The Paper Daily Digital Edition Banner

DAILY DIGITAL EDITION | FRIDAY | MARCH 19
SUBSCRIBE | DONATE | CARRY THE PAPER IN MY BUSINESS

Patience is always in short supply in the final days of every legislative session but this year, with the added pressures of pandemic distancing rules and virtual meetings, is one for the record books.

Tensions boiled over in the state senate overnight during a floor session that mercifully ended just before 2:30 in the morning.

During the debate over HB20, the bill guaranteeing paid sick leave statewide, Democrat Daniel Ivey-Soto berated Senate President Mimi Stewart, also an Albuquerque Democrat, over her attempts to remove an amendment he had added in committee (background here). Stewart had had enough and said she would no longer yield the floor to him. Republicans sat by as Democrats battled each other and Ivey Soto pressed on. Finally, Sen. Liz Stefanics, also a Democrat, interrupted the debate to call Ivey-Soto abusive. Others called it misogynist and bullying. Stefanics earned a round of applause from other senators for calling it out. In an attempt to calm the room, the senate took a recess and finally returned to pass the bill, but the toxicity was still palpable.

In spite of that dust-up, Senators did manage to move big legislation earlier in. the day. On a mostly party-line vote, they passed historic legislation OK’ing an amendment to tap into the $20B+ permanent fund for Pre-K and public education. That’s “the big deal” of the session said the governor.

The House also approved – by a single vote margin – a bill to ban trapping and snares on public lands. Who says every vote doesn’t count?!

One last big-ticket item, cannabis legalization, was also originally scheduled for that session. Leaders smartly put that off until this morning. That means it’s not too late to contact your senator. Let’s see if the temperament is better after a couple of hours of sleep.

Front Page

By A Single Vote, Legislature Approves Animal Trapping Ban

March 19, 2021

A renewed effort to ban trapping on public land in New Mexico moved through the […]

Watch this bill

Clean Fuel Opens Door for Sustainability

By Gwynne Ann Unruh

March 17, 2021

The greening of the New Mexico oil and gas industry (O&G) could go fast forward if this bill passes the House before the Saturday deadline.

Need a break from all this politics?! Devin O’Leary has just the solution. Check out these picks for our favorite COVID-safe things to do this weekend including Almost Adults LGBTQ+ theatre, women and poetry and open mic night with the New Mexico storyletters.

Devin O’Leary’s ‘Don’t Miss’ Events This Week

Thursday, March 18 Out Spoken Downtown’s 516 Arts invites everyone to a night of poetry […]


News outlets are sometimes the only sources residents have for what their elected officials are doing. What good does that news do if it is hidden behind paywalls? We make The Paper. free so everyone, including those who can’t afford to pay, can be part of the conversation. If you can afford to help, become a sustaining donor today. 100% of your donations go to pay the independent journalists covering stories like these.


Like this story? Hate it? Share it and add your comments.