Many joint resolutions struggle to gain traction in the Roundhouse

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – There are just five days left for lawmakers in Santa Fe, but many measures are still languishing in the Roundhouse. That includes many joint resolutions, like legalizing marijuana, which would skip the governor’s desk and go straight to the voters.

From the start of this session, Republicans have been slamming Democrats, claiming they’re using joint resolutions to go around the governor’s veto pen. Those joint resolutions only require a simple majority in both of the Democrat-controlled chambers in order to bypass the governor’s desk. Then, they go to the voters to decide as a constitutional amendment.

However, at last count, just five out of 32 of those joint resolutions have passed one chamber, and none have passed both houses.

One of the most controversial joint resolutions this session — sponsored by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino — could legalize marijuana, but it’s lingering in the same committee it was first assigned, and has yet to even get a full vote from the Senate.

“The Republicans, because they are the minority party, are very afraid of having big turnouts at the polls,” Sen. Ortiz y Pino said.

Sen. Ortiz y Pino says this is not looking like the year for passing this constitutional amendment. Then, speaking broadly, the senator says it’s rather difficult to get joint resolutions through. He believes it comes down to the leadership in each chamber, and whether or not they support the constitutional amendments.

Joint resolutions that have passed one chamber include one that would dip into the permanent funds for early childhood education, and creating a state ethics commission.

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