The University of New Mexico’s Office of Government and Community Relations (OGCR) has several updates and reminders for the greater Lobo community ahead of the official start of the 2022 state legislative session. 

New Mexico state legislators (42 Senators; 70 Representatives) will convene in Santa Fe on Jan. 18, 2022 for the kickoff of the Second Session of the 55th Legislature. Like other “short” 30-day sessions that occur in even-numbered calendar years, this year’s session will have its focus limited to budgetary matters and other items placed on the lawmakers’ agenda by the Governor. The fact that the legislature only meets for a small amount of time each winter is made possible by the scores of different interim committee hearings each spring, summer, and fall, which, in turn, inform decisions made by the legislature’s standing committees who make final decisions during the legislative session proper. 

UNM has been busy working with internal and external partners to develop a series of state legislative requests over the past 10 months. To summarize many of those, OGCR has worked with UNM senior leadership to develop a snapshot of our major FY23 requests. More broadly, UNM is engaged in dozens of other important legislative issues, including many additional policy matters related to education, research, health care in support of our ongoing community service. Please continue to coordinate all legislative requests and associated communications with the Office of Government and Community Relations. In the end, OGCR needs everyone’s help to ensure UNM speaks with one strategic voice.

For the 2022 State Session, the Office of Government and Community Relations is pleased to introduce the diverse and experienced state legislative team this year who will be representing UNM’s interests in Santa Fe and throughout the state. Our state team will continue to work in coordination with UNM senior leadership to develop and implement strategy. As with any legislative session, OGCR will be promoting UNM interests while remaining adaptable to emerging opportunities and threats. Your OGCR staff representatives consist of:

  • Nathan Bush, interim chief government relations officer
  • Dr. Bridgette Noonen, interim associate director
  • Stevie Olson, associate director
  • Vanessa Garcia, unit administrator

Contact information for the above individuals is available via the team link.

OGCR also has an update about UNM Day (at the Capitol) this year. In November, state legislative leadership announced that all exhibits and special events in the Rotunda will be disallowed due to COVID. Masking and proof of full vaccination history are currently required to enter the Roundhouse. The rapidly-emerging public health situation caused by the omicron variant has legislative leaders actively revisiting those rules to determine if further restrictions regarding entry to the capitol building will be required. As a health and safety concern, UNM Day events have been indefinitely postponed for 2022 as a result. OGCR is working with UNM leaders to evaluate other communication strategies, subject to emergent Roundhouse rules and public health conditions.

For those individuals interested in daily updates on the progress of bills of interest to the Lobo community, we encourage interested parties to consult our 2022 Legislative Session bill tracker and, for additional information, consider joining the UNM Government Relations listserv.