Legislative Roundup: March 7

by Reporter / Mar 07, 2019 / 0 comments
Chris Jans, New Mexico State Aggies head basketball coach, goes over plays with members of the state House of Representatives before their game against The Senate Lobos at the start of Hoops 4 Hope, an annual event that benefits the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, held at the Santa Fe Indian School on March 6, 2019. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

Legislative Roundup: March 7

By The New Mexican 

Days remaining in session: 9

Cabinet size: The Senate just voted to create a Cabinet department for early childhood education. But some lawmakers are still wondering whether the state already has too many Cabinet departments.

Sen. Bill Tallman, D-Albuquerque, proposed creating a Cabinet reduction task force. The Senate Rules Committee Wednesday agreed to instead task committees that meet after the session to weigh the issue.

The governor now has 22 Cabinet secretaries, not including the secretary of agriculture, who is appointed by the regents of New Mexico State University.

Over recent years, there have been a slew of proposals to merge certain departments, such as Tourism and Cultural Affairs or Public Safety and Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

But such proposals have failed.

Tallman's proposal listed a number of other studies and suggestions, though. The big question is whether this latest effort just ends up as one more study.

Courting Taiwan: State legislatures might not be what you think of when you think of foreign policy. But the Senate Rules Committee approved a joint memorial Wednesday encouraging Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to travel to Taiwan in 2019.

Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, said he had traveled to the country with other legislators. And former Gov. Susana Martinez visited last year.

Like so much in the state, it comes back to energy. New Mexico has natural gas and Taiwan gets most of its energy from overseas, potentially providing a rich market.

Zeke Pirtle, 7, helps his father, state Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, warm up before Wednesday's game against the House Aggies in the Hoops 4 Hope contest, which benefits the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, held at the Santa Fe Indian School on March 6, 2019. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

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