politics

State of the State address to be webcast today around 1 p.m.

Watch it live on KNME’s site this afternoon, with an on-air introduction by Alibi columnist Gene Grant.

The start time is just a guess, because it’s hard to tell exactly when the speech will get rolling. That’s what the good people who answer the phones at the Roundhouse told me last week. And if my time live-blogging from the press gallery in 2010 taught me anything, it’s that legislative time is mutable.

There’s been plenty of speculation about Gov. Susana Martinez’ first big tone-setting moment. The address launches the 2011 session. If her actions thus far are an indication, my guess is that she’ll be looking to appear as a tough an agent of change in New Mexico politics. Immigration may come up, or at least a repeal of driver’s licenses for undocumented workers. I wonder if she’ll try to pitch bipartisanship and hard work? Wasteful spending will probably take up a chunk of the speech, especially since a big part of the Legislature’s job is to balance the budget.

But because this is a 60-day session, issues beyond the budget should be a part of the discourse. (New Mexico alternates yearly between 30- and 60-day sessions). During the last 60-day session, Gov. Richardson signed a death penalty repeal, webcasting got off the ground and a domestic partnership bill got closer than it ever has before. But it’s Martinez’ first session, and she’ll be working with a Democratic House and Senate. Maybe she’ll have an easier time of it than her predecessor.

Either way, tune in at 1(ish) p.m. for the start of the show.

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