SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lawmakers are shuffling through nearly 300 pieces of legislation as week one of the 30-day session comes to a close. That number, however, is significantly smaller than in years past.
As of Thursday night, 285 bills, memorials and resolutions have been filed. Compared to the last 30-day session, in 2016, that’s about 700 fewer.
There are the recurring bills, like the budget, along with bills that some lawmakers introduce year after year despite having gotten nowhere in the past. However, so far this session, state lawmakers are way off from the roughly 1,000 bill average for a 30-day session.
Sen. Howie Morales (D-Silver City) is among the lawmakers who’ve filed more than a dozen bills. He believes money was an initial concern this year.
“We’re only on day two of the legislative session, so some of those that weren’t pre-filed… I think there were a lot of questions on where we’d be with the budget,” he explained. “Being that we’re now going to have more dollars to work with, I think you’re going to see a tremendous amount of bills come forward, especially in the finance committee.”
Meanwhile, some lawmakers haven’t filed any bills at all as of news time Thursday evening.
At last check, 11 out of 70 representatives and nine out of 42 senators weren’t a sponsor or co-sponsor on any bill, according to the nmlegis.gov website.
That being said, the deadline for lawmakers to file bills is still two weeks away. Whether or not we’ll see another 700 between now and then is unknown.
Legislative Council Services records show comparably, at this time during the 2016 30-day session, about 20 percent more bills had been filed.