SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) –Tuesday, the New Mexico Legislative Session began and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham gave her State of the State speech. Republicans say they know the challenges they will face during this 60-day session. The Democrats hold a 45-25 advantage over the Republicans in the House and a 27-15 majority in the Senate. However, both sides on Tuesday said they are ready to work together.
“I think New Mexicans are beginning to see that we have a number of failed policies. And so its time to team up, we need to start reaching across the aisle. We hope that the democrats have recognized that maybe some of their priorities have not done the best for New Mexicans,” said Sen. Crystal Diamond (R) from Truth or Consequence.
The big thing both sides are reacting to Tuesday is the record amount of money in the budget this year. Both sides say the stakes are high to make sure that the money is funding things that will serve New Mexicans while saving for the years when the money runs out.
Republican senators say they are trying to get money for one-time projects like infrastructure across the state. House Democrats are looking at making impactful investments in community safety, healthcare, and affordable housing. “I feel very confident that the steady growth of the budget over the last few years is not only responsible and sound, fiscally sound, that it is also very temperate in terms of not overspending,” said Rep. Javier Martinez (D) from Albuquerque. “We feel comfortable with the budget proposals that we’ve seen so far. Obviously, the hard work begins today at noon in terms of negotiating.”
Both sides do agree on many things the governor outlined as important in her State of the State speech. The idea of focusing on crime legislation and helping fund New Mexico schools are items she listed. Lawmakers also believe they can find common ground.