SANTA FE (KRQE) – There was plenty of tension at the Roundhouse on Wednesday night with less than a day left in the session.
So what’s happening with the minimum wage hike?
A fix for the lottery scholarship?
Out of those three items, the only one that seems to still have a chance to get through is the plan to save the lottery scholarship program.
“I think it’s one of those issues that everyone in New Mexico is expecting us to do something about it,” said Rep. Rick Miera, D-Albuquerque.
The Senate sent a lottery solvency fix to the house Tuesday night, but Republicans there are questioning how it divvies up the scholarship money.
They don’t like that it cuts tuition awards to juniors and seniors in favor of fully funding freshmen and sophomores or that it uses the general fund in the future.
There is no chance for another hot issue.
The minimum wage constitutional amendment went down in flames in the House, falling three votes short of what it needed to get on the November election ballot.
And it looks like Omaree’s law, a proposal to automatically force CYFD to take children who show certain injuries out of homes, could die in a Senate committee before the session ends.
With the budget done, the Senate doesn’t appear in any rush.
“The main purpose of this legislature is to do the budget for the next year in the 30 day session. There’s always a few other things that will be there, but basically, that’s what our duty is up here,” said Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales.
This time last year, Governor Martinez was threatening to veto the budget, but a last second tax deal prevented a total meltdown. Compared to that, the close to this session feels a lot more relaxed.
The governor’s office says she believes the budget represents a good compromise. However, there are some items she may line-item veto.