54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020


Angelica Rubio and Melanie Ann Stansbury and Jason C. Harper and Gail Armstrong and Abbas Akhil








     WHEREAS, the New Mexico legislative process has changed dramatically over the last several decades and, with the introduction of modern technology, continues to evolve at an even faster pace; and

     WHEREAS, the legislature has conducted numerous studies on the structure and process of the legislature over the past twenty years; and

     WHEREAS, in 2002, the New Mexico legislative council conducted a study on the roles, responsibilities, functions, structures and organization of the legislative committee process; and

     WHEREAS, the most recent formal study of the legislative process was a two-year endeavor beginning in August 2006 with the creation of a legislative structure and process study task force that addressed a broad range of issues; and

     WHEREAS, from these studies, several substantive recommendations were adopted and have been implemented, such as allowing members to co-sponsor legislation, allowing the prefiling of legislation, reconfiguring interim committees, opening conference committees to the public, expanding legislator orientation and webcasting and archiving committee meetings and floor sessions; and

     WHEREAS, additionally, the biweekly "LegisLetter" and online bill locator were created, legislators are afforded the opportunity to attend up to five meeting days of committees to which they are not appointed and bills endorsed by interim committees or requested by state agencies are prohibited from being introduced as duplicate bills in both houses; and

     WHEREAS, a number of recommendations made by the task force have yet to be adopted or implemented by the legislature; and

     WHEREAS, a review of those recommendations and the development of new recommendations should be conducted with the goal of continuing to improve the legislative process;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the New Mexico legislative council be requested to convene a task force to review, update and develop recommendations to improve the operation of the legislature and that the task force be staffed by the legislative council service; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the New Mexico legislative council be requested to appoint to the task force four members of the house of representatives and four members of the senate, provided that no more than two members from each house be from the same political party, and ten public members; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be provided with the background, history and legal and constitutional framework of the legislature; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be requested to consider the following issues:

          A. the length of legislative sessions compared with states of similar size;

          B. compensation of legislative members compared with states of similar size;

          C. strategies to reduce conflicts in the legislative process;

          D. staffing for legislators during the session and the interim;

          E. limiting the number of bills and memorials that legislators may introduce;

          F. developing a primer for citizen participation in the legislative process;

          G. limiting the introduction of guests and performances on the floor;

          H. improving alignment of policy initiatives proposed by interim committees with the development of the general appropriation act;

          I. planning and prioritizing capital outlay funding;

          J. the structure and efficacy of statutory and New-Mexico-legislative-council-created interim committees; and

          K. recommendations from previous studies addressing issues that the task force deems relevant to its work; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be requested to issue and make available to all legislators and the general public a report of its findings and recommendations by October 1, 2020; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the co-chairs of the New Mexico legislative council and the director of the legislative council service.

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