Legislature may see ‘dramatic’ facelift in 2013

Tuesday was the official filing day for New Mexico’s primary election. Political blogger Joe Monahan tells us the state Legislature is “poised for its most dramatic facelift in two decades.” He also reports the lawmaking game is not as much fun as it used to be and writes: “The bull market days of an overflowing […]

Legislature finishes politically heated session

The Associated Press SANTA FE — Lawmakers adjourned Thursday in an election-year session dominated by a clash of political wills between Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democrats controlling the Legislature. Key parts of the first-term governor’s legislative agenda died upon adjournment, including educational initiatives and a proposal to stop New Mexico from issuing driver’s licenses […]

Local legislators share priorities

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Kevin Wilson The New Mexico Legislature begins noon Tuesday in Santa Fe. The Legislature has two different types of sessions. In odd years, the session runs 60 days and is full of legislation that encompasses nearly everything one could imagine. In even years like 2012, the session is 30 days long and is limited mostly […]

Lawmakers paint brighter Legislature picture

By Robin Fornoff: FNM content editor What a difference a year makes. This time around the tone from lawmakers is radically different than it was just a year ago, as they tune up for a January budgeting session of the Legislature. “Last year we started at $240 million in the hole and were in some […]

Special session will focus on redistricting

Robin Fornoff There seems little question eastern New Mexico will lose a seat in both the House and Senate during a special session of the Legislature set to start Tuesday. The challenge will be to minimize the damage, according to several area lawmakers. The special session was set primarily to deal with the Legislature’s every-decade […]

Lack of growth in area could mean loss of legislative representation

Sharna Johnson The one consistent thing that emerged in discussion of state redistricting during a three-hour meeting Monday was that because it lacks the growth of the northern part of the state, eastern New Mexico could lose legislative representation. The discussion came during a meeting at the Clovis Civic Center, the first of three meetings […]

Legislature wraps it up

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez wrapped up her first legislative session Saturday, having made good on campaign promises to reach agreement on a balanced budget, trim state spending and crack down on criminals. The Democratic-controlled Legislature handed the freshman Republican executive some key victories in the waning hours of the 60-day session […]

Press release: Text of Ben Ray Lujan’s speech at state Legislature

Santa Fe, NM – Congressman Ben Ray Luj

Immigration enforcement not police’s job

With the 82nd Texas Legislature just a couple of weeks away, pre-filed anti-immigration bills already are piling up. Let’s hope that reason wins out and bad legislation is shuttled to the dustbin where it belongs. One such bill, filed last month by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, would require law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration […]

Educators disheartened by proposed retirement changes

Staff and wire reports Some local teachers and administrators are disheartened by a new retirement proposal that may soon be forwarded to the Legislature by the state Educational Retirement Board. Pension plans for public employees are likely to see dramatic changes after the New Mexico Legislature’s upcoming session, say lawmakers working to keep the retirement […]

Analysis: Budget takes backseat to memorials, whistleblower bill

By Steve Terrell: The New Mexican So what did taxpayers get for the $4.87 million 30-day budget session of the state Legislature? Well, one thing we didn’t get was a budget for state government. Because the state Senate and House couldn’t agree on a budget plan, Gov. Bill Richardson said he’ll call a special session […]

Special session in store

The Associated Press SANTA FE — The New Mexico Legislature adjourned Thursday without a plan on how to finance public schools and state government in the coming year, marking the first time in 26 years that lawmakers finished a regular session without reaching a budget deal. Shortly after lawmakers wrapped up their 30-day session, Gov. […]

Education cuts have dire consequences

By Dennis Roch: Guest columnist As the state Legislature deliberates over New Mexico’s budget shortfall, I have frequently heard the statement, “Every program must take its share of cuts.” This statement assumes every program is of equal value, and has an equal return for our future benefit, an idea which is far from the truth. […]

No action yet on campaign ethics proposals

By Steve Terrell: The New Mexican With the ticking of the clock on the New Mexico Legislature’s 30-day session growing louder every day, no legislative committee so far has acted on an ethics bill designed to prohibit political campaign contributions by lobbyists and contractors. The House Voters and Elections Committee on Tuesday discussed House Bill […]

Legislature at halfway mark

By Steve Terrell: The New Mexican With the halfway point of the legislative session coming Wednesday — and with nearly 500 bills in the hopper — lawmakers have passed only one bill. But a couple of tax increase bills that would raise sales tax for everyone and impose a surtax on upper income New Mexicans […]

Governor to deliver State of the State address

By Steve Terrell and Kate Nash: The Santa Fe New Mexican Gov. Bill Richardson delivers his eighth and final State of the State address today, shortly after the second regular session of the 49th Legislature convenes in Santa Fe. Richardson, who by law can’t seek a third consecutive term, promises his speech will be short, […]

Balancing budget tops legislative session

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico With the state expecting a budget shortfall of at least $600 million for 2010, the priority for the New Mexico Legislature is to fund what’s essential and cut what’s not essential. The 2010 regular session starts Tuesday in Santa Fe and lawmakers have 30 days to agree on what […]

Attending legislative session presents challenges

By Steve Terrell: The New Mexican For years people trying to attend a session of the state Legislature have complained about the parking situation at the Capitol. There’s finally some good news on that front. Last year the state opened a new $13 million parking structure just west of the Roundhouse with 580 spaces. (Entrance […]

Melrose Bombing Range spared from cuts

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer The $5 million for expansion at the Melrose Bombing Range has escaped cuts in the Legislature. State Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, said the money is there for now, although he doesn’t know what the governor will propose. Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said the project has been around since the […]

Offcials: State bombing range money safe for now

By Argen Buncan: PNT senior writer The $5 million for expansion at the Melrose Bombing Range has escaped cuts in the Legislature. State Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-District 27, said the money is there for now, although he doesn’t know what the governor will propose. Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said the project has been around since […]