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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day One of the 2012 New Mexico Legislative Session

The people’s business has begun in Santa Fe New Mexico. New Mexicans of all stripes and colors gathered to help launch this 30 day session. There were hugs and laughs and tears, plenty of handshaking, talking and planning. Excitement to do the important people's business.

The start of the session began with the standard opening remarks by Speaker of the House Ben Lujan. House Speaker Ben Lujan a life long fighter for New Mexicans announced his personal fight now with stage 4 lung cancer. Needless to say this news shocked and saddened all. For me it was like a blow to my stomach after what I have recently been through with Barb, and am still going through. I cried my own tears for the Speaker just as many other New Mexicans surely did.

In New Mexico the even year sessions are held to mostly conduct financial legislative business for the state. The entire NM budget for the year 2012 is $ 5.61 billion.

Other issues may be brought in front of the legislative body at the Governor’s calling. Governor Martinez has her pet project issues, Repeal Drivers licenses for “illegal’s”, “ending corruption”, greedy corporation tax cuts, privatizing education, stopping social promotion, just to name a few.

We listened to the Governors State of the State which you can read here.

According to the Governor everything is going fine. I wish it were true. I wish things would be like when things were actually going fine. When there were jobs. Jobs so kids would know their moms and dads were ok, and that they would have food on the table. What Martinez describes throughout her speech is punitive punishment for all things that are caused by the lack of people having security. We better start building more prisons. Oh yes that takes money too.

The Democratic response to the State of the State text you can find here. No surprise the democratic response shows a much different view of what has gone on in New Mexico over the past year, and what the democratic agenda is for these 30 days, "In the simplest of terms, we must invest in our children and foster an environment of economic growth that helps every New Mexican have a chance at the American dream."

The People's Response you can read here the People's_Response. " We are the 99%....We are here to proclaim that the days of government by and for the 1 percent are over. We utterly reject the fantasy of trickle-down economics, the idea that economic progress can be won by robbing from the 99% to ingratiate the rich."

I spent time at the Occupy Roundhouse event, very well attended and very vocal. Speakers were Senator Eric Griego, Senator Ortiz Y Pino, and Representative Brian Egolf. All the speakers were talking about how important it is for citizens, us, "we the people" to stay involved. Senator Ortiz Y Pino referred to our involvement as the lens the leaders have to look through for all decisions. Rep. Brian Egolf spoke how he can feel so lonely fighting the battle and how important it is that we fight along side him.

We watched Eric Griego sign the 99 pledge: “The Pledge for a Democratic America: I, Eric Griego, do hereby pledge to the people of the United States, that upon next taking office, I will work with particular focus to prevent corporations from directly or indirectly expending money to influence any election in the United States of America.  I will work to limit private contributions to provide similar access for all Americans to the political process.  I pledge to work together with other legislators to enact fair and just legislation and amendments to the Constitution, returning democracy forever to the people.” The Occupy Santa Fe people are bringing this pledge to all senators and Representatives for them to sign onto.

On many people’s minds was Senator Peter Wirth’s bill, SB09; Closing the corporate tax loophole which unfairly allows out of state big box stores not to pay NM taxes. Meanwhile small business put out of business by the big box stores, are paying full taxes.

What follows is a short clip from Senator Tim Keller stating what his expectations are for the session.

And a short clip from Labor leader Jon Hendry, who serves as President of the New Mexico Federation of Labor and the business agent for IATSE local 480.

Lastly, I tracked down the God Squad who shared with me what their expectations are of the 2012 session. Representing the NM Conference of Catholic Bishops is Allen Sanchez, and from the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry NM is Ruth Hoffman.

January 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM in NM Legislature 2012, Occupy Wall Street (Everywhere), ProgressNow New Mexico | Permalink


The Governor's speech reads like a collection of sound-bites.

Which is expected.

Posted by: Evak | Jan 18, 2012 12:59:55 PM