It was over with a whimper. In the words of Rep. Andy Nunez to the New Mexico State Senate, “We want to inform you that the house has 'sine died' and we want you to quit too.”
A long final morning featuring tens of thousands of words and parliamentary procedures and posturing ended with the session’s arguably second most important piece of legislation lying dormant somewhere between the house and senate.
The New Mexico House of Representatives spent the morning debating the Ways and Means Committee amendments to a capital outlay bill that was never going to be accepted in the senate. So $275 million in capital projects died, and lawmakers do not have the precious pork to take back to the homefolk. In the closing minutes, hints about a special session were being dropped from the senate majority leader.
UNM had major projects in the capital outlay bill, including more than $1 million for engineering labs and $4 million to add teaching space to the Domenici Education Building, as well as money for design and planning of a new physics and astronomy building.
The state budget now sits with Gov. Susana Martinez, along with the Higher Education Endowment bill, Interstate Distance Education Act and other bills and memorials of consequence to UNM. She has 20 days to act.
Meanwhile, UNM faces its annual budget summit, also scheduled for April 10, with a Board of Regents lacking two members.
Government Relations will keep you apprised. For more information please go to the Government Relations website.