SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The 30-day legislative session is nearly over, and lawmakers are pushing to get bills through in the final week.
As of Thursday evening, the governor has signed off on only two bills — the legislature budget and the nurse licensure compact. These were passed in the first week of the session.
Meanwhile, only about 40 bills have passed one chamber at this point, and are making their way through the opposite chamber now. Among those bills is one to increase the penalties for being a felon with a gun, and a bill that would require auto recyclers to record and report information about vehicle purchases to the state.
With just under 1,000 total pieces of legislation filed, it may seem like things are moving slowly. Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque, says that’s not the case, though.
“Eight, nine days is an eternity in the legislature. It’s like a football game. Two minutes can last 45 minutes. Nine days can feel like a year sometimes,” he explained.
So far this session, only one constitutional amendment has seen any real traction: House Joint Resolution 1, which dips into the land grant permanent fund for early childhood education. That passed the House but is expected to face fiscally conservative Democrats in the Senate.
The entire point of a 30-day session is the focus on the state’s budget. So far, the budget bill, House Bill 2, has passed the House and is now in a Senate committee.