Behind-the-scenes on HB356

For those of you wondering about the behind-the-scenes activity on HB356 (which would have required that electrical right away fees be fair and reasonable), the El Rancho Community Center newsletter published the following article (note: this is their summary not ours, but it’s a good one). And a true “across the aisle” effort to protect our community, and a good example of how our legislative process does not yet put people before politics. We have more work to do!

HB 356 was on the agenda to be voted on by the House floor but was not presented by House Speaker W. Ken Martinez. In the final hours of the 2014 Legislative session, apparently there were a few very important bills still pending such as the Lottery Fund and the Indigent Fund Sole Provider which took much time to debate.

We like to remind everyone that participated, either by attending the meetings or by emailing Representatives, what a difference their voice made and how important it is to get involved. This started as a Memorial which is only recognition that a problem exists, to a Bill that went through two key legislative committees with much support and recognition by many Representatives as being a very important and complex issue that needs to be addressed.

… Representative W Ken Martinez was elected to his seat as Speaker of the House because the Democratic Party is currently the majority in the House. It is the Speaker who assigns house bills to committees and it is the Speaker who decides which bills get presented to the House floor for debate and a vote.  HB359 was first assigned to the Health, Government, and Indian Affairs committee.  In this committee, Chair Roger Madalena (D) gave the opposing side the opportunity to speak for a total of 1 hour between Tuesday and Thursday on their opposition of HB356, yet gave the taxpayers, who were the majority attending, only 10 minutes! Thankfully, Nate Gentry (R) disagreed with the Chair, and demanded he give the committee members a voice after Madalena attempted to table the bill with no input from the committee. Alonzo Baldonado (R) seconded the motion and HB356 passed to the next committee. Yvette Herrell (R) not only supported this bill, but after Memorial 17 was presented, co-wrote HB356. Twice, Donald Bratton (R) stood up to those opposed to this bill and asked how such unfair business tactics could even be allowed to take advantage of any consumer. Rep. Bratton spoke the words our community was not allowed to speak!

These are Republican Representatives who crossed party lines to help support our State Representative Carl Trujillo (D) in an attempt to pass legislation for fairness to ALL people of our community! They, along with Rep. Trujillo, did not stand up for special interest groups but against unfair business practices that punished innocent people for something the federal government created with a law (25CFR169.12) that gives no limits to what Sovereign nations can charge for utility easements.

 This is not an attempt to promote any political party, this is a plea for our community to become informed and know who we are electing to our Legislation. Remember, taxpayers in our community are almost 90% of the voting power. We have the power to help decide who is running our government – let’s choose wisely regardless of party affiliation!

source: El Rancho Community Email Newsletter, 2/24/14

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