SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Virtual meetings are now common during the pandemic and we hear stories of people forgetting to mute themselves at the wrong time. Turns out that’s exactly what happened at the state legislature last week. 

“I got legislative sessions going and these b****es are trying to throw taxes on us,” said one business lobbyist attending the virtual March 18 Senate Finance Committee meeting. Those comments didn’t sit well with Sen. Jacob Candelaria, who fired back immediately.

“Speaking as one of the b****es, Mr. Chairman, that was super inappropriate,” said Sen. Candelaria. “And I think it really shows us how the business community really thinks about the people of New Mexico right there, clear as day.”    

The hot mic incident happened as lawmakers were discussing House Bill 291, a tax reform package that was unanimously passed in the Senate. It would expand a tax credit for low-income workers that one in four New Mexicans receives and expands the low income comprehensive tax rebate.

Minutes after the interruption, Sen. Candelaria brought up his frustrations again. “Find it fascinating we have these business lobbyists calling members of this community b****es, that’s a new one for me,” said Sen. Candelaria. “I’ll tell ya.”

As he was speaking he was interrupted by more noise from within the meeting. So, the Chair of the Committee, Sen. George Munoz demanded that person be removed. 

KRQE News 13 did reach out to Sen. Candelaria and the woman who made the comments but did not hear back. The House approved the Senate’s amendments to House Bill 291. It now just needs approval from the governor.