Filing bills a race for some lawmakers, slow-goings for others

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Hundreds of bills have been filed in Santa Fe. Several legislators have hit the ground running, filing at least a dozen alone. Others have filed very few, while a small crowd has filed nothing.

There’s 112 lawmakers at the Roundhouse, and when it comes to filing bills some are dramatically more productive than others.

“I don’t want to waste a minute up here,” Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, said. “I know why the taxpayers sent me here. It’s for jobs, revenue, trying to get people back to work.”

“I’m known kind of as the little energizer bunny, running around trying to work with everybody,” Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque and Senate Majority Whip, said. “I don’t ever shut my door to anybody.”

Ely and Padilla have each filed more than a dozen bills.

Democrats might hold the overall spot of most bills filed so far, but Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, has filed the most individually so far at 18. His bills largely focus on crime reform.

At last check on Thursday night, only one Democrat hadn’t filed a single bill — Sen. Linda Lopez of Albuquerque. Five Republicans, Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert of Corrales, Rep. James Strickler of Farmington, Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque, Sen. William Burt of Alamagordo and Sen. Gregory Baca of Belen hadn’t, either.

Sen. Baca beat out Democrat Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez in a nasty race filled with ads — not from Baca’s camp — that slammed Sanchez for being too soft on crime.

Sen. Baca said for him, it’s all about quality over quantity and that we can expect to see bills from him very soon.

“I want to put forth a measured number of bills that are well thought out and have as much support going in as I can, and that does take more time,” Sen. Baca said.

As for what kind of bills, though, Sen. Baca said while he supports his fellow Republicans in their crime reform efforts, his legislation will focus on other issues.

None of the other five lawmakers who have yet to file bills responded to requests for comment by KRQE  News 13.

As of Thursday night, lawmakers have filed at least 449 bills. Last 60-day session, in 2015, roughly 700 bills were filed.

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