Tuesday, January 19, 2010

State Roundhouse-Not Just Cold on the Outside

Today was the start of the 30 day session for our state’s legislature. A number of prefiled bills were sent to committee. State Senator Tim Keller with a prefiling of over 30 bills out numbered all the rest. Many were teasing the young progressive senator for all the bills.

One state senator point out that it cost the state $26 per page and we had a red faced young senator. It is good to see that Senator Keller feels like he can make a difference in his home state of New Mexico. Senator Keller has a number of ideas on education and small business development that look good to progressive supporters.

One can only hope that some of this young progressive senator’s energy will rub off on the rest of the aging state senators. We could use a lot more good ideas on how to fix the state's budget problems. At present the left and right are taking hard stands in an attempt to show who is the strongest.

The real work does not start until the committees gets a chance to review the bills and decide which ones will make it to the senate floor. Today the governor took the hard lined approach that he would not sign a bill that would cut teacher pay and that the senate had better not send him one unless they want to find out how willing he will be to use his pen on it.

The governor was working hard to convince the legislature that now was the time to cut the state budget and encourage the growth of business. He pointed out that a number of new clean energy businesses will be opening in oil country down south.

Open government has not been brought up this session as of yet but it is interesting that both the left and the right view it as a good move in making government accountable to the voting public. The next step would be to open up committee hearings since that is where the lobbyist show their displeasure with bills that never make it to the floor.

Santa Fe was flooded with elected official who wanted to hear the last speech Governor Bill Richardson would give to the joint legislature as our state's governor.