Wednesday, December 3, 2008

LHHS Meeting Update

Carin and I went to the LHHS committee meeting today. We were there at about 3:30 p.m. Public Comments was scheduled for 4:45 p.m. Surprisingly, the committee was right on schedule the whole time. It boggles the mind . . . government on time!

Anyway, as far as we know everything went well. Originally, we had been told we would have 5 minutes. We had our talking points; we were good at 5 minutes. There were about 11 or 12 people signed up on the list before us. When the time for public comments came, a sort of roll was called to see if those on the list were actually still there. I think quite a few of those on the list had already left. Even still we were told we'd have 2 minutes instead of 5. Yikes! They wanted to adjourn the meeting for the night and wanted everyone to be as quick as they could possibly be. Carin's fast thinking (thank you for being quick on your feet, Carin) had us now reading the handout we had prepared for the committee that consisted of just the barest facts about the bill.

We accomplished our main goal which was to get the bill into the record before the start of the coming session. And we got some verbal support for it, as well.

We also got to touch base with Rep. Gardner. He's been hard to get ahold of lately due to the usual chaos of life and an ailing family member to boot.

So as it sits, with a few minor changes to the bill and some double checking on possible issues, we are set for the coming session. We have plans to speak with Planned Parenthood and the Southwest Women's Law Center in the coming weeks. But otherwise, we should be able to relax a bit and enjoy the holidays.


Today is the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee meeting in Santa Fe. It is one of the interim committees that work through the part of the year when they are not in session.

We were hoping to get on the actual agenda, but that wasn't possible for whatever reason. So our alternative is Public Comments. Today at 4:45 p.m. we will be standing up during public comment time to talk about the MISSing Angels Bill in New Mexico and asking for the LHHS committee's endorsement for the 2009 Regular Session.

I'm nervous. Last night I was reading some of the articles that were written in 2007 after the veto. I feel like we're about to dive right back into all of that negativity, but I really need to give this meeting and this session it's own due. And reading those articles and the issues that were brought up at the time, gives me a new direction in which to look for this new bill. A chance to make sure we are not falling into the same issues this time.

So wish us luck, dry palms, and dry eyes.