I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
N.M. Senate Rules Committee OKs opening conference committees to the public
The New Mexico Senate Rules Committee gave a do-pass recommendation this morning to a bill that would open conference committees and other legislative meetings to the public. With a similar bill already on the calendar for today’s Senate floor session, what happens next isn’t clear.
House Bill 393, sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, was approved by the committee on a vote of 3-2 with Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, Committee Chair Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, and Dianna Duran, R-Tularosa, voting for it.
While Duran has voted to open conference committees in the past, Sanchez twice voted against the proposal in 2007. Lopez voted against it once that year and was absent for the second vote.
Cervantes said during today’s committee meeting, before the vote, that he was hoping for luck on St. Patrick’s Day.
“The tradition is to kiss the blarney stone, and I’m prepared to kiss just about anything,” he was quoted as saying by The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Kate Nash.
Cervantes’ bill is scheduled to head to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A mirror of it, Senate Bill 737, sponsored by state Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, is No. 6 on today’s Senate floor calendar, which is controlled by Sanchez, so what happens next on the conference committee proposal isn’t clear. Either bill could move forward, but the movement on Cervantes’ bill, when there’s another, identical bill already on the Senate floor, might indicate that Sanchez wants the Cervantes bill, instead of the Feldman bill, to move forward.