Democrats attempt to fast-track bills previously vetoed by Susana Martinez
January 16, 2019 05:19 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- During the first full day of the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers and bills were assigned to different committees.
For the first time, bills that are sent to just one committee, instead of two or three, are part of what’s being called "rocket docket."
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham demanded it her State of the State address Tuesday.
"Bring me the rocket docket! Bring it! Bring it to me!"
Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth said there are about 50 bills on the "rocket docket."
They are bills that were vetoed by former Governor Susana Martinez during the last two legislative sessions.
"These were bi-partisan bills. They went through all the committees, they went to the floors and the decision was made by the leadership in both chambers, and the governor, to expedite those bills," Wirth said.
Speaker of the House Brian Egolf said bills on the "rocket docket" had bi-partisan support and aren't controversial.
“These are things that help economic development on the east side of the state, a bill that passed the House unanimously, passed the Senate unanimously and got vetoes,” Egolf said. “We think these are common sense ideas the need to be put into the law."
However, House Minority Leader Jim Townsend opposes the “rocket docket.”
He feels the 19 new members in the house won't have a chance to review the bills since they are only going to one committee.
"The purpose of the ‘rocket docket’ is to force them through the system. My point is there's 19 members that have never had a chance to see them. And everyone that's elected has the responsibility and authority vested in the voters to represent their districts and part of that is vetting bills,” Townsend said.
Despite Townsend’s concern, Speaker Egolf said Democrats, who control the House and Senate, hope to have all the bills on the “rocket docket” sent to the governor in two weeks.
Updated: January 16, 2019 05:19 PM
Created: January 16, 2019 04:41 PM
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