Although the second 2021 Special Session of the Legislature is preliminary regarding redrawing congressional, legislative, and Public Education Commission districts, other topics are being brought before the body, including one proposal, H.B. 10, aimed at limiting the Governor’s emergency powers.
“A declaration of a state of emergency issued pursuant to the All Hazard Emergency Management Act shall cease to be in effect after ninety days unless the governor calls the legislature into special session to address the circumstances of the state of emergency,” reads the bill sponsored by Reps. Greg Nibert (R-Roswell) and Daymon Ely (D-Corrales).
“The special session called pursuant to Subsection A of this section shall convene no later than the ninetieth day after the initial declaration of the state of emergency,” the bill adds.
If the Legislature does not act to restrict the Governor’s powers, then they will automatically be ended 60 days following its extension.
The bill would implement a specific framework a state of emergency must abide by, including information regarding the following:
(1) the nature of the public health emergency;
(2) the political subdivisions or geographic areas affected by the public health emergency;
(3) the conditions that caused the public health emergency;
(4) the expected duration of the public health emergency, if less than thirty days;
(5) the public health officials needed to assist in the coordination of a public health emergency response; and
(6) any other provisions necessary to implement the executive order.
Although co-sponsors other than Ely and Nibert are not mentioned, state Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park), said, “I just signed onto HB 10.” She wrote, “In simple terms, the Governor would no longer be all-powerful and instead be required to ask for permission from the legislation to extend the mandates.”
The proposal comes after Gov. Lujan Grisham, a far-left Democrat and alleged sexual predator, has extended the public health emergency for nearly two years, leading to devastation in New Mexico, including the shuddering of 40% of small businesses in the state.