SANTA FE — Senate Republican Leader, Sen. Greg Baca (R-Belen), reintroduced legislation to require legislative involvement to renew or amend public health orders and emergency declarations during this year’s 30-day session.
During the 2021 legislative session, an identical bill received bipartisan support, according to a recent press release from Baca’s office, but ultimately died on the Senate Floor after Democratic leaders refused to give the bill a vote.
“For more than two years, we have experienced firsthand the need for this legislation to rein in the executive and take back power for the people, said Baca in the release. “We cannot be collectively steam rolled by the will of one individual. This pandemic has proven that without a check on her power, the governor will use every inch of authority to unilaterally establish, amend, and renew emergency declarations and public health orders.
“This is not a partisan issue — this is just good government. Democrats and Republicans agree the time has long past for the legislative branch to have a seat at the table when issuing such weighty decisions.”
Under the proposed Senate Bill 196, legislative approval would be required for orders and declarations after 45 days. This approval would be done by joint resolution of the Legislature, or if the Legislature is not in session, by a majority vote of the interim Legislative Council committee.
The Legislative Council is comprised of Democratic and Republican members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and meets monthly when the Legislature is not in session.
The bill was sent to the Senate Committees Committee — which decides which specific committee the bill needs to go to — on Monday, Jan. 31, the sixth day of the session.
Senators Craig Brandt (R-Rio Rancho), the minority whip, and Crystal Diamond (R-Elephant Butte) are co-sponsors of the bill.
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