New Mexico's been a state for more than 100 years. One might think we'd be organized by now, that the annual lawmaking get-togethers in Santa Fe would only be needed for tweaking or maybe addressing issues created by new technology.
But as of last week, legislators in 2013 had introduced 557 bills intended to change the way government does things.
Five-hundred-fifty-seven. That includes more than two dozen just from local representatives.
And deadline for filing is still two weeks away!
We haven't read all the new proposals, but we've read enough to know we don't need 557 new rules. We don't need most of those we already have.
Many of the proposals are intended to "improve" laws already in place — laws that aren't working so good.
One example is HB 139, introduced by Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Texico. It would reduce workers' compensation awards in which misuse of alcohol or drugs is a factor in injuries.
Of course that needs to be addressed. But if we didn't think to factor in the actions of impaired workers in the first draft of workers' comp laws, how carefully did we consider anything?
Most of this year's bills are simply bad ideas.
Thomas Anderson, R-Bernalillo, wants the state to "raise awareness of USS New Mexico Submarine." He proposes we do this by spending $50,000, allowing the crew to visit the state. Can't we just visit the ship's website? It's http://ussnewmexico.net/
Freshman Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, wants to bring the government a little more into our personal lives with HJR4. He wants government to define marriage. Does the senator think bureaucrats have done such a fine job with public education, health care and roads they're ready to branch out into areas previously left to our communities of faith?
Oh, not all of the ideas being tossed about in our capital are terrible.
Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, wants to repeal the New Mexico Fruit and Vegetable Standards statutes. Put us down for favoring the repeal of most laws — especially those that have removed oversight from private industry, which is best qualified and has the most incentive to do things the right way.
Also, HB36 would appropriate $250,000 to help treat post traumatic stress disorder. We need to do all we can to take care of those we've sent off to war.
So a few of the 557 proposed new laws are worth serious consideration. Most are best left on committee room discussion floors.
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Ray Sullivan and Editor David Stevens.