Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lots Happening in Roundhouse Today

After many quiet days, a lot has actually happened in the Legislature today.

The House just a few minutes ago passed the budget bill, which now goes to the Senate. The vote was unanimous and the discussion was relatively brief.

From the House Dem press release:

 The House of Representatives has passed a budget for the next spending year that begins July 2012. HB2 would provide $5.642 billion in state spending, an increase of $215 million (nearly 4 percent) over this year’s budget. The spending plan leaves $41.8 million to allow for flexibility in hammering out a final budget (such as tax reductions, pension solvency, infrastructure funding, or as a hedge against weak natural gas prices).

Meanwhile, the Senate approved not one, but two of Gov. Susana Martinez's cabinet appointees -- Arthur Allison at the Indian Affairs Department and John Bemis at the Department of Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources.

Both votes were unanimous, though Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, noted before the vote on Bemis that he had disagreed with Bemis over drilling in the Galisteo Basin. Wirth left the chambers before the vote.

Now the House is discussing the controversial driver's license bill. Something tells me it won't be as easy as the budget bill.