Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wirth Pre-files Some Familiar Bills

The Legislature's web site now has the (growing) list of pre-filed bills. The first day of pre-filing was yesterday.

Wirth speaking in Rotunda during a previous session
Among the first batch are a couple of bills from Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, that repeatedly have failed in past sessions. That's not a knock on the senator. Sometimes it takes years for a bill to squeeze through.

There's Wirth's texting while driving bill, (Senate Bill 19) which died a lonesome death on the Senate calendar, where it stayed for weeks and weeks this year. (I recently wrote about that issue.)

Then there's SB 18, Wirth's bill that would require independent expenditure groups to disclose their contributors. Several times this bill has passed the Senate with unanimous or near-unanimous bi-partisan support, only to get lost in the maze of the House of Representatives before getting a vote. Someone over there just doesn't want this to pass.

Both the texting and the campaign finance bill would have to be on the governor's call in order to be discussed during the upcoming 30-day budget session, which starts Jan. 21

Wirth also has a bill, SB 17, which would require out-of-state "unitary corporate banks" to file combined state income tax returns. This year Wirth finally got the governor to sign his "combined reporting" bill for large retail stores. It was part of the big tax bill that passed in the closing moments of the Legislature. That one, which was kicked around in the Legislature for years, is a good example of Wirth's persistence paying off.

I did a story in Tuesday's paper about Think New Mexico's job bills getting pre-filed. You can find that HERE.