SANTA FE (KRQE) - From green-lighting key jobs bills to abruptly stalling education reform measures, it came down to the last minute.
The $5.6 billion budget is on its way to the governor's desk, and for the first time in years, legislators were working with a surplus.
The spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1, which easily passed through both chambers, restores funding to education and Medicaid.
"One way to look at an item to see how well it was worked through was to look at the votes," said Majority Floor Leader Rep. W. Ken Martinez, D-Grants. "There wasn't a single vote against that budget as it moved through the House."
Legislators also passed a number of bills that will create jobs and spur the economy including $137 million in bonds for local capital-outlay projects.
Part of the package includes $30 million for the city of Albuquerque to start re-doing the Interstate 25 interchange at Paseo del Norte, a notorious commuter bottleneck.
Gov. Susana Martinez praised lawmakers for including Paseo money in the bill, but she said lawmakers signed off on too many "pork" projects.
"We got $200,000 for a garden in Santa Fe, $25,000 for a garden in Albuquerque, $5,000 for a sign there," Martinez said.
Martinez vowed to look line-by-line with her veto pen in hand.
But the governor and Legislature did agree on a number of other jobs bills including tax breaks for the construction and manufacturing industries and credits for businesses that hire veterans. Both were part of the tax-reform package the governor was pushing.
"But I didn't get everything I wanted for the people of New Mexico," the governor conceded.
Martinez's push to end social promotion, the practice of moving kids to the next grade who don't read well enough, died for the third time. So did her efforts to repeal the law that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
"I'll be back for it every single time," said Martinez.
But lawmakers and the governor said the session was a success.
A bill that would force corrupt public officials to forfeit their pensions also made it to the governor's desk. Three bills to reform the scandal-ridden Public Regulation Commission also made it out of the Roundhouse and now head to the ballot as a constitutional amendment in November.
"The people of New Mexico want to make sure first and foremost that we passed a budget," said Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City. "And we did that."
"When you look at everything we're supposed to do in a 30-day session, we got those done," said Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington.
Martinez said, at first glance, she doesn't think she'll need to veto the budget altogether. Martinez has until March 7 to take action on it and other bills that reach her desk.
Four and a half years after he went to prison, former state senate leader Manny Aragon is out.
A suspected meth kingpin the FBI thought might be hiding out in New Mexico has been captured.
The popular Capulin Snow Play Area near Sandia Peak will be closed for the second year in a row.
While the roads were looking clearer late Thursday afternoon in the Albuquerque area, they could get dangerous again as temperatures drop later in the evening.
New details were released Thursday in Albuquerque's latest police shooting.
The southeast part of the state is getting hit hard with winter weather.