Democrats defend online legislative work in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A top-ranked state legislator is defending the move to online committee hearings and other pandemic safety rules that allow only three legislators at a time on the floor of the New Mexico House of Representatives.

In legal filings made public on Monday, Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf urged the state Supreme Court to uphold emergency legislative procedures that rely heavily on videoconferencing.

Egolf says more people are participating in online legislative hearings than could possibly fit physically into committee rooms under normal circumstances.

Top House Republicans say that the health restrictions exclude people without internet service and are asking the Supreme court to intervene.