Santa Fe – Gov. Martinez announced Wednesday that a special legislative session will convene Friday to fix a budget shortfall for FY 2016. As was previously announced, the Governor will also ask lawmakers to consider reinstating the death penalty.
No one expects significant legislation from this special session; the death penalty push by the Governor will ultimately fail, and in anticipation of that vote Democrats are already on the airwaves in an attempt to minimize their exposure. What the political observers have their eyes on right now is the maneuvering to control the narrative in anticipation of a prolonged and contentious 2017 Legislative Session. The heavy lifting to be done in January may very well set precedence for how New Mexico state government will operate for the foreseeable future – in an economic environment where Federal spending is tight and the price of oil is not expected to rise anytime soon.
The long term implications of the 60 day session helps explain why both sides are spending considerable resources on getting their message out. The stakes are high. Come January, the effectiveness of their efforts will set the stage for the difficult budgetary decisions facing our state.