new mexico legislature


V.21 No.8 | 2/23/2012

Making Sausage

Citizens Really United

Activists prompt New Mexico to take a stand

A megaphone made of cash. That’s what Stephen Colbert sought when he created his super PAC in a satirical dismantling of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

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V.21 No.6 | 2/9/2012

Making Sausage

Boss Party

It’s Gov. Martinez’ bash, and she’ll pack it with controversy if she wants to

The guv stuffs even brief sessions with contention: 2012 brings us relentless hammering on driver's licenses, an embattled education secretary, abortion, medical marijuana, bullying and prescription pills.
V.20 No.37 | 9/15/2011
Jeremy Eaton

Making Sausage

Special Session Crib Notes

The Alibi’s quick and dirty guide to all things legislative.
V.20 No.34 | 8/25/2011
Making Sausage

Making Sausage

Veto That Veto

Criminal justice reform may still be in the cards for New Mexico

Overriding a governor's veto is no easy task. In fact, it's only been accomplished twice in New Mexico since 1970. But legislators will likely attempt to do just that for a bill that aims to reduce the number of nonviolent drug offenders in jail.
V.20 No.15 | 4/14/2011
Making Sausage

Making Sausage

Legislative Smackdown

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.
V.20 No.12 | 3/24/2011
Making Sausage

Making Sausage

Playing Chicken With Millions

Senators battled as the final moments of the 2011 legislative session ticked away

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.

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V.20 No.11 | 3/17/2011
Making Sausage

Making Sausage

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.
V.20 No.9 | 3/3/2011
Making Sausage

Free the Data—Crack open the databases, New Mexico. Taxpayers want a look. Under Rep. Joseph Cervantes' (D-Las Cruces) bill, the state would allow people to peruse electronic collections of data "maintained by or on behalf of a public body."

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V.20 No.3 | 1/20/2011
Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Feature

Madame Chairman

When closing the gender divide, an elected woman’s work is never done

The number of female legislators in New Mexico is at a record high—30 percent going into the 2010 elections. That's higher than the national average of 24 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More women are taking on professions that tend to produce elected officials. But there's still a gender gap.

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V.20 No.2 | 1/13/2011
Nancy Laflin worked to boost the music industry in New Mexico for nearly six years.

Music to Your Ears

An Uncertain Future for the New Mexico Music Commission

When Republican Susana Martinez was elected governor in November, her transition team informed all state political appointees—otherwise known as exempt workers—that they had to resign by Gov. Richardson's last day in office. New Mexico Music Commission Director Nancy Laflin was among those who lost their jobs. The agency—which was established by Gov. Richardson in 2005 and approved by unanimous votes in the house and senate in 2009—now has no paid staff.

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V.19 No.10 | 3/11/2010

Ortiz y Pino

An Unhappy Compromise

The special session of the Legislature accomplished in four days what was impossible in 30: reaching an agreement on how to plug a $600 million gap in next year's budget. Legislators did it because the pressure was on—and because a lot of preliminary work was done the week before. That work at least provided a starting point for heavy negotiations.

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V.19 No.8 | 2/25/2010
Making Sausage

Making Sausage

The Bills that Made it Out of the Grinder

As promised, here’s a list of bills that passed the House and Senate. Click on the links to read them for yourself. (To look at all the measures that were in play during the regular session, click here.)

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V.19 No.6 | 2/11/2010

Ortiz y Pino

The Bishops Are Back

They are not yet as eagerly anticipated as the swallows returning annually to Capistrano or the vultures’ flight back to Hinckley, Ohio, each spring. But the yearly arrival at the Roundhouse of the three prelates who make up the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken on the same predictability as those other seasonal gatherings.

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V.19 No.4 | 1/28/2010
Making Sausage

Making Sausage

Most of the attention during this 30-day session is focused on budget woes. But with all the bad press state politicians ate last year over accusations of dirty dealings, some ethics bills may have a shot after all.

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