Thursday, February 26, 2009

Something is better than nothing

We heard from Senator Dede Feldman's office today. Apparently, they won't even start hearing House bills until next week. I told you, something is better than nothing—at least as far as news goes.

So everyone have a nice weekend, and hope for good news next week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not really an update

We are just waiting right now. Trying to get on the Senate Public Affairs agenda. Emailing. Calling.

If Dede Feldman is your senator, feel free to call her and ask her to put us on her agenda. Even if she isn't your senator, call and ask.

We are trying to be patient . . . as we watch the days tick by in this all-too-short session.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today as I was getting the word out and planning how to handle my testimony in the House on Thursday, I got a phone call from Rep. Gardner. 

The bill had been on the Temporary Calendar. I was under the impression that bills were on the Temp Calendar for one day in between the committees and the House Calendar. That would have put us on for Wednesday, except Rep. Gardner has to be away on Wednesday. That's why we were scheduled for Thursday.

Apparently, the Speaker of the House (Rep. Ben Lujan, who is also a member of the Taxation and Revenue Committee—so he heard Carin and I speak last Wednesday with both girls in tow) recommended that Rep. Gardner put the bill on the House Calendar for TODAY. I didn't know that was possible. But it clearly is . . . so he did. We didn't even get a call until it was all said and done. 

It PASSED! There were only 2 dissenting votes. 

Carin and I are disappointed that we didn't get to testify, but we have to agree with Rep. Gardner . . . having it moving is far more important. So now we are on to the Senate (Public Affairs and then Finance). 

It was incredibly generous of Speaker Lujan to suggest and encourage it be done today. We clearly have some very wonderful and generous lawmakers helping us along the route this time. We could not be more grateful for the help they have given us.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Appropriations and Floor Vote

Today we finally heard from Rep. Gardner about the Appropriations and Finance committee. The news is great; we are out of HAF. 

We are on the calendar for a floor vote on Thursday. The session usually starts at about 10 am and runs until 1 pm—if all goes well. Keep an eye on the House Calendar. I will post here when we know for sure what time the House convenes on Thursday. 

I am excited! After this we go through two committees in the Senate.  

If you have not already called your Representative, please do so now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thank you

I would like to say thank you to a few people . . . 

Thank you to Rep. Gardner. Carin and I both feel truly blessed that you are our sponsor. You have done and are doing us a great service. I don't know that words will every truly express how grateful we are. 

Thank you to Anita. Without you, Carin and I would have had a much more difficult time today. You were truly a life-saver. We are truly thankful and also happy that you could join us today. Thank you for your support.

Thank you to Rep. Edward Sandoval, HTR Committee Chair. He offered us his office to be comfortable in while we were waiting--with the girls--for our bill to come up. He also agreed to move our bill ahead on the agenda so that we could get out of there just a little bit sooner. Thank you for your kindness. You are a true gentleman.

Thank you to the supporters. I have the understanding that quite a few supporters came and waited while we were all waiting. We did not know you were there or we would have gladly had a conversation with you. If you were there, waiting, thank you. We were the two women with babies out in the hall for all those hours. No, we were not there for the childcare bill. I hope you can make it for the floor vote, or for one of the other committee meetings. Please feel free to introduce yourselves next time, I will be the one with the adorable baby.

Thank you to our daughters. You girls were such troopers today. We are sorry to have to drag you around with us when you are tired and sick and just want to play and don't want to have to be quiet. We love you more than anything in the world. 

Thank you to all of our readers. Your support means the world to us. 

Long hours

Good news! We got a "do pass" with no dissenting votes in House Taxation and Revenue tonight. The meeting was supposed to start at 1:30 pm. Notice I said "supposed to start"? The meeting actually started at 6:45 pm. There was a 3 hour debate on the House floor about repealing the death penalty in New Mexico. Mind you, we were there with two little girls in tow, at 1:30. Waiting. Once the meeting started there was one bill heard before ours, which was debated for more than an hour. I was back in my car at 8:30 pm.

More good news! We have worked out the Dept of Health's issues; they are no longer opposing it.

Even more good news! Rep. Gardner is going to see if he can get us out of House Appropriations and Finance altogether or get us on the consent calendar. 

We could go for a House floor vote as early as Saturday, Feb. 14--but more likely Monday, Feb. 17. Then we are into the Senate.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

House Taxation & Revenue


We have tentative information that HB196 is on the agenda in House Taxation & Revenue TOMORROW, Wednesday, February 11, 2009. The HTR Committee meets in Room 317 of the Roundhouse at 1:30 p.m.

I will post an update when I get confirmation, which will probably be tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

KOAT Channel 7

Carin and I went to Channel 7 this morning for an interview. It appeared on the 5 o'clock news today (Sunday, February 8).

Here is the link to the story:

We did well, and it is a great story.

Thanks to Natalie Swaby at KOAT.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

One down

I have some good news to report! We have passed the first committee, as of Thursday, Feb. 5.

There was no hearing. We were put on the "consent calendar" and passed along with everything else on that calendar.

It may not seem like a good thing because there was no hearing--no chance to plead our case--but it really is great because it means there is basically no opposition to it in that committee.

There is one dissenting vote listed, Rep. Karen Giannini, so we will talk to her before the floor vote. We want to find out if she voted no to **our** bill or something else on the consent calendar. If she voted no on our bill, we want to have a chance to talk to her about it to clear up any questions or concerns she may have before the bill goes to the House floor for a vote. It would be lovely to have a unanimous vote like we had in 2007, but I know it isn't necessary.


From here we go to House Taxation and Revenue. Keep watching the agendas to see when that committee will hear it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Playing by the numbers

Typically, committee agendas are done in relative numerical order, especially at the beginning of the session when most bills are still in their first committee. We've been watching the HCPAC agenda pretty closely trying to estimate when we might have to be at the Roundhouse.

On Monday it looked like we were set to go on Thursday. There were only 7 bills left ahead of us, and there have been anywhere from 9 to 13 bills on each agenda so far. They have thrown in a bill or two from "behind" in an effort to group similar bills on the same day.

Last night I checked on Thursday's agenda, expecting, hoping HB 196 would be on it. We weren't. In fact, all of the bills except one scheduled for Thursday have higher bill numbers than ours.

I was very disappointed. I contacted our sponsor to find out if there is anything going on behind the scenes that we need to be aware of and if we should contact the committee chair directly. According to Rep. Gardner, all is well. He, too, had been hoping to be heard this week. He said they are trying to move groups of bills. (Most of the bills on the schedule for Thursday have to do with voting and ballots. But there are some that don't relate to that topic, and I guess it doesn't quite make sense why they would skip us and the other 7 bills ahead of us in that instance. If they were **all** voting and ballot bills, I could see it, but they aren't.) At any rate, Rep. Gardner says we are ok. No petty politics at play right now. So we are just waiting some more.

I will keep checking the agendas and hope that we are on next week.