The 2017 legislative session was a learning experience for virtually all involved. Both the House and Senate were under new leadership, as new Speaker Brian Egolf took the gavel for the first time in the House and Senator Peter Wirth was elected the Senate Majority Floor Leader.
This year was also a time of change for Conservation Voters New Mexico’s legislative team. Thanks to years of advocacy, lobbying, organizing and electoral engagement, we were able to begin the process of transitioning to a more proactive policy agenda. We will still be fully accountable for ensuring that anti-conservation legislation doesn’t get passed into law, but the communities we work with ask more of us than just playing excellent defense.
This process won’t be quick or easy. It has been a long time since we have had a legislature that is capable of passing pro-conservation legislation, but we’ve made progress and are ready to take action. We’ve got work to do as an organization and as an environmental movement in New Mexico to restart the work of moving forward. Legislation like the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) increase (SB 312) and the community solar bill (HB 338) represent excellent opportunities moving forward, and we intend to capitalize. You can read more about the RPS bill in our Issue Spotlight on our Scorecard website at www.CVNM.org/Scorecard.
We are committed to our pursuit of a community-informed and driven approach to passing pro-conservation policy. We hope that you’ll use this Scorecard to hold your elected officials accountable – look at how they voted and acted and note the actions that you don’t understand or disagree with. Ask yourself why they might have cast that vote, and then (just as importantly) look up their contact information on our Scorecard website, and ask them. Communicating with your legislators is an important way to ensure they represent your conservation values in the legislature.
By Demis Foster, CVNM Executive Director