Andy Lyman, NM Political Report - The NM Legislative Session, short on bills passed, long on surprises.

Andy Lyman, NM Political Report
The NM Legislative Session, short on bills passed, long on surprises.


Politics in the state of New Mexico is, if not unique — I mean every state is unique — at least different.  The members of the state House of Representatives and Senate are unpaid, limited to a decidedly plain vanilla budget for travel and expenses.

This is one of the reasons why so many legislators are not what they eat, but do reflect the influence of the lobbyists who come to Santa Fe to feed them lunch or dinner.

But even as the Senators and Representatives continued to live threadbarely, the overall theme of this year’s short session was “We’re in the money.” The combination of the huge rebound of the state’s oil and gas industry and the conveyor belt of cash sent by the federal government as part of the post-pandemic recovery/infrastructure restoration plan has given New Mexico a lot of money to budget.

And the Legislature was up to the task, breaking records with its almost eight and a half billion dollar spending plan. Deciding where the money will be spent and where it will not was just one of several mammoth tasks completed in this year’s 30-day session.

The short sessions alternate with longer 60-day conclaves every other year. The agenda for short sessions is set by the governor, and since this governor, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham is up for reelection in November, the scorecard for the session means a lot to her. As usual, she won some and lost some, but she claimed, even the short list of 64 bills passed and sent to her for signing made her happy.



Andy Lyman is an Albuquerque based reporter whose work is heard on KSFR FM in Santa Fe and in the NM Political Report. He previously covered the New Mexico’s legislative session for the New Mexico News Network and served as a reporter and host for numerous news outlets.




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