SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a race to the finish line at the Roundhouse. The legislative session wraps up in less than 72 hours and lawmakers still have a lot of work to do.
So far, only a few lucky lawmakers can say their bills have passed through both chambers, a big accomplishment for a short session. “It is an important bill and the Governor realized that early on. I’ve been working with her staff and they get a lot of the credit for moving this along and being part of the process we formulated in this piece of legislation. So everyone was on board and it makes it easier to move these bills along,” said Sen. Sander Rue of Albuquerque.
Senator Sander Rue’s transparency bill which would allow taxpayers to know how much the state shells out in settlement cases against the state is one of only nine bills that have made it to the governor’s desk. Those include funding for early childhood education programs, the controversial “Red-Flag” gun bill and Representative Deborah Armstrong’s push to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.
“We’re very excited about it and to be one of the first states to do it. It passed the Senate and the House and every committee it was in unanimously and it’s on its way up to the governor,” said Rep. Deborah Armstrong of Albuquerque.
Governor Lujan Grisham has only approved two bills. One is the 2020 census bill and the second is the legislature’s “feed” bill which dishes out the money to pay for the legislative session.
Lawmakers are well aware that the clock is ticking. They still have to approve the proposed $7.7 billion budget before Noon on Thursday.
Lawmakers have also found the time to pass 55 memorials, to declare days for things like “Smokey Bear” or “University of New Mexico” day. They’ve also recognized lawmakers who’ve passed away like Sen. John Pinto and Albuquerque City Councilor Ken Sanchez.