Tessa Mentus, Chris Ramirez
Updated: November 25, 2020 06:21 AM
Created: November 24, 2020 04:42 PM
UPDATE: The New Mexico Senate passed House Bill 1 to provide relief to people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will go to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for final approval. The special legislative session was adjourned around 6:30 p.m.
This is a developing story. Stay with KOB.com and KOB 4 for updates.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- In an effort to get help to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers met for a special legislative session Tuesday.
The Roundhouse is closed to the public, and protesters gathered outside, demanding to be allowed to participate.
"The voices of the people are not being heard. The governor is behind closed doors because of COVID is the excuse," said Hanah Israel.
In the House Appropriation and Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, lawmakers took public comments from people who joined virtually.
And the Senate has taken public comments in the form of emails.
For those allowed inside, they have to wear a mask and social distance.
Many state lawmakers are participating from their Roundhouse offices instead of on the Senate and House floors.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, lawmakers were still trying to decide how to distribute $337 million in federal funds
The governor's plan includes:
However, lawmakers have other ideas about how the money should be spent.
"Essential workers that are on the front lines. We want to keep them working and not going into the unemployment lines," said Sen. Candace Gould, a Republican. "It's imperative that we keep them out there, providing the services that are essential. So, this is a way to reward them and tell them that they matter too. We hear them and see them and that we're going to give them a little help as well.
Both the House and Senate appear to be making progress on their bills. However, nothing is finalized. Lawmakers planed for the special session to last one day.
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