Days left in the session: 58
Disarming sheriffs: The Legislative Council voted to ban weapons of all kinds from the House of Representatives gallery during joint sessions, such as the one held Tuesday for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s State of the State address. But it did not consider how that ban would affect armed law enforcement officers.
Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, said Wednesday this led to the awkward situation of “state police disarming sheriffs. This was not the intent.”
House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, said the ban will be lifted for law enforcement officers for the rest of the 60-day session.
Committee changes: House Speaker Egolf made appointments for an array of committees during Wednesday’s House of Representatives floor session.
With 19 new House members coming on board this year, the makeup of many of those committees will change.
For example, at least half of the representatives appointed to the House Education Committee are new this year, including Reps. Jack Chatfield, R-Mosquero; Raymundo Lara, D-Chamberino; Natalie Figueroa, D-Albuquerque; and Willie Madrid, D-Chaparral.
Rep. G. Andrés Romero, D-Albuquerque, will chair the committee, and Rep. Linda Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, is vice chairwoman.
Egolf said all final committee appointees would be posted Thursday on the New Mexico Legislature’s website, www.nmlegis.gov.
Early holiday: Egolf said the House will not meet Friday. Members said they do not expect House committee hearings to begin until Monday.
Many lawmakers traditionally get a day off on the first Friday of the session. Bills are still being printed, and organizational work by those chairing committees is still underway.
Quote of the day: “I sure don’t know anything about discrimination.” — Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, an African-American, sarcastically responding to a comment made by Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell. Ezzell suggested the Legislature’s process for choosing student interns from only New Mexico schools is discriminatory because many New Mexicans attend college in adjoining states..