a teenager and I still need my parents there for me. I can’t join the military. I can’t get tattoos. I can’t even take an aspirin at school without their permission. But I’m allowed to have an abortion in this state if I choose to. That is not right.” -Ariana Nava, President, Rio Rancho Students for Life
LEGISLATOR OF THE WEEK
State Representative David Gallegos (R-Lea)
As the State Representative for House District 61 (Lea County) since 2012, David Gallegos has been one of the most faithful and dependable voices for faith and biblical values in Santa Fe. In addition to founding and chairing the New Mexico Legislative Prayer Caucus, David has sponsored several bills to defend life, strengthen families, and protect religious freedom in our state. David’s impact in New Mexico goes well beyond his official position as a state legislator. He serves on the Eunice School Board and has also served as a member of his local housing authority, chamber of commerce, and economic development committee. David is active in his local church and previously spent 10 years on the Eunice Assembly of God Board of Deacons. In 2017, David attended our Family Policy Foundation Statesmen Academy, a summer conference for on-the-rise Christian legislators and aspiring policymakers.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
RE: Religious Freedom