SANTA FE — With the bang of a gavel, state House and Senate leaders opened this year’s 30-day session of the Legislature a few minutes after noon.
It’s the last regular session of Gov. Susana Martinez’s tenure, and she will be the center of attention today — when she delivers her eighth and final State of the State address.
Martinez is expected to focus on economic competition, education and crime-related issues in her speech. A two-term Republican, Martinez is barred from seeking re-election to a third term later this year.
As usual, the Roundhouse is filled with state and local elected officials, including Albuquerque’s new Mayor Tim Keller, a Democrat and former state senator himself.
Members of the state Senate will head over to the House of Representatives in a few minutes, and all 112 legislators will sit together to listen to Martinez’s speech.
It’s a 30-day session, and settling on a $6.3 billion operating budget will be a top priority. The rebound of oil and gas, among other sectors of the economy, is expected to provide lawmakers with a bit more flexibility this session, after years of belt-tightening that exhausted New Mexico’s financial reserves.