Created: November 21, 2020 07:10 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State lawmakers are gearing up to meet at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe for a Special Session. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announced the session during her weekly state COVID update Thursday.
"I'm happy to announce right now that the Special Session I will call will be called for this coming Tuesday right before Thanksgiving,” the governor said.
The official announcement caught some lawmakers off guard.
On Tuesday, State Rep. Antonio Maestas (D-District 16) tweeted, “Governor announces Tuesday #nmleg special session after being asked at press conference. Good to know.”
Lawmakers have already been wrestling with logistics over how to safely hold the regular 60-day session in January. The House and Senate set their own rules.
A spokesperson for the Senate told KOB 4 that all senators will attend the special session in person at the Roundhouse, but have the option to work virtually from their offices.
The House, however, will look a little different.
“The building as it is now will be closed to the public as it was in the first special session. There is no way to have members of the public safely in the Capitol Building—it is impossible,” said Speaker of the House Brian Egolf.
Egolf said representatives have to convene in person Tuesday, but will immediately vote to change the rules so they can work virtually. The vote will require a three-fifths majority vote.
House Democrats support going virtual, so the vote depends on Republicans.
“For this special session that the governor is calling, I don't think any of that remote work is going to be necessary. I think if we do our jobs as leaders, and the Speaker gets the information to us in a timely manner, we'll get our people to vet that stuff out, and I think we can work on it very quickly,” said House Minority Leader Jim Townsend (R-District 54).
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