Bigger bills slowly moving ahead halfway through legislative session

Politics - Government

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – With a little more than a week left in the 2020 Legislative session, lawmakers still have a lot of ground to cover. Very little has made it to the Governor’s desk and some of the biggest bills are moving very slowly through the Roundhouse.

The big focus in this 30-day session is the budget and a handful of priority bills that all have a ways to go.

“We’re trying to do the best we can with a very limited amount of time,” said Speaker of the House, Brian Egolf (D- Santa Fe).

HJR 1 would take about $200-million from a permanent fund and put it towards early childhood programs. That’s still in the Senate. The Governor’s push for free college tuition has only made it out of one committee.

When it comes to more controversial bills, House Republicans worry there’s not enough time left in the session to go through them.

“I’m really concerned we might see some bills that are coming through that are not properly vetted and maybe not get enough committee time and so that’s a concern when things start heating up this late,” said Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R- Los Lunas).

The push to legalize marijuana looks like it has stalled. It needs to be heard in two more Senate committees before going to the floor and then it still needs to get through the House.

A so-called ‘Red Flag’ gun bill is being debated on in a House committee. It would allow law enforcement officers to petition the courts to temporarily take away someone’s guns if they feel they are a threat to themselves or to others.

That ‘Red Flag’ bill narrowly passed the Senate last week. If it passes this House committee Tuesday, it heads to the House floor.

Of course, the most important bill of them all, the proposed $7.7 billion dollar budget is still in the works. It passed the House last week and is being reviewed in the Senate.

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