FGGAM MEDIA CENTER received this news release:
House GOP Leader Responses to Proposed House Rule Changes
Santa Fe — House Republican Leader James G. Townsend (Artesia, Pictured at top) sent a letter to House Speaker Brian Egolf expressing opposition to a number of possible changes to House Rules for the upcoming 60-day Legislative session. The letter is in response to comments made by Speaker Egolf at Monday’s Legislative Council meeting in which he proposed limiting the number of bills legislators can introduce during the session starting in mid-January. Such a limitation is unprecedented and the letter outlines a number of reasons why such a change improperly restricts the ability of legislators to fully represent their constituents, as well as why it is an attack on minority party rights.
The letter also expresses concerns about the planned virtual session the Speaker is promoting for the 60-day session and the impact it could have in limiting public participation and possibly posing health risks to some legislators and staff. Finally, the letter points out that another House Rule change to force legislators into an online/virtual setting and eliminate the use of the House chamber’s cameras and microphones during floor debate is only designed to prevent House Democrat members from looking bad for “not showing up” while most of the Senate and all Republican House members are present in their respective chambers.
The letter stated: “Proceeding in the manner in which you are proposing may well make it easier for you to implement your agenda, but it will be done at a great expense. At best, it could delegitimize our roles as legislators and at the very worst it could create a super spreader event in Santa Fe that places hundreds of people at serious risk.” The letter goes on to point out that “these new House Rules will only inhibit the free exchange of ideas and debate that our body so heavily relies upon.”