The state House on Monday paid tribute to Rep. Henry “Kiki” Saavedra, an Albuquerque Democrat who is retiring this year after 38 years in the House that included serving as chairman of its Appropriations and Finance Committee.
The House unanimously passed a memorial saying that Saavedra had been “instrumental in building consensus across the aisle” on many annual state budget bills.
House members praised him as patient, welcoming, fair and inclusive.
“Everybody gets a fair shake,” said Rep. Nick Salazar, D-Ohkay Owingeh, the only legislator who has served longer than Saavedra. Salazar has been in the House for 41 years.
“We always felt like we were included in the discussion,” said Minority Leader Donald Bratton, R-Hobbs.
Speakers on the memorial included a Republican former House member, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, who reminded the House that Saavedra formerly headed the city’s parks and recreation department and called him “one of the greatest leaders to ever come out of the city of Albuquerque.”
Saavedra has chaired the House Appropriations and Finance Committee since 2005.