The following Senators and Representatives did not cast any anti-conservation votes in this Scorecard and are true conservation heroes. We applaud them (and you should too!) for their commitment to the health and environment of all New Mexicans.
House of Representatives:
Representative Gail Chasey
Senator Carlos Cisneros
First, we wish to recognize the many conservation champions who will be retiring from the legislature in 2012. These include:
Senator Tim Eichenberg, Senator Dede Feldman, Senator Stephen Fischmann, Senator Eric Griego, Senator Cynthia Nava, Representative Eleanor Chavez, Representative Joni Gutierrez, Representative Antonio Lujan, Speaker of the House Ben Lujan (Rest in peace Mr. Speaker), Representative Al Park, and Representative Danice Picraux.
Thank you for your spectacular service to New Mexico. You will be sorely missed!
Every year, some legislators make a special effort on an important environmental bill or series of bills. We also appreciate the “green deeds” of these legislators:
- Senator Peter Wirth for his doggedness in once again introducing SB9 (2012), Corporate Tax Rates & Combined Reporting. By requiring that corporations doing business in New Mexico file either a consolidated or combined tax return, SB9 ensures that big corporations pay their fair share of taxes in New Mexico—leveling the playing field for our local businesses. Unfortunately, SB9 was amended to narrow its scope to only apply to ‘big box’ retail stores—not oil and gas, mining, or other major corporations. SB9 passed both the Senate (28-13) and House (36-33), but was vetoed by the Governor.
- Senator Stephen Fischmann and Representative Mimi Stewart, for introducing HM4/SM3: Opposition to Citizens United Ruling (2012). These memorials express deep concern over the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, and the inevitable flood of corporate money into elections—which is almost certain to drown out the voices of individual citizens. HM4 and SM3 urge Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the ruling. HM4 passed the House (38-29), and SM3 passed the Senate (20-9). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
- Senator Stephen Fischmann again for introducing an amendment to HB70/SB23: Uranium Hexafluoride Gross Receipts (2012). Although HB70 and SB23 made only minor technical changes to existing tax deductions, the deductions are so massive and unique that they warrant the highest degree of transparency and oversight. At the very minimum, these tax deductions worth tens of millions of dollars—to a single uranium enrichment company owned by European governments—should have been amended to include a sunset clause of, at most, 10 years. Although CVNM was neutral on the underlying bill, we urged Representatives and Senators to support a sunset clause amendment. The amendment failed to pass the Senate (16-25) The amendment received 16 votes and we applaud the following Senators for voting for the amendment– and thereby championing transparency, tax fairness, and abiding by best practices in tax policy: Senators Carlos Cisneros, Lisa Curtis, Dede Feldman, Stephen Fischmann, Mary Jane Garcia, Eric Griego, Linda Lopez, Lynda Lovejoy, Cisco McSorley, Cynthia Nava, Gerald Ortiz y Pino, John Pinto, Nancy Rodriguez, Michael Sanchez, John Sapien and Peter Wirth.
- Representative Yvette Herrell for working with CVNM, Acoma Pueblo, and others, to negotiate substantial changes to a memorial (HM3, 2011) on national monument designation after advocates expressed concerns.
- Senator Tim Keller for withdrawing his own legislation (SB30, 2011) rather than allowing it to move forward after a harmful amendment was tacked on that would have repealed the state’s carbon pollution rule.
- House Appropriations & Finance Committee Chairman Kiki Saavedra and Representative Don Tripp for reaching across the aisle to restore critical funding for the preservation of working farms and ranches and to restore New Mexico’s rivers.
- Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez and Speaker Ben Lujan for making every effort to assign legislation to the appropriate committees for thorough vetting.
- Representatives David Chavez, Nate Gentry, Bobby Gonzales, Yvette Herrell, Patty Lundstrom, Bill Rehm, Ed Sandoval, and Senators Clinton Harden and Bernadette Sanchez for working with us to amend bills or memorials they sponsored that CVNM initially opposed.
Thank you all!
These legislators unfortunately did not always come down on the side of protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land and wildlife we treasure.
Senator Phil Griego:
In the Corporations & Transportation Committee that he Chairs, Senator Phil Griego amended SB9, narrowing its scope to only apply to ‘big box’ retail stores—not oil and gas, mining, or other major corporations.
Senator Rod Adair:
In the experience of CVNM advocates, Senator Adair—although clearly a proponent of extraction industries and opponent of most environmental rules—has been accessible and at least somewhat pragmatic in his approach to many conservation issues. Unfortunately, in 2011, that changed. Senator Adair:
- Was one of only three Senators to oppose a common-sense measure (SB237) to enable colleges to implement more energy efficiency measures.
- Sponsored legislation (SB421) that would have hamstrung designation of cultural properties in New Mexico.
- Sponsored a floor amendment to SB30 that would have eliminated the ability of New Mexicans to decide for ourselves what carbon pollution standards are appropriate for the state. The underlying bill was a good one that the sponsor then had to withdraw.
Senator George Munoz:
The Senator’s duds:
- Like Rod Adair, Sen. Munoz was one of only three Senators to oppose legislation (SB237) designed to save New Mexico colleges money on utility bills by allowing them to access bond financing for energy efficiency investments.
- He was also on the wrong side of a bill (SB394) that would have forced taxpayers to subsidize the reallocation of water, instead of promoting much-needed water conservation.
On the bright side, Senator George Munoz sponsored 2011’s SB431—the companion to HB284—that would have allowed local governments to apply environmental gross receipts taxes to investments in renewable energy.
Representative Thomas Garcia:
From our perspective, Rep. Thomas Garcia displayed bad faith negotiating tactics with respect to his HB297 (2011). The bill would have threatened water quality by weakening rules for the monitoring and management of inactive oil and gas wells. CVNM negotiated with the bill’s proponents, and reached an agreement on compromise language. HBIC then passed unanimously. However, at the bill’s next committee hearing, Rep. Garcia stripped out all of the compromise language.
Legislators Who Scored 0%
The following Senators share the distinction of being the only legislators with 2011/2012 scores of 0%. That means they cast no pro-conservation votes that were scored in this Scorecard. No Representatives scored as low.
- Senator Rod Adair
- Senator Vernon Asbill
- Senator Stuart Ingle
- Senator Gay Kernan
- Senator Mary Kay Papen
From our viewpoint, Governor Susana Martinez has been an obstacle to common-sense environmental and public health policies that protect New Mexicans and our Land of Enchantment.
Even though the Combined Reporting bill (SB9, 2012) passed as a shadow of its former self, Governor Martinez still vetoed SB9.
More information on some of Gov. Martinez’s actions can be found here.
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.