The first session of the 55th Legislature gets underway at noon today at the State Capital in Santa Fe. Alternating from year to year with short 30-day budget sessions, the “long session” runs for 60 days from January 19 – March 20 and will cover all issues.
Given that we are still in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, the Roundhouse is closed to the public and lobbyists. Once the legislature is in session, lawmakers will adopt rules for conducting a virtual session. It is expected that bills will be introduced in the House and Senate in the first week with committee meetings held in the second and third weeks to discuss and pass legislation. Floor votes and possibly additional bill introductions will happen in the 4th week followed by a week of committee meetings and then back to the floor sessions.
People will be able to make public comment on bills via Zoom. Committee chairs will set the rules for how the public participation will be carried out.
You can follow your legislators, bills, and House and Senate floor and committee schedules at nmlegis.gov.
Despite the challenges in conducting this year’s session, the slate of environmental bills under consideration is ambitious. There are a number of climate change and renewable energy bills, legislation to strengthen our bedrock environmental laws, proposals for a just transition to a renewable energy economy, as well as water and wildlife bills.
Listen to an Earth Matters 2021 Legislative Preview with Allyson Siwik of the Gila Resources Information Project, Camilla Feibelman of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and Charlie de Saillan, staff attorney with the NM Environmental Law Center.
Stay tuned for more information on GRIP’s legislative priorities.