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NM legislators approve infrastructure, tax incentive bills in special session

The New Mexico Legislature has sent Gov. Susana Martinez all three bills on the agenda for today’s special legislative session.

Lawmakers approved the three measures in four-plus hours, wrapping up the special session in time to head home for dinner.

“We’ve done as much today as we did in 60 days in the regular session,” quipped Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela, D-Santa Fe.

The House finished up its work by voting 62-0 to approve a Senate-passed package of capital projects across the state, amounting to about $295 million. Lawmakers said it would create jobs and boost the economy.

Meanwhile, the Senate voted 31-11 in favor of a tax package that contains about a half-dozen tax incentives, including a medical tax deduction used by as many as 300,000 New Mexicans per year. The House had approved the measure earlier today on a 60-2 vote.

Business groups had pushed for the tax package to be on the special session agenda, saying it would bolster the state’s economy.

Meanwhile, the third and final approved bill provides supplemental funds for this budget year for the Department of Health and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The Health Department would get $4 million to plug a budget shortfall for the budget year that ends at the end of June. The Administrative Office of the Courts would get $300,000.

The legislation also contains money to pay for this special legislative session.

Martinez will be addressing reporters shortly. She called today’s special session after weeks of negations between the Governor’s Office and top-ranking lawmakers ended in an agreement.

Check tomorrow’s Journal for more details and a full story.