STATE SENATE News:
Belen – Members of the New Mexico Senate Democratic Caucus met Saturday to determine its choice for Senate President Pro Tempore and to select the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Majority Whip and the Senate Majority Caucus Chair.
Senate President Pro Tempore: Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-38- Doña Ana). The Senate President Pro Tempore is elected by a majority of the New Mexico State Senate. The Democratic Caucus’s choice must receive at least 22 votes on the first day of the session to be named Senate President Pro Tempore.
“I am honored to have the support of the Democratic Caucus for President Pro Tempore as we enter a difficult session that will require us to solve New Mexico’s many problems,” Papen said. “I have confidence that Democrats and Republicans will work across the aisle, as we did in the 2016 Special Session, to find results.”
Democratic Majority Leader: Sen. Peter Wirth (D-25-Santa Fe). Wirth was first elected to the New Mexico Senate in 2008.
“I am humbled to be elected Majority Leader by my colleagues. Democrats in the Senate are united,” Wirth said. “We are ready to lead and find solutions to the enormous challenges facing our state. I look forward to serving in this new capacity.”
Democratic Senate Majority Whip: Sen. Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo). Padilla was elected to his first term in 2012.
“I would like to thank the Senate Democratic Caucus for having the confidence in me to do this job,” Padilla said. “This is going to be a difficult session, because New Mexico needs to solve our fiscal crisis and turn around our economy and create jobs.”
Senate Majority Caucus Chair: Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-26-Bernalillo). Candelaria was elected in 2012, and this will be his second time serving as the Caucus Chair.
“I am humbled to be chosen by the Democrats in the Senate to serve as their Caucus Chair,” Candelaria said. “We have a lot of work to do, and I will do what is necessary to move New Mexico forward.”
The opening day of the 53rd Legislative Session is noon, Jan. 19, 2017 and will continue through noon, March 18. During a 60 day session, there are no restrictions on the subjects of bills that can be introduced.