Transparency Goes Out the Window as House GOP Debates Capital Punishment at 1:30 AM
In an overtly political move, House GOP moves to debate HB 7 under cover of darkness with no public notice
Santa Fe – Today, in the early hours of the morning, with an empty gallery and ink still drying on the supplemental calendar, House Republicans introduced HB 7, the death penalty reinstatement bill. This blatantly political move destroyed any sense of transparency in the House of Representatives. Republicans shirked their responsibility to transparency as they pressed to debate the controversial crime bill.
“House Republicans should not be forcing this debate in the middle of the night, in a cloud of secrecy. What they are doing is not just against the rules, it is wrong to be doing this without transparency,” said House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). “We should proceed in the right way, with the public notified. The people of New Mexico deserve to be involved in such a serious debate.”
“What is the rush to legislate at this midnight hour?” said Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Albuquerque). “The people of New Mexico deserve to know that this bill is being heard. We need to debate when the public can be involved in the process.”
“What has been done this whole session has been nothing but dirty politics,” stated Representative Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque). “I tell my father everyday that I am doing my best to resolve the issues that face our state. But, it embarrasses me to even have to debate this in the middle of the night. If you want this so badly, put it on the calendar and let the public know.”
“This is a matter of life and death, and the people of Doña Ana have the right to be informed,” stated Representative Bill McCamley (D-Mesilla). “My constituents want to know about the critical issues that affect them. They shouldn’t be waking two days later only to find out that this has become law. People in my district really want to be a part of this, and they should be.”
Despite the compelling debate on transparency and ethics, the Republican Speaker of the House moved forward with allowing HB 7 to be debated and voted on the House floor with no public input and oversight.