NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The 2023 Legislative session is down to its final hours. Lawmakers in both chambers are scrambling to get their bills through. There are around 160 bills and resolutions on the governor’s desk; at the same time, there are 200 bills that have only passed the House or the Senate.
“The last two days we have left of this session, unfortunately, we didn’t do anything to address the crime issues; even in the final hours, we’re doing nothing for that issue. We do have some bills that are bad for the economy, bad for New Mexicans, we’re going to try to stop them,” says Representative Stefani Lord, (R-Sandia Park.)
Lawmakers from both sides have their game plans for the final hours of the session. Some big bills on the table on the House side include the waiting period for firearms sales, changes to the oversight of children removed from suspected abusive and neglectful homes, and raising the registration fees for motor vehicles. “I think we’re going to be on track to end today having done all the major business of the House and then tomorrow morning we can celebrate that,” says Representative Reena Szczepanski, House Majority Whip (D-Santa Fe.)
Some bills that were big topics of discussion this year, like raising the liquor tax, are stuck in the committee process. One of the biggest bills on people’s minds Friday night, Mar. 17, is the omnibus tax reform bill which is still undergoing changes. “We have to look at things such as, you know: Were we too aggressive in GRT reductions? Were we too aggressive on personal income tax reductions? How does film fit into this stuff? Child tax credits? All surrounding at the same time maintaining the rebate checks are an important part of the tax package,” says Representative Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo.)
Lente says he is confident they will reach a compromise in time. The governor also has her eye on the tax bill; she’s already lobbed a warning the tax cuts are too deep and could put the budget in jeopardy in down years.
The governor has signed 17 of the 162 bills and resolutions that have reached her desk. The session ends at noon on Saturday, Mar. 18.