Progressive Democrats of America Central NM Chapter sponsored a Town Hall Meeting May 19 from 2:00 – 4:00 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Representative Emily Kane, district 15, Senator Jacob Candelaria, district 26, and Senator Bill O’Neill, district 13, were the legislators who were invited to speak. Our organization felt it important that we hear a perspective on the 2013 New Mexico Legislative Session from newly elected legislators who tend to introduce progressive legislation.
The representative and the senators were forthcoming, articulate, responsive and honest in their assessment of their own legislation as well as their vote on the controversial tax bill that was passed in the last few seconds of the session, a bill that most legislators did not have time to read and assess. Senator O’Neill explained that he voted yes because this bill included the Combined Reporting legislation that Senator Wirth has been trying to pass for more than a dozen years. He felt this was important as were other parts of the bill. Senator O’Neill felt that with the information he had at the time, this was the correct way to vote. Rep. Kane did not vote for the bill because she could not in good conscience vote for a bill that she had not had time to read. Senator Candelaria voted against the bill for that reason as well as the fact he felt that the bill would have a negative impact.
The questions from the audience were relevant, earnest, courteous and articulate and the legislators responded seriously and courteously. Issues discussed were gun control legislation, global warming, bike safety, animal humane legislation, among others. Responses to the meeting were very positive and there are plans to have another Town Hall sometime this year.
Senator Bill O’Neill, Forum Introduction
Emily Kane, Forum Introduction
Jacob Candelaria, Forum Introduction