I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Time runs out on legislation
Two bills that get a lot of attention and the capital outlay bill failed to pass the state legislature this year as they failed to gain approval from both chambers in the final hours of the state legislative session on Saturday.
The $240 million capital outlay bill fell prey to politics as supporters of a bill that would end social promotion in schools held an impromptu filibuster to convince Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, to bring the school promotion bill to the floor.
Sanchez refused and Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, and Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, spent the last minutes making sure the capital outlay bill and many other pieces of legislation would not pass the Senate.
Even before the session ended, Republicans were pointing fingers at Sanchez for killing the social promotion bill.
“In essence, one person and only one has stopped the legislative process for a very good bill,” Sen. Vernon Asbill, R-Carlsbad, said in a statement sent out 45 minutes before the session ended.
The New Mexico House and Senate were unable to come to an agreement on the driver’s license bill that dominated the final days of the state legislative session. Time ran out of the legislative session on Saturday before the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill could be reconciled.
The Senate changed the legislation in such a way that the sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Andy Nuñez, I-Hatch, urged the House to vote against concurring on the legislation.
In order for the legislature to pass the bill and send it to the governor, both the House and Senate must pass identical legislation.
After the House voted against concurring with the Senate’s changes, and when the Senate did not recede from its amendments, the bill went to conference committee. The committee, which featured three legislators from each chamber, failed to come up with a compromise in the dying hours of the legislative session.
The bill is now dead for this year, barring a special session later in the year.
The bill was one of Gov. Susana Martinez’s key legislative proposals for this year.
The capital outlay bill was also done in by the Senate waiting until late in the session to send the bill to the House.
The Senate had waited until late in the session to send the bill to the House, and representatives were infuriated that no money was left for them to appropriate.
Friday, the House Taxation and Revenue Committee added two projects to the bill – $1 million for the health science education building at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and $184,000 to chip seal Superman Canyon Road in McKinley County, which is located in the district of Rep. Sandra Jeff, D-Crownpoint. The House Appropriations and Finance Committee later added more changes.
The Senate wanted the House to recede from its amendments and send the Senate version of the bill to the governor. The House instead kicked the bill back to the Senate.