February 3, 2021
Yesterday kicked off with the Senate Conservation Committee’s third meeting of this year, and this time Senate Bill 32 (the Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act, also known as Roxy’s Law) was first up on the committee agenda.
The hearing began with bill sponsors Senator Brenda McKenna (D-Corrales) and Senator Bobby Gonzales (D-Ranchos de Taos) giving their opening statements and presentations of the bill. Sen. McKenna spoke eloquently of the people in her community she knows personally who have had frightening experiences with their dogs injured in traps, and highlighted the unacceptable, deadly impacts caused by traps to endangered species like Mexican wolves. Sen. Gonzales wisely pointed to New Mexico’s burgeoning outdoor recreation and tourism economy and the need to ensure safe public lands for all.
Public testimony in favor of the bill was delivered by a broad spectrum of exceptionally strong speakers ranging from members of the public whose dogs were injured by traps, to TrapFree New Mexico coalition partners, wildlife scientists, veterinarian representatives, and individuals from the hunting and ranching communities. Committee members then asked numerous questions, fielded expertly by Sen. Gonzales, and Animal Protection Voters was honored to serve as his expert witness to help answer some of the questions. The hearing on Senate Bill 32 lasted almost two hours, ending with a resounding bipartisan 7-2 vote in favor of passing the bill. You can watch the entire recording of the hearing here.
We are so grateful to the Senators who voted YES on SB 32. Please reach out to them, especially if you are their constituent, to thank them for voting yes:
- Madam Chair Liz Stefanics – email
- Vice Chair Antoinette Sedillo Lopez – email
- Senator Jospeh Cervantes – email
- Senator Carrie Hamblen – email
- Senator Harold Pope – email
- Senator Bill Soules – email
- Senator Gregg Schmedes – email
What comes next for Senate Bill 32? The bill’s committee report must be “read out” during a Senate floor session before it can officially move onto its next committee hearing. Since the next Senate floor session is not until February 10th, Roxy’s Law advocates will have time to recharge and organize in anticipation of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to reach out to your Senator, if they sit on that committee, to ask them to vote ‘yes’ on the bill. If you’re not sure who your Senator is, you can find out here. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help.
The rest of this week is jam packed with activity on other bills beneficial to animals.
- This morning the Senate Rules Committee is meeting and considering Senate Joint Resolution 3. Often referred to as the Green Amendment, this measure would amend the state Constitution to grant New Mexicans an inalienable right to a clean and healthy environment.
- Tomorrow, Senate Bill 103, “Restricting Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides,” is rescheduled to be heard by the Senate Conservation Committee. This important bill restricts the use of dangerous pesticides that have led to devastating declines in bee and other pollinator populations essential to our fragile ecosystems and food systems. Please reach out to Committee members to urge their support for SB 103.
- And Friday, House Bill 51, “Environmental Database Act,” will be heard by its second committee, the House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee. This bill will provide a robust new tool for monitoring and providing public access to data regarding wildlife, habitats, environmental public health impacts, and more.
We will continue to keep Animal Protection Voters supporters updated on Roxy’s Law and other pro-animal measures, as well as any anti-animal measures that may be scheduled for hearings in the future.
There are approximately 45 days left until the end of the 2021 New Mexico legislative session, and while an enormous amount of work and uncertainty lies ahead, right now the future for animals looks bright.
With deep gratitude,
Chief Government Affairs Officer