You know, I’d always heard that being a news reporter was like choosing a new field of expertise every day. Now I know that this situation is common for work of all kinds. Today, CVNM’s legislative team sat in on committee hearings which heard bills about voting and elections, benefit corporations, dental amalgam and labeling genetically modified food. Our issues run the gambit.

In the House Business and Industry Committee, we heard discussion of HB40 which would allow corporations to designate themselves a benefit corporation. By law, a corporation’s sole goal is to make a profit. By designating a corporation a benefit corporation, it allows a corporation to pursue societal and environmental activities as well. A great example: if a corporation needs to purchase something and they choose to do so locally because it helps the local economy, they could do so even if the cost is higher than if they could purchase it from another country. The bill passed HBIC and is headed to the House Judiciary Committee. A spokeswoman for a corporation that is interested in making this move said it best “This bill would hard wire good societal and environmental behaviors into the DNA of a corporation.” Can’t say no to that.

Also, Senate Conservation Committee unanimously passed a bill that would require dentists to install separators to keep mercury from amalgam filings out of the water supply. SB99 was sponsored by Senator Wirth who is a 100% Conservation Champion. (That’s about a side’s worth, right?)

I personally testified in a hearing for the first time in support of HB21, which would require agendas for public meetings to be available 72 hours in advance, rather than the current 24 hours. We thank longtime sponsors Representative Smith, who has introduced this bill since his first term in the legislature, and Senator Ivey-Soto for being a staunch supporter of the bill. Senator Ivey-Soto gave the best explanation of the bill while he introduced it to the House Voters and Elections Committee.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing for the public 3 days in advance, you shouldn’t be doing the public’s business,” he said.

We agree.

Gwyneth Doland, executive director of New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, pointed out that 24 hours isn’t usually enough time to get a babysitter, let alone study an issue and decide what to do about it. We are in support of measures like this one that make the system more accessible to the public.

And that was Tuesday. What issues are you following this session? Leave us a comment to let us know.

Liliana

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