Champion Chairs Wirth & Egolf
Our deepest appreciation goes to Sen. Peter Wirth (Senate Conservation Committee) and Rep. Brian Egolf (House Energy & Natural Resources Committee). Passionate and thoughtful committee leadership is critical to ensuring that proposed measures are subject to a rigorous but fair review by committee staff, analysts and members — not to mention advocates and the public. Sen. Wirth and Rep. Egolf are examples of that kind of leadership.
Clean Water Hero
Cue another round of applause for Rep. Debbie Rodella, Chair of the House Business & Industry Committee (HBIC). HBIC has traditionally been quite hostile to environmental concerns. Rep. Rodella went to the mat in the 2013 session to defend the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) and keep it from expiring. You can read more about the fight to save the WQCC in our Issue Spotlight, but the upshot is that the commission would no longer exist were it not for the heroic efforts of Rep. Rodella. Thank you!
Sound Policy Heroes
A bi-partisan group of legislators sounded the alarm about Senate Bill 283 and House Bill 296 in the 2014 session. The bills would have allowed utility companies to negotiate discounted rates for large companies, and pass those costs onto working families and small businesses — without oversight by the Public Regulation Commission or reasonable limits.
Rep. Donald Bratton spoke out against the House Bill in its only committee hearing. As the minority floor leader, Bratton’s words carried weight, and were one of the main reasons the bill received as much scrutiny and dissenting votes as it did on the House floor. Then, in a long hearing late one Saturday night, Senate Judiciary Committee members analyzed virtually every line of SB 283. Sens. Joe Cervantes, Peter Wirth, Michael Sanchez and Cisco McSorley asked tough questions at a critical time and put the brakes on a measure that was flying through the process. These legislators stood up for all New Mexicans, sound policy and good government.
Champion for Effective Leadership
After Gov. Martinez nominated demonstrably anti-environmental attorney Ryan Flynn as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, Sen. Jacob Candelaria led the charge during the Senate Rules Committee’s confirmation hearing to shine a light on unethical practices and conflicts of interest that make Mr. Flynn an extremely poor choice for such a critical post.
Sen. Lee Cotter has the dubious distinction of being the only legislator to score 0% during the 51st Legislature (2013-2014).
Know the Score > Take Action
Say ‘thanks’ … or, ‘no thanks’!
Tell your Legislators that you ‘know the score’
One of the best ways to influence the voting records of your elected officials is to communicate regularly with them. If your legislators scored well, it’s important to thank them and to support them. If you feel you weren’t well-represented by your legislators’ votes, it’s important to hold them accountable by letting them know what you think about their votes. The Scorecard is your key to staying informed on your legislators votes and getting in touch with them.
Communicate with the Governor and your Legislators
Whether you’re congratulating them on their score or expressing your disappointment, be direct, courteous and polite.
The most important part is letting them know that you are paying close attention to how they vote or, in the case of the Governor, what actions she takes on legislation that affects our air, land, and water.
Calling your legislator directly and sending letters through regular mail remain by far the most effective ways to communicate with your legislators.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor can always be contacted at the State Capitol. Except during the legislative session, state legislators should be contacted in their home districts, as listed on the current Legislators page.