SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s 2023 lawmaking session begins at the state capitol today at noon. There are billions of dollars up for grabs in the annual budgeting process and a wide range of proposed bills to debate.
It’s a 60-day session, and not all the work will happen on day one. So, what will lawmakers and officials be doing as the session starts?
Today: State of the State
- Today, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham will give her fifth “State of the State” address. That speech is expected sometime this afternoon, and KRQE News 13 will livestream the speech online.
- In this iteration of the annual speech, the Governor will give her take on how New Mexico is faring as a whole. She’ll also set the tone for some of the big debates that are expected to play out in the Roundhouse over the next few weeks, likely including a mention of the massive amount of funds the state currently has.
- Last week, the Governor released her proposal of how to spend billions in new funds the state has. Among her suggestions are a 4% raise for state workers, free school meals for all New Mexico students, increased funds for rural healthcare, and more money for recruiting law enforcement.
On legislators’ calendars: Introductions
- The opening day of the session, lawmakers will start with a roll call, the Pledge of Allegiance and the New Mexico Pledge, and then they’ll get to work.
- During the first few days, lawmakers will introduce legislation. Already, there’s a multitude of bills that have been pre-filed. So, many of those will be introduced and sent to committees for debate.
- We can also expect lawmakers to spend some time catching up with committee business. Lawmakers serve on committees with the goal of scrutinizing and debating individual bills. Because working through dozens of bills as an entire legislature would be wildly inefficient, the lawmakers separate into committees to get through the initial rounds of debate on bills. Some committees have also been meeting between the previous session and this session. Those ‘interim’ committees have been hearing from community members on important issues. Today, committees will give reports.