On 11:15 am Tuesday, Gov. Susana Martinez issued the formal proclamation outlining her agenda for the special redistricting session of the state legislature, which also begins today.
On Martinez' agenda are 10 items ranging from the most controversial (repealing the state's practice of granting driver's licenses to foreign nationals chief among them) to the least (such as using up federal stimulus funding so the state doesn't have to return it to the feds).
Also on the agenda for the session, which began Tuesday, Sept. 6 and is limited to 30 days (at a cost of $50,000 per day):
- Ending "social promotion,"
- the practice of sending third-graders on to the next grade even if they can't read;
- Revising the bidding preference
- for New Mexico companies over out-of-state competitors;
- Passing a capital outlay bill
- to fund road and infrastructure improvements, which the Legislature failed to do in its regular session earlier this year;
- Giving cities, counties and the state the
- authority to ban fireworks
- in times of fire danger;
- Merging certain state departments:
- Cultural Affairs with Tourism; Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management with the Dept. of Public Safety; absorbing the IT department into the General Services Dept.
Martinez' proclamation also calls for revisiting her line-item veto of a business tax increase that would fund benefits for unemployed New Mexicans. A legal challenge prompted the New Mexico Supreme Court to require lawmakers to revisit the issue during the special session.
On top of all that, of course, legislators are also charged with redrawing the lines that define the state's political districts, no small task, and one that often ends up in the courts.
Read the full proclamation below.