New Mexico’s 2013 regular legislative session started four weeks ago, and state legislators have about four more weeks to pass their bills—but things are moving slowly. Legislative leaders have referred over 1,100 bills to committees, but have acted on only 29 percent of these bills.
The Senate Public Affairs Committee, chaired by state Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Bernalillo, has probably outperformed other committees. According to the legislative website earlier today, this committee had taken action on 94 bills and had only 102 still pending.
Similar productivity levels have occurred in the House Agriculture & Water Resources and the Senate Indian & Cultural Affairs committees. Although they have smaller workloads, these committees have acted on slightly more than 50 percent of the bills referred to them.
The Energy & Natural Resources and Business & Industry committees in the house, and Conservation in the senate, have acted on 41 percent to 48 percent of their bills. These committees will catch up if they hear a few bills per meeting.
The 14 other substantive committees in the Legislature have acted on less than a quarter of the bills referred to them. Some of them have not heard many bills because the state budget and confirmation hearings have kept them busy.
Overall, House and Senate committees have acted on 451 of the 1,545 bills referred to them. These figures count some bills more than once, because legislative leaders sometimes refer the same bill to two or more committees.
Some of the committees have started meeting on weekends. Two committees came together last Saturday to hear from voters about problems experienced during the state's 2012 election. Another three committees have announced plans to convene this coming Saturday.
The house and senate have tabled 21 to 22 bills each. Two bills have died. Zero bills have ended up in “limbo” or “no location” status.
State legislators have until Thursday, or a little more than 48 hours, to submit bills for consideration during this year’s session.
The house has sent 24 bills to the senate. Twelve bills from the senate have made it over to the house. Six bills have passed both chambers. The governor has signed two of those bills.
The 2012 regular session, which lasted 30 days, saw 77 bills land on the governor’s desk, for veto or signature. Legislators sent 284 bills to the governor during the 2011 regular session, which lasted for 60 days, like this year.
An unnamed senator told Capitol Report New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez might call legislators into a special session if they do not pass pension reform legislation during the 60 days. She can add other issues to the special session agenda.