This column's name, Making Sausage, is a reference to a quote widely attributed to Otto von Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg. "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." From the view in the press box in Santa Fe, running a state looks arduous and frustrating. Lawmakers volley back and forth, nitpick over details, argue, dissect, and wheel and deal. And a 60-day session doesn't come cheap: lawmakers voted to spend a max of about $8.3 million on this one.
Senators battled as the final moments of the 2011 legislative session ticked away
By Marisa Demarco and Christie Chisholm
If an eye for an eye makes everyone blind, a bill for a bill leaves our roads messed up and our senior centers unfunded.
During the legislative session, most measures are passed in the final days, hours and even minutes. As the clock wound down on Saturday, March 19, lawmakers threw a wrench in the works to force one of the governor’s priorities through. But it didn’t work, and in the end, Gov. Susana Martinez’ “social promotion” education bill got left behind—and so did millions for improvements around the state.
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of the 2011 legislative session. It’s slated to adjourn on Saturday, March 19, at noon. The brunt of the work usually happens during the last hours, and lawmakers debate well into the final nights. Here’s what’s happened so far.
Bruce Trigg is retiring from the state's Department of Health this year. The soft-spoken, scholarly and intensely committed public health physician has one last policy campaign he’s waging. It's a sort of farewell gift to us. He wants to wake New Mexico up to the silent plague that for at least 20 years has been mowing down hundreds of our young people. It kills them in the prime of their lives—and incredibly, draws scarcely any attention.