Knipfing’s Notes: NM House has ’4M’ Week

February 16th, 2013 at 9:30 am by under Latest Posts

Here’s another good thing about New Mexico: it’s easy to be heard. That thought comes to mind because this was a “4M” week at the legislature: Major Movement on Major Measures. The House passed a bi-partisan (an ancient, mostly forgotten political philosophy under which members of both parties put aside their party differences and work together for what they believe is the common good) gun control bill which requires background checks gun show purchases. Whatever you think about that, and there is sharp disagreement, the important point is that lawmakers worked together, took it on, didn’t duck and made a decision. Now it goes to the senate where its fate is uncertain.

The other Major Movement on a Major Measure came in the unending battle over drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants. A group of lawmakers introduced a bi-partisan (there’s that term again) bill aimed at breaking the deadlock. It would create a two tier system: regular licenses for citizens and foreign nationals who are here legally and limited licenses for “Dreamers”, people brought to the U.S. as small children without having any choice in the matter. Governor Susana Martinez who’s been staunchly opposed to all licenses for illegals, says she’s favorable to this compromise. However, there is one glaring omission in the bill. It does not address the question of licenses for the vast majority of illegals, people who came here willingly as adults. Under current law many thousands of them have New Mexico licenses. Martinez has consistently fought to take them away. The legislature has consistently refused. It’s not clear how willing either side is to compromise on that key part of the question.

These are “big deal” issues for New Mexicans and with the session now about halfway over many other “big deal” issues are also unresolved. The legislature, dull and boring as it is to the vast majority of people, has a huge impact on everyone’s lives. And, the thing about New Mexico is that the people who make those impactful decisions, lawmakers and the governor, are easily accessible. In states like New York or California with huge populations, the governors are as remote as the president and lawmakers are as isolated as members of Congress. In New Mexico anyone can walk into the capitol and easily find their local legislator or go to the fourth floor and at least have access to the governor’s staff. At the risk of sounding like a political science geek (which I am), YOU CAN HAVE AN IMPACT in New Mexico. It’s mid February. There is still a month to be heard.

Speaking of being heard: Congress is taking its President’s Day break even though it has not acted to head off sequestration which kicks in March 1st. Sequestration will automatically make deep, across the board cuts in Federal spending. New Mexico will be whacked especially hard. The most common estimate is that we’ll lose 22,000 jobs. Some economists claim the country will be thrown back into recession. But members of Congress have “boogied” back home without doing what needs to be done. If you run into any of the New Mexico delegation in the next week or so, it might be appropriate to politely, but firmly ask a simple question: “Why are you here?

3 Responses to “Knipfing’s Notes: NM House has ’4M’ Week”

  1. Connie says:

    Why are they here indeed!!! I’m not happy with a lot of what is going on in our country. And, I am sick and tired of the president telling everyone we have to sacrifice and suck it up and get over ourselves and then he and his family go on separate the way it’s only February and this is their 3rd vacation!!!! Remember all of them and their entourage went to Hawaii and now the president and his wife and kids all go on separate vacations. Once again using separate airplanes, separate entourage again costing TAX PAYERS mucho dineros!!!! In my opinion our president and this entire administration are selfish, rude and inconsiderate. They talk and talk and talk and sound great but those of us that have been following this administration are disgusted with their lies and smoke screens!!! Instead of focusing on jobs, our economy, drilling for oil in OUR COUNTRY this president and this administration is going after the guns….another smoke screen………….The president says, “the rich” which is all of us by the way, need to GIVE more……what he means is HE TAKES MORE REGARDLESS IF WE HAVE IT OR NOT OR AGREE WITH HIM OR NOT!!! All Americans need to seek out their state delegation and in a calm civilized manner voice their concerns and demand they do the job that WE THE PEOPLE want and what is best for ALL Americans not what’s just best for them and their coffers!!!
    Just wait until obamacare comes in full force then you’ll have people with pitch forks in the street!!!

  2. Margo Sena says:

    As far as I’m concerned, anyone who mistreats an animal should get a mandatory 5 year prison sentence AND a $10,000.00 fine.

  3. [...] Albuquerque newsman d*** Knipfing looks at the legislature and at some of the “Major Movement on Major Measure” of [...]

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