Are New Mexico Law Makers Showing Up for the Job?
New Mexico’s lawmakers have 30 to 60 days to craft, perfect, and pass legislation that is meant to improve the state. In that short span of time, the state’s elected officials are tasked by the people they represent to be their voice on thousands of bills, memorials and resolutions. Viante New Mexico provides transparency and accountability around our state lawmaker’s actions to determine if they are working together to address education, crime, and quality of life issues, and whether or not they are showing up for the job.
Attendance Score Breakdown
During the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session, there were 460 floor votes in the Senate and 510 floor votes in the House of Representatives. The average legislative attendance score is a 90.4%. Out of 112 legislators, one had perfect attendance: Senator Mimi Stewart. Conversely, there are eight legislators with drastically low attendance rates, missing more than 97 votes. The lowest attendance rate is 42.2% with 295 missed votes. Viante considers all bills, memorials, and resolutions in calculating the presence score and notes whether the legislator casts a yes or no vote.
What Factors Affect Attendance?
“There are many reasons why an elected official would not be in attendance to vote including family emergencies, debates in the opposite chamber’s committees, and negotiating the details of a separate bill,” stated Rhiannon Samuel, Executive Director of Viante. “Providing transparency around the roles and responsibilities of our lawmakers is one of our organization’s priorities. By providing our members with information on attendance, they can ask more questions of their elected officials and the chamber leadership. Furthermore, New Mexicans will be able to cast more informed votes in the future.”
Working to Find Common Ground Solutions
A lawmaker’s attendance score is one part of a multifaceted scorecard that Viante produces on an annual basis. In addition to lawmakers’ attendance scores, it illustrates who is working to find common ground solutions to improve education, crime, and quality of life issues in New Mexico. The 2019 Viante Scorecard will be released this summer.
Viante was created in 2017 as a unique nonprofit that is not funded by businesses or organizations, but instead by individual, working New Mexicans. This community-oriented, transparent organization is not politically motivated, and only works toward the betterment of New Mexico by facilitating informed voters.