I have voted for laws providing transparent and good government, public safety, improvements in education and job creation. Below are specific legislative proposals that I sponsored or co-sponsored in the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. As you will see, I have worked with legislators from both parties in the House and Senate chambers.
I co-sponsored a resolution with Representative Jeff Steinborn, Democrat from Don Ana County. The resolution would allow the public to vote on a constitutional amendment establishing an independent and transparent Ethics Commission for the legislative and executive branches, lobbyists and state contractors. A poll of New Mexican voters earlier this year showed that 85% supported establishing an Ethics Commission. The judicial branch already has its own commission. The resolution passed the State House of Representatives on a 50-10 bipartisan vote, and went to the State Senate.
In the Senate Rules Committee, proposed changes to the resolution by State Senators essentially stripped the Ethics Commission of transparency and jurisdiction, rendering it a “toothless tiger.” When that happened, I asked that my resolution be withdrawn from consideration because, as a matter of principle, I could no longer have my name on such a watered-down resolution. I will work with other legislators during the interim period so we can get this much-needed independent and transparent Ethics Commission one step closer to reality next year for New Mexico.
This resolution received widespread support in the news media, both print and broadcast. Click on “News and Press” page to view the videos and read the articles and editorials supporting my actions.
DWI FELONY SENTENCING ENHANCEMENT-2016:
This bill would close a legal gap in our Habitual Offender Sentencing law. Currently it takes four DWI convictions before DWI offenses become a 4th Degree Felony, but our judges cannot use DWI felony convictions for sentencing habitual felony offenders. My bill would have allowed our judges to use the DWI felony convictions.
The bill passed the State House of Representatives on a 49-16 bipartisan vote, but died in the State Senate. I will bring it back next year to correct this gap in the law.
PROTECTING OUR PRIVACY-2016:
I sponsored a bill with Senator Peter Wirth, Democrat, Santa Fe County. The bill would require New Mexico law enforcement agencies to obtain the proper warrants and orders before they can access your computer, cell phone, or other electronic devices. Because of the 30 day session process, this bill did not receive a committee assignment, but I will bring it back in 2017. Our privacy is important.
I co-sponsored a bill with Representative Javier Martinez, Democrat, Bernalillo County. The bill would have prohibited former legislators, former statewide elected officials, former Public Regulation commissioners, and former Cabinet Secretaries from being compensated lobbyists for two years once they left government service. In a 2015 poll 82% of New Mexican voters supported this “cooling off” proposal. The bill passed the State House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote of 57-10.
The bill went to the State Senate, and died in committee. I will bring this bill back in 2017.