House Republicans Waste Taxpayer Dollars by Playing Politics Over Fixing Budget Crisis
House Republican lawmakers spend first day of special session debating controversial crime bills rather than fixing state’s historic budget shortfall
October 1, 2016
Santa Fe – On the first day of the 2016 legislative special session, House Republicans wasted the day by failing to focus on solutions to the state’s budget crisis. Instead, they convened the House Judiciary Committee for over 7 hours, to hear a slate of controversial crime bills that had nothing to do with the solutions the state needs to resolve its fiscal shortfall.
“We are in a budget crisis that we will only get worse if we do not come together to find solutions” said Representative Georgene Louis (D-Bernalillo). “Hearing these crime bills during a special session, when we should be deliberating tough budget decisions, is politics at its worst.”
“These crime bills deserve to be debated fully. Every hour that we are in session costs the taxpayers money, and we should be tackling our budget crisis first. House Republicans shouldn’t rush controversial legislation through a special session that is reserved for fixing a budget shortfall – such as the one we are in right now” stated Representative Eliseo Alcon (D-Cibola). “The only reason for doing this, is because of politics, and that is wrong.”
“We are in the midst of a $700 million unconstitutional budget crisis. This is unacceptable” stated Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Bernalillo). “100% of our energy needs to go towards solving this huge problem. We have to fully fund and staff CYFD, District Attorney Offices, the police and take care of our children.”
The crime bills heard today during the House Judiciary Committee were placed on the agenda by Governor Martinez and House Republicans to divert attention away from their failed economic policies. For over 7 hours, members of the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on an array of crime bills, costing taxpayers and doing nothing to find solutions to the state’s gaping budget shortfall.