On the first day of most legislative sessions, the capitol building in Santa Fe is filled with crowds of lawmakers, lobbyists and observers. But the pomp and circumstance of that day was missing Monday morning as the legislature was preparing for a special session, called by Gov. Susana Martinez just three days before.
Instead of special interest groups holding rallies, the rotunda was quiet except for the occasional tour group admiring the architecture of the Roundhouse and the many pieces of artwork adorning its walls. Also noticeably absent were the many lobbyists that walk through the hallways trying to catch the ears of lawmakers. Instead, the hallways were peppered with staff members and the occasional legislator casually preparing for a day of discussions and votes.
The session began shortly after its scheduled time at noon.
Last week, through a proclamation, Martinez called for a special session to vote on legislation aimed at changing tax credits to some industries in New Mexico and approving more money for the state through capital outlay.
Another big difference between Monday’s session and regular sessions was the lack of bills and related documents available online. Normally, legislation and related reports are posted online for the public to see.
Early Monday morning there were no bills listed on the Legislature’s website, but were posted shortly after the bills were introduced when the special session came to order.