The best information we currently have is that SJR 5 is on the agenda in Judiciary today, Saturday, after 2:30PM in Room 321, but that Majority Leader Michael Sanchez may make a motion to take SJR 5 out of committee and down to the floor for a full three-hour debate and vote sometime after 1:30PM. There is some kind of deal rumored, namely, that the Republicans will get to have a controversial bill heard on the floor as well: Mandatory Parental Notification for women sixteen and under seeking abortion. The Senate Democrats and Republicans met in caucus yesterday, perhaps to discuss particulars.
Senator Sanchez has told the press that he expects the impeachment resolution to pass the Senate floor in a party line vote, but we've counted the votes and it is perilously close. According to the sponsor, Ortiz y Pino, a Senate Joint Resolution, since it has so much power, must pass with twenty two votes in favor, a true majority of the Senate, rather than just a majority of those present. Looking at it the other way, we can lose only two Democrats and still win. Senator John Arthur Smith D - Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra was solid against and it now appears that Senator Shannon Robinson D-Bernalillo is solid against. Please visit or call them as well as Senator Tim Jennings, John Arthur Smith's co-chair on Senate Finance who now becomes the swing vote, along with Senators Griego, Rainaldi and the other undecideds. Most are expected to vote with the Democratic leadership which is now apparently on our side.
But there's a new wrinkle, Senator Linda Lopez's mom may have had a stroke yesterday, and Linda is in the hospital and missed yesterday's session. If we lose her vote, Senator Robinson, and John Arthur Smith, we lose. There are of course plenty of other ways this could go, but that's my concern. Absolutely all respectful, supportive testimony and documentation must be brought to bear on Senators Jennings, Robinson, Griego, Rainaldi and John Arthur Smith. Prayers for Senator Lopez and her family are in order. There will be DVDs available of former US Congresswoman Liz Holtzman's videoconference testimony in favor and a viewing station set up in the Roundhouse by around 1pm, check with impeachment headquarters in Senator Ortiz y Pino's office, Room 414.
Although there is no longer any real concern that the bill will be heard on the floor in the morning session today, the best guidance I can offer is that all citizens get to the Roundhouse by 10:30AM for the 11:00 opening of business on the floor. That half hour is the best window available for direct discussion with Senators as they come down from committee to the floor, which is open to citizens until roll is called. Today is likely to be a fateful one, and we will be metaphorically painted and in full ceremonial dress. I will be moving between the Senate Majority Leader's office and the Information Desk at the East Entrance from 10:00 or so helping people identify and pitch the Senators. Terrence McCarthy and Nancy Kenney, among others, will be set up in the Senate Media Gallery where one may also find allies. Once again, you may be able to reach me through Arwen's cell phone: (505) 603-6084. It is also possible to have the operator page me from the information desk if necessary.
Please also note decorum without feeling overly restricted. No clapping in Committee after speeches or from the gallery.
If you have not already memorized the phone number for the Capitol Switchboard which can connect you with anyone in the Roundhouse, it's 986-4300. Click the image above right to view the new Public Affairs Commitee hearing video.
by Leland Lehrman h: (505) 982-3609 o: (505) 473-4458