Legislature: Rules For 2021 Virtual Session Pass House Floor With Bipartisan Support


New measures will ensure safety during the pandemic and fairness in the legislative process

Today, House Resolution 1, which outlines the rule changes that will guide 2021’s historic virtual session, passed the House floor and will go into effect immediately. 

These temporary measures will protect the health and safety of the public, staff, and legislators during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also ensure fair and remote participation by legislators, as well as the public, who will have unprecedented remote access to the session without having to travel to Santa Fe. 

Rule changes in House Resolution 1 include: 

  • Permitting Representatives to participate and vote remotely.
  • Allowing the public to provide comments online via Zoom or by phone while the Roundhouse remains closed to prevent community spread of COVID-19.
  • Requiring that all House members participate in floor and committee debates by Zoom, which will be broadcast publicly online.
  • Affirming that all legislation to be considered by the full House will be placed on a temporary calendar for 24 hours to ensure transparency and accessibility. 

An Amendment introduced by the minority was also adopted, which allows a designee of the Minority Leader to raise points of order. 

“The idea of requiring our members to come to Santa Fe and risk exposing themselves, their families, and members of the public to this deadly virus is irresponsible and outweighs any other minimal risks we would face while meeting remotely,” said resolution sponsor House Parliamentarian, Representative Daymon Ely (D – Corrales). 

Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D – Santa Fe) added: “These changes are temporary and have been crafted out of respect for the health, safety, and participation of the legislators, staff, and the greater community. House Resolution 1 allows the public to participate safely and remotely, and for legislators to all have an equal voice throughout the legislative process.” 

House Resolution 1 passed the House floor with a bipartisan 48-22 vote. 

Members of the public can track legislation at New Mexico Legislature website and access committee meetings and House floor proceedings on the Webcasts tab. The Roundhouse will be closed to the public for the entirety of the 2021 session to curtail the potential spread of COVID-19.