SANTA FE – New Mexico lawmakers will convene at the Roundhouse today for a special legislative session to consider weighty issues – a daunting budget shortfall, the reinstatement of the death penalty and revamped child abuse laws – with Election Day looming just over a month away.
While the Republican-controlled House is expected to move quickly on the crime-related bills that Gov. Susana Martinez added to the special session agenda, top-ranking Democratic lawmakers said Thursday that the budget crunch should be the focus and the other bills can wait until the 60-day regular session in January.
“The special session is supposed to be about fixing the actual deficit that (the governor) and House Republicans created,” said House Minority Leader Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe. “They’re not taking the budget situation seriously.”
A Martinez spokesman, however, cautioned Democratic lawmakers against ignoring crime-related issues, singling out for criticism Senate Democratic floor leader Michael Sanchez of Belen, who said earlier this week that Senate Democrats are focused on budget concerns.