February 9, 2016

Odds and Ends: House/Senate tension; oil prices

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New Mexico State Senate. Wikicommons

—House playing games with Senate bills? That’s what Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen implied on Tuesday. He said that two Senate bills were pulled out of House Appropriations Committee and sent back to the House Rules and Order of Business Committee, which determines if bills are germane or not. Sanchez said he had never seen that happen before, when the senate already deemed them germane.

New Mexico State Senate. Wikicommons

New Mexico State Senate. Wikicommons

—Sen. Bill Payne, R-Albuquerque,  wasn’t optimistic about the budget. He said he was watching CNBC and saw that oil finished at $27.94 per barrel and that the federal government said that “demand for oil will ease back considerably.” He wanted LFC to give them “a guess” on what the budget would be if oil remained at that level.

“First Sen. Smith, then you,” Lt. Gov. John Sanchez responded, referring to John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, and his pessimistic recitation of budget numbers on Monday.

—Sen. George Munoz, D-Gallup, announced that Senate Finance would not be meeting on Tuesday. “We rented our committee room to SPAC,” he joked, adding that it would be to help fill the budget shortfall.

—Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, was back in the chamber. He announced that at  6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Pirtle’s son was born. “If anyone’s wondering, I am now George’s father.”

They named his son “George Hamish Pirtle” and says his wife wants to call him Hamish.

“She’s doing well and hopefully they’ll be able to come up and visit.”

—The Supreme Court issued a stay on President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan while they consider the legality.

From Sanders Moore of Environment New Mexico: “This decision is a huge loss for our kids’ future and for all Americans who care about the health of our planet, and a huge win for the polluters and the deniers. That said, I am confident that this is only a temporary setback — ultimately the science, the majority will, and bold climate action will win the day.”

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