SANTA FE – Saturday, March 9, the New Mexico State House Appropriations and Finance Committee convened to vote on HB 606 (driver’s licenses bill.)
After hearing testimony and expressing concern over the fiscal implications, the committee had a tied tabling motion on HB 606.
Democrat Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard broke party rank and joined Republicans in voting against the tabling motion.
Garcia Richard again joined committee Republicans in voting in favor of passing the bill out of committee, but the vote failed through a second tie.
“I have been deeply concerned by Gov. Martinez’s persistent actions to politicize this issue. I believed the bill deserved another opportunity to be heard in order to allow additional time for a real compromise, which is why I initially voted to blast the bill out of committee,” Garcia Richard said. “I spent the last three days drafting amendments that would satisfy the needs of all New Mexicans, but received no support from Republican leadership in the process. After today’s vote, it is apparent that HB 606 is just another tactic used by the Republican leadership to attack vulnerable Democratic members. For this reason, I am taking a stand and saying enough. My vote will no longer be manipulated or held hostage by Gov. Martinez and until she is willing to come to the table and compromise, I will vote against any attempt by Republicans to once again blast HB 606. It is my hope that the Governor and House members will be able to come together and work out a compromise that can actually pass and resolve this important issue once and for all.”
Stephanie Garcia Richard is the newly elected State House Representative for District 43, which includes Los Alamos and parts of Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties. She is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University. She lives in White Rock with her husband and children and teaches 3rd grade at Pablo Roybal Elementary School in Pojoaque.