State lawmakers meet with local business owners ahead of legislative session

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Moe Patel is the manager at the Motel 6 in northwest Albuquerque.

“It was kind of an eye-opener, and it was a good thing that I came out today,” Patel said.

On Wednesday, he joined other local business owners at a round table meeting with some state’s legislatures.

The meeting allowed residents, like Patel, to air their concerns ahead of the next legislative session, starting next month. 

For Patel, there’s the concern about squatters not leaving motel rooms at check out.

“We want to get the people out of the room if they’re not going to pay for another night, and the process is just so lengthy,” he said.

Currently, they have to go through the court to get an eviction notice which can take up to a week, losing money on a room that can’t be rented in the meantime, said Patel.

State Sen. Moe Maestas said if it weren’t for Wednesday’s meeting, he would not have known about the issue.

“It was new, I mean obviously we’re totally cognizant of the homelessness and how do we alleviate that stress in Albuquerque, but the whole motel/hotel issue was new to us. So we’ll see if we can address it up in Santa Fe,” said Maestas.

Open discussions like this are helpful for business owners, and he’s glad he was able to voice his concerns, Patel said.