Tuesday, January 12, 2010

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Seems like all we ever do

As of January 2010, we are waiting to see if the bill will be put into the 2010 Regular Session. Since this is the short, budget driven session, we are not necessarily hopeful that it will be heard at all this year. As usual, Rep. Gardner is hard to get in contact with and since he is the one who will have to submit it, he is the one we are waiting to hear from.

So it goes . . . the waiting continues.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here is your official warning: If you are leaving spam in our comments, please know that your comment will be deleted . . . even if it appears in Japanese. 

Spammers are not welcome here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Call for information

One of the things I want to get ready for the next time around is a database of names, addresses, and especially phone numbers for those who are helping us in this effort. 

It is frustrating to me to have no fast and sure method of contacting people to get the word out to call specific legislators when something is happening. Things happen SO fast during the session; even the difference of a day can have a huge effect on the outcome. Can you imagine if we could have had a bank of callers on the phone Friday morning to Senator McSorley or Senator Lopez (get out of your office!)? We could have been out of SJC in time to be heard on the Senate floor this time. 

So here's my request . . . If you are interested in helping, please email me your information (name, address, email, and probably most importantly, phone numbers) so that I can add you to a database or phone bank. Send it to halo.golden@gmail.com. I have no intention to and promise not to sell or share your information with anyone else except as it relates specifically to our efforts to pass the MISSing Angels Bill in New Mexico. (Though I recognize that none of us live in a bubble, so if you wish to be a part of a similar database to help other states, please let me know.)

We have plans to start meeting every other month to discuss strategy and actions. If you wish to be included in those meetings, please let me know that as well.

Chaos and Sadness

If you haven't already figured it out, the end of a legislative session is absolute chaos for everyone.

My last report was Thursday. We were waiting to be heard in Senate Judiciary. Expecting to go back to Santa Fe on Friday.

I went back on Friday morning, bright and early. SJC was supposed to meet at 9 am. For one reason or another they could not manage to come up with a quorum for the morning meeting. Then they were all called to the Senate floor, at which point I went to Rep. Gardner's office to wait it out. I was told they might meet again if they got a recess. I don't know if they ever did meet again. 

Around 1 p.m. Rep. Gardner came to me and said it was unlikely to get out of SJC. Sen. McSorley didn't want to put it on a consent calendar. The committee was unlikely to meet again or actually get anything done if they did. More political tit-for-tat going on. There was a chance, a very slim chance, that we could get it withdrawn from the committee to the senate floor. It was time for me to go home. There was nothing more I could do; it was all up to Rep. Gardner.

So I went home . . . in tears. We didn't quite let go of all of our hope, but the bill looked all but dead. Rep. Gardner, a bit later in the day, said he was still working on it and that he would work on it until the very end. I know they went late in the night.

This morning I contacted him expecting to hear that nothing had changed. Instead he wrote back that he had gotten it out of SJC (it was withdrawn) and that it was on the Senate floor. It would take a miracle to get it heard, but if it were heard it would be the last item heard before the end of the session.

Thanks to the wonder of technology, we were able to listen to the Senate when they did NOT hear our bill, but instead closed the session without hearing it. (Though if you listened carefully, you could hear someone call out "what about Gardner's bill?" right as they were discussing whether to adjourn. And really they had the few minutes that it would have taken to hear it, someone just pushed for the close instead.)

So I'm sad and sorry to report that we failed again this year. Petty politics got in the way again, but in a different arena this time--the Senate instead of the Governor's office.

We are not going anywhere though! We will be back. Our hope is to get it in next year, but that is tricky. As you may know, sessions in even-numbered years are short. 30 days short. On top of that, bills have to be "germane," meaning they have to be important in the state budget. The only other way to get heard in a short session is to have a message from the governor. I am going to ask Rep. Gardner if calls from citizens can help get a message for the short session. If you can call the governor's office and help with this effort, I will let you know.

Thank you all for your efforts. And a huge thank you to Rep. Keith Gardner; we could not ask for a more dedicated or hard-working sponsor. We'll get it done next time!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back and Forth and Back Again

Let's see . . . the last few days have been totally chaotic, and that is putting it mildly.

We had been trying to get on the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda. Finally, we got on the agenda on Monday, but we were told that we were too far down on the list to be heard that day. So we stayed home and waited. We were told there *might* be a meeting on Tuesday. There was not a meeting on Tuesday. 

Wednesday we called the SJC office and were told that if we were on the agenda we should show up because they were planning to get through the whole agenda that day. So we went and spent probably 8 hours waiting. We were told to go home by several people, that they wouldn't get to us. In fact, we were told that we were so far down on the list our bill was all but dead.

We were told SJC might meet again today (Thursday). We called this morning. The SJC office was less than helpful on the information factor. We found out they were supposed to meet in the morning, but they didn't have an agenda yet. So we waited. We called again later, they weren't sure if there would be an afternoon meeting. Then we called Rep. Gardner's office and found out a whole lot more info! They were supposed to hear our bill that morning, but she didn't know if that had happened because Gardner had been in committee meetings himself all morning. When she found out, she would call. In the meantime, I got a text from Gardner saying it wasn't heard, but that he was hoping it would be heard this afternoon. So off to Santa Fe we went, again.

We waited. We had sent an email to all of our supporters asking them to call Sen. McSorley and Sen. Martinez to get HB 196 on the consent calendar for Thursday. We were told this morning that there wasn't a consent calendar. Turns out there was a consent calendar. We were not on it. There was even a short agenda for "non-controversial" bills where the debate was limited to 3 minutes a piece. We were told–after the fact–that we were supposed to be on that agenda. We were not on that agenda. As we sat and waited we were hoping to get through. We did not get through today. SJC adjourned at 7 and went to a session in the Senate Chamber. They are not supposed to meet again tonight. 

We are now told that we are supposed to get on the consent agenda tomorrow morning. Since I have almost no faith in what people are telling us these days, I am not about to believe without doubt that we will actually get on the consent agenda tomorrow morning. So, tomorrow (Friday) morning I am off to the Roundhouse again, bright and early! I want to be there in case we are heard, or in case we are on the consent calendar, whichever it may be. I want to be there to see it pass the full Senate. 

So tomorrow could and probably will be another long day in Santa Fe. Despite many nay-sayers and Debbie Downers, we are still optimistic. We trust Rep. Gardner to do everything he can possibly do to get our bill passed and signed this year. 

Fingers and toes crossed everyone. And don't for one minute stop calling your Senators, the Governor, and anyone else you think might help get this done.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Please, please, please help!

In order to get our bill out of committee to the Senate floor before the close of this session on Saturday, we must get HB 196 on the consent calendar of the Senate Judiciary Committee

In order to do that we need to FLOOD the committee chair and vice chair's offices with requests to do just that: Place HB 196 on Thursday's consent calendar for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Please call, email, or both:

Senator Cisco McSorely

Senator Richard Martinez

Thank you so much, we are so close. We need this push to get it through the Senate and to the Governor's desk.