Legislators worked into the wee hours of the morning on Saturday debating legislation, with many bills still bottlenecked on the House and Senate floor calendars as the end of the legislative session comes at 12:00 noon.
Much of the debate was on HJR 1, which seeks to raid the land grant permanent fund for “early childhood education,” better known as taxpayer-funded daycare.
Right after midnight, the House of Representatives voted on a proposal, S.B. 304, relating to voting district geographic data, which was amended on the floor to create an independent redistricting commission. The amended compromise bill between a bipartisan and Democrat-led proposal takes the power of redistricting away from the dark rooms of the Roundhouse and opens it up to the public in a fair, less partisan way. After a lively debate, the bill passed 64-2 with Rep. Eliseo Alcon (D-Cibola & McKinley) and Majority Leader Sheryl Stapleton (D-Bernalillo) voting against the bill.
In a previous committee, Alcon complained about an independent commission taking away representatives’ “rights” to redraw their own districts, saying, “I don’t think it’s our duty to give up our rights.” He did not like the idea of a seven-member commission making the decisions, not him. “If these seven people really want to be part of the redistricting, then they should run for our spots,” he said, adding, “I will be a solid no matter how you look at it,” despite the majority of people in the committee hearing in support of giving more power to the people.
Due to the bottleneck of radical Democrat legislation, it was revealed in the wee hours of the morning that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham intends to call a special session as early as Wednesday to ram through her extreme recreational marijuana bill, according to one representative.
The Albuquerque Journal confirmed this, with the Governor’s communications director Tripp Stelnicki saying that a special session could be called “sooner rather than later,” adding “there was a largely-agreed upon framework in place between the Governor’s Office and lawmakers.”
“Nobody wants to wait another year — it’s too close to being done,” said Stelnicki.
However, it doesn’t look like the Wagyu steak-eating Governor cares much about the political ramifications of her actions, despite a special session being “politically risky,” with a daily cost of around $50,000 per day, according to the Journal.
After it was revealed the Governor intends to call a special session, the New Mexico House Republicans wrote, “UNBELIEVABLE. After spending $2 million on a fence blocking YOU from the Roundhouse for a year- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has FAILED to get her showpiece marijuana bill across the line. She now says she will call us back next week. Taxpayers, the Gov’s agenda is on your dime.”
Other bills are still stuck on the House and Senate calendars, including S.B. 11, the gas tax on the poor, S.B. 316 to harvest “gender” and “sexual identity” data from New Mexicans, and S.B. 230 instituting racism in state agencies and many other proposals, which as the clock ticks on look dead in the water.