2020 Special Session: Lawmakers off to a slow start

Politics - Government

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been roughly 30 hours since the special session started and lawmakers’ main focus is supposed to be on the budget. However, it’s been a slower start to the session than expected. It was supposed to be a quick in and out session focusing on the budget but technical glitches and added bills have been taking up a lot of time.

“We’re in this pandemic so we’re dealing with multiple things going on; we’re trying to do social distancing, we’re trying to protect people, but at the same time, we have this new zoom platform the house has adopted but the senate hasn’t, I think its created more problems on the house side for opting with this new platform because there are so many stops and starts that are happening,” said Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Los Lunas).

Because of the pandemic the public is not allowed inside the building so to keep up with transparency measures, lawmakers in both chambers will not discuss a bill if the web streaming service is not working. Thursday was the first day of the session and from the start, there were problems broadcasting the meeting. They’ve since fixed a lot of those technical issues but some lawmakers feel they’ve lost a lot of time because of it.

“In a special session, there should be the ability to get the business done and then go home. How it’s ultimately going to play out, I don’t know yet but I do know that we are all working the best we can to make sure we can do this in good faith,” said Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Albuquerque).

The session is different from the regular session in a way that this has been a very fluid session there hasn’t been to much time of a heads up in each committee or floor sessions on what bills will be heard. There are now 40 bills, resolutions, or memorials introduced in this session. Some lawmakers say that’s too many bills introduced when they should be focusing on the budget.

It’s ultimately the governor’s decision on which bills get heard during this special session. Right now, she’s been advocating for election changes, tax relief and police reform.

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