Roundhouse 2011

roundhouse 2011

V.20 No.39 | 9/29/2011


Not-so-special session 2011

Every 10 years, politicians gather at the Roundhouse to redraw the boundaries of their districts. It’s a painful process. Districts go from red to blue or vice versa. Politicians lose their seats.
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.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.


Did the guv veto a lot of bills?

State senators are not happy about many of Gov. Susana Martinez’ vetoes. But were there a lot? Or was it just business as usual?
V.20 No.13 | 3/31/2011

Ortiz y Pino

A Swing and a Miss

Just before the conclusion of the Legislature, I suggested to a television reporter that if Gov. Susana Martinez ever had an agenda for the session, it wasn’t apparent to me.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

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.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.20 No.11 |


The Daily Word: .xxx, menthols, fast food

The Daily Word

Super moon.

Roundhouse 2011: Bills on driver's licenses, social promotion and capital outlay fail.

Gov. Martinez promises to veto a tax that would keep New Mexico's unemployment fund afloat.

The cleanest fast-food joints in town.

First lady gives APS teacher a grant to install a salad bar at his school. But APS doesn't want it.

30 puppies may be euthanized in Las Cruces.

Missile hits a building in Gaddafi's compound. France and Libya could be at it for a while, the countries say.

Fire breaks out on the roof of a nuclear reactor in Japan.

Menthols may be harder to quit, says FDA.

Porn industry and religious groups unite in hatred over .xxx web suffix.

Rich countries are eating so much quinoa, Bolivians (who lived of it for centuries) can't afford it.

The world's most perfect steak can be found in Idaho, says globe-circling book writer.

The 400-pound marathoner.

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

Ortiz y Pino

License to Rage

Gov. Susana Martinez is pumping up public outrage over the driver's license issue. It's like watching a prosecutor work a jury with an emotional closing argument.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

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

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."

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.20 No.8 |


Future social workers march on the capital

Today at 12:45 p.m., social work students will gather at the Roundhouse to advocate for the state's poor and underserved populations. They're calling for legislators pass SB 321, which allows treatment instead of jail time for certain drug offenders.

The students from Eastern and Western universities, Highlands and New Mexico State would also like to raise awareness about the rise of heroin in public schools and draw support for measures benefiting health care providers. They'd also like to see Medicaid funding continued in full.

Proposed cuts could tip the scales against vulnerable New Mexicans, writes Katie Wylie, an intern with the National Association of Social Workers. "When a state needs to 'trim the budgetary fat' social services are usually the first area to be placed on the chopping block."

V.20 No.8 | 2/24/2011

Gene Grant

Don’t Blink

New Mexico can’t flinch in the film contest

Incentive. Rebate. Giveaway. Boon. Whatever you call it, the business of the film business and all its related benefits and pains is heading for a resolution.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.20 No.7 |


Medical cannabis faces a challenge in the Roundhouse

Rep. James Smith (R-Sandia Park) has introduced a bill that would put an end to New Mexico's medical marijuana program.

Montana's considering a similar measure, because, as House Speaker Mike Milburn says, the state is "getting known for the wrong reasons."

Gov. Susana Martinez said during her campaign that she'd like to see the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act repealed. Smith's measure was introduced in Santa Fe on Thursday. Looks like the bill is heading to the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary.

V.20 No.7 | 2/17/2011

Roundhouse Roundup

Bills That Make You Go, “Hmm ... ”

The 2011 Legislature has convened and is moving sluggishly forward. It’s the 60-day version this year, which usually means that more than the budget gets passed. This is the time when controversial policy issues take center stage.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.20 No.5 | 2/3/2011

Plutocracy for New Mexico

Tricks of the Trade

Disclaimer: What follows is satire. It bears no resemblance to reality.

The sun is shining, and the streets of Santa Fe are heavy with the smell of freshly smarmed lobbyists. Practitioners of the world’s oldest profession are dusting off their sequined handbags, and even John Arthur Smith is smiling.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.20 No.4 | 1/27/2011


Guv would ax the state’s Commission on the Status of Women

The executive budget recommends cutting 100 percent of the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women’s funding. (What’s fun about the commission’s homepage is that it sports a big picture of Gov. Susana Martinez and congratulates her on becoming the first elected female governor.)

The agency has been around for 37 years and would be dismantled June 30 if the executive branch has its way. But the Legislative Finance Committee is in favor of funding the commission. Nothing has been decided yet.

According to the news release from Chair LaNelle Witt, the department runs on about $600,000 with a staff of seven and costs each taxpayer about 40 cents per year. More than 51 percent of the state’s population is female, she states. The commission offers workshops and training to displaced homemakers, runs a girls program and provides crisis support services, among other things.

Witt suggests sending e-mails and letters to the governor:

Governor Susana Martinez

c/o Cyndi Montoya, Director of Constituent Services

Governor’s Office, Room 400

State Capital

Santa Fe, NM 87503

or e-mail:

She also mentions contacting the House Appropriations and Finance Committee to show support:

Rep. Henry Kiki Saavedra (505) 986-4316

Rep. Danice Picraux (505) 986-4438

Rep. Luciano "Lucky" Varela (505) 986-4318

Rep. Ray Begaye (505) 986-4436

Rep. Donald Bratton (505) 986-4227

Rep. Brian Egolf (505) 986-4211

Rep. Joni Marie Gutierrez (505) 986-4234

Rep. Jimmie C. Hall (505) 986-4215

Rep. Rhonda King (505) 986-4438

Rep. Larry Larranaga (505) 986-4215

Rep. Antonio Lujan (505) 986-4436

Rep. Patricia Lundstrom (505) 986-4435

Rep. Nick Salazar (505) 986-4433

Rep. Don Tripp (505) 986-4220

Rep. Richard Vigil (505) 986-4242

Rep. Jeannette Wallace (505) 986-4452