NM GOP representatives share priorities ahead of legislative session

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – We are less than a week away from the start of this year’s 60-day legislative session.

Now, top Republicans are laying out their goals in a year with staggering money to work with statewide. 

Since this is a 60-day session, elected officials have more time and more wiggle room to work on legislation they think is important.

Representatives KOB 4 talked to Wednesday say by the end of the session they want to pass bills that are good for New Mexicans all across the state.

“We are interested in tackling real problems and having practical solutions, we’ve broken that down into five areas,” said state Rep. Ryan Lane.  

Those categories include: education, public safety, health care, the economy, and affordable energy. They have plans to introduce bills that tackle issues in each and every area.

“Giving teachers raises but also having measuring, being able to measure, some kind of accountability on our students, so that we know they are getting the education that the state, that your taxpayer dollars are paying for,” said state Rep. Gail Armstrong. 

When it comes to public safety.  

“We are going to put emphasis on recruiting and retaining law enforcement that is important, and we are really interested in tackling the repeat career criminals, particularly violent career criminals. That’s an ongoing problem that I think New Mexico has not fixed yet so that will be a focus as well,” said Lane.

They also want to expand health care access to all parts of the state.

“One of the issues is health care in rural New Mexico, we have a real issue with clinics closing during the pandemic.  Who’s heard of that? That’s crazy, and access to other states because some of my rural towns are closer to Arizona or Texas than they are in New Mexico, so they can’t access that because of insurance and other issues,” Armstrong said.  

As for the economy. 

“We are looking at improving the business climate in the state of New Mexico, we have been blessed with this huge amount of extra revenue, $3.6 billion. We have been talking for years about reforming our tax code and if not now, when are we going to do it right?” said state Rep. Josh Harper. 

Finally, they also want to make sure when you get your energy bill at the end of the month, you can afford it.

But with all of these goals for the 60-day session, they recognize they will have to make some bipartisan deals to get their bills across the finish line.

“We recognize that we are in the minority, but I think New Mexicans who elected us and our colleges want us to solve problems facing the state, and they don’t care if it is a Republican idea, or a Democrat one – if it’s a good idea they want us to work on it,” said Harper. 

All three representatives say they are willing to work across the aisle to meet their goals.

We also asked these lawmakers about safety at the Roundhouse, especially following the shooting investigations targeting local lawmakers.

We’ll have what they have says, also with what safety the round house is taking to keep everyone safe.