This year’s four-and-a-half-hour special session left many lawmakers praising their own bipartisan efforts to pass three bills including a tax package, capital outlay appropriations and money for courts and health care facilities. While some lawmakers debated the bills and pointed out inadequacies of the legislation, all of the legislation either passed unanimously or by a large majority. When the Legislature announced Sine Die, many lawmakers made their way straight for the doors, but soon after a flurry of press releases were sent out. Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, touted the Capital Outlay bill as a good start to create jobs and keep New Mexican’s employed. “Our main task in the Senate is to serve people and we are doing that today.
A Republican Senator made a series of moves this afternoon to transfer two controversial House bills related to abortion out of their assigned committees. All of his efforts failed. Senator William Sharer, R-Farmington, first requested that HB 391, a bill sponsored by House Majority Whip Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, requiring parental notification of minors seeking abortions, be moved to a Committee of the Whole in the Senate. The move incited spirited party divisions as Republican lawmakers rallied behind the motion, saying that the parental notification bill has major public importance and faces the danger of getting lost in committees as the 60-day session narrows in on its final days. Democrats, on the other hand, disparaged the move as contrary to the Senate’s conventional processes.
The 2015 legislative session starts in less than one week and some lawmakers are settling into new leadership roles. Republicans hold a majority in the House for the first time in more than 60 years and that means new minority and majority leadership. In addition to the shakeup in the House, former Senate Minority Whip Tim Keller won the election for State Auditor and left his leadership role open. New Mexico Political Report reached out to leadership in both chambers over the last month to find out what they expected this session. *New Mexico Political Report was unable to reach some leaders for comment.