Gov. Bill Richardson's office has just announced an agreement with legislative leaders for a (knock on wood) one-day special session in October. Only budget issues will be considered, crushing the hopes of the LGBT community that domestic partnerships might again be on the table.
Well, not that crushed. Equality New Mexico lobbyist Linda Siegle tells SFR that it comes as a relief that the domestic partnership debate will have to wait.
"Actually I'm really glad we're not going to do it," Siegle tells SFR. "We need time when people can be concerned about other issues [than finances] and everybody is really worried about the budget. It's just as well we're not doing it now. We'll hopefully do it during the 30-day session."
Guv's press release after the jump.
Governor Bill Richardson, Legislative Leaders Agree On Need for Special Session
Session will Only Address Budget Shortfall
SANTA FE – Governor Bill Richardson, during a meeting today with a bipartisan group of legislative leaders in the House and Senate, agreed to call a Special Session of the Legislature, probably in October.
The special session, which the Governor and legislators want to limit to one day, will only deal with anticipated budget shortfalls that are a direct result of the national recession. The Governor will not consider any other legislation for the session agenda.
The Governor and legislative leaders also agreed to form a legislative-executive working group to negotiate a bipartisan agreement on the budget before a special session is convened.
“We are fortunate that New Mexico – with healthy cash reserves – is in much better shape than most states, which have resorted to laying off state employees and drastically cutting services,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “But we are definitely facing tough challenges, and we must continue to make sacrifices to balance the budget.
“Because our budget deficit is directly related to the national recession, I want to make sure that we don't take any action that might cost jobs or adversely affect the state economy,” Governor Richardson said.
Governor Richardson told legislators that he wants keep the 2003 tax cuts (personal income, corporate income and capital gains) intact so we don't hurt efforts to recruit new business.
Governor Richardson and legislative leaders are waiting for final consensus revenue estimates that will show a substantial revenue shortfall. The Governor and legislators agreed that a special session is necessary to take immediate action to balance the budget.