June 3, 2015

Special session resurrected?

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A deal on a capital outlay measure and a tax package bill could revive a previously dead special legislative session next week.

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Update: A special session will happen, as soon as Monday, Gov. Susana Martinez announced. See here for details. This post continues as originally written below.

State Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, told New Mexico Political Report that legislators have been notified to set next Monday and Tuesday aside to be available for a possible session.

“We’re getting close,” Smith said, “but it’s not a done deal.”

Smith said the Senate leadership, which is controlled by Democrats, and the GOP-controlled House of Representatives and Gov. Susana Martinez are still in disagreements over how a potential tax package would be funded. Previously, Republicans stated that approval of a $5 million package of tax cuts must be a part of any special session deal.

Smith said that a new capital outlay deal would be add up to between $264 million and $275 million worth of new infrastructure projects around the state. Capital outlay is paid for by state bond sales.

The state legislature, which typically approves a new capital outlay bill each year, failed to pass one at the end of this year’s general legislative session amid partisan bickering. Since the end of the session, Senate Democrats and House Republicans have pointed fingers at each other.

Last month, Martinez announced she would not be calling a special session after negotiations for a capital outlay and tax deal again broke down.

New Mexico Political Report reached out to the governor’s office and Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, for comment and will add any comment provided.

Journalist Peter St. Cyr tweeted Wednesday afternoon that a special session will be held on Monday, though New Mexico Political Report was unable to confirm.

And an unnamed Democratic senator confirmed that he was told to “be ready” for a special session on Monday, according to Alex Goldsmith of KRQE-TV.

Related stories:

Martinez has no plans to call a special session

Sen. Smith not optimistic about special session deal

Mayors press governor to call for special session

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