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“Oops. How did we do that?”

With each new session, the legislature rushes to introduce more bills than the last. I was flipping through the Santa Fe Reporter yesterday while waiting for lunch and came across an interview with Steve Arias about his longstanding role as the House Chief Clerk. Arias pointed out that when he first started working at the legislature there were about 500 bills introduced. Now we’re trending four times that amount.

So, what’s the result of this annual stampede to see who can introduce the most legislation:

The law, which was amended by legislators in 1999, “immunizes title insurance companies from damages imposed upon their insureds as the result of any negligent search conducted by the title insurance company,” Jeffries says.

You read that right. The title insurance policies you are currently getting from title companies are worthless. That’s over $121 millon worthless policies from last year alone. Even the executive director of the New Mexico Land Title Association agrees it would be a good idea to ammend this law again. What do our legislators have to say about this?

State Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, who will sponsor a bill to change the law, says that many legislators were “appalled” when they were told about it at a recent interim committee hearing.

“Everyone was amazed and appalled. It was, ‘Oops. How did we do that?'” Stewart says. “The law gives title companies complete immunity for negligent searches.

Representative Stewart, I’ll tell you how you did it. Legislators are introducing an inordinate number of new bills each session with not near enough due diligence. Logic would dictate that you not only fix this law, but that you consider this a warning to put a stop to the legislative addiction of introducing more and more bills every session.

Of course, that would assume New Mexico legislators are logical.