2013 Legislative Session Recap

STATE News:

Legislative Session Recap

SANTA FE – After 60 long days, the 2013 Legislative Session drew to a close Saturday, March 16.

Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed a majority of the agenda they laid out at the beginning of the 51st legislative session.

This success would not be possible without the help of House Republicans. Together, Representatives in the New Mexico House were able to put politics aside and work in a bipartisan manner to prioritize good policies for New Mexicans.

“I am proud of the hard work the House of Representatives has accomplished in the 2013 session,” Speaker Ken Martinez said. “We have a lot of new members and lots of ideas, and while everyone may not have agreed on everything, the House has done a great job of coming together and getting good work done for the people of New Mexico. I want to thank every member of the House – we have a lot to be proud of.”

The number one priority of lawmakers has been job creation. Legislators passed several bills that focused on putting New Mexicans back to work and protecting investments already made.

The House also prioritized social justice, increasing the minimum wage and creating gender equality in pay. They did not shy away from tackling tough issues like pension reform, which ensures promises made to our retirees will be honored.

Lawmakers established the Healthcare Exchange required by the “Affordable Care Act.” There was bipartisan support for the passage of the budget that funds state government.

Here is a brief recap of accomplishments:

  • Spaceport Limited Liability Compromise
  • Work New Mexico Act
  • Film Production Credit Increase
  • Healthcare Exchange
  • Increase in the minimum wage
  • Fair Pay for Women Act
  • PERA / ERB Pension Solvency
  • K-3 Program Eligibility
  • Public Education Commission Independent
  • Three Tier Licensure for teachers
  • Tax Reform

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, there had been more than 350 bills sent to the Governor for approval. The New Mexico House passed 283 House Bills and 180 Senate Bills.

By comparison, in the 2011 60-day session, the House passed 252 House Bill and 159 Senate bills. There were 1,152 House committee reports issued in the 2013 legislative session.

The 2013 legislative session has been relatively politically mild, but not by accident. It is evident that the compromising style of the House Leadership has created an environment where both parties can come together and make a difference in New Mexico.

It may be the case that good legislation has already been vetoed by or faces veto threats from the Governor. Despite this, Representatives in the House are proud of their accomplishments this session. It is evident lawmakers in the New Mexico Legislature have been willing to put partisanship aside and prioritize policy, not politics.

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