FROM THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday evening issued the following statement upon the House of Representatives concluding its business and the adjournment of the first special session of the 54th New Mexico Legislature:
“I am grateful to the Legislature for their diligent work these past few days. Amid unprecedented and difficult circumstances, both chambers and both parties were receptive to my call and came together to deliver for New Mexicans: For our neighbors whose businesses and livelihoods have been ravaged by the effects of this pandemic, for our neighbors who have for so long called for an examination and eradication of systemic racism and injustice, for our neighbors who have the right to exercise their franchise this fall without fear of infection. This special session produced hundreds of millions in investments in small businesses and local governments and economies; it accommodated and preserved much of the essential progress we have begun to make in our public education system as we begin to navigate a new global economic reality; and it launched, in earnest, an important and overdue conversation about accountability in law enforcement and in ensuring a just and safe New Mexico for all.
“In addition to the important supplemental legislation I called for and which lawmakers have delivered to my desk in a largely bipartisan fashion, the Legislature has provided a roadmap we will use to navigate the coming months of global financial uncertainty. My administration has from day one emphasized the importance of expanding the state’s reserves; I am glad to have done that work on the front end, which has ensured our state will have needed flexibility as we move forward. In our fiscal approach, a responsible and responsive final product, a state government that meets New Mexicans directly where their needs are, has been and will always be the ultimate goal.
“Let me be clear: The work of rebuilding our state economy has only begun. But we will, I have no doubt, construct a more robust and inclusive economy than ever before as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic with everything we’ve got. And the work we’ve begun on civil rights and public safety reform and election accessibility and small business relief will remain a chief priority of my administration.
“I look forward to thoroughly evaluating the amended state budget and the additional legislation now headed to my desk in the coming weeks. In January and beyond we will build upon this productive session of the Legislature. I want New Mexicans to know: We have heard you, and this state will invest in you and deliver for you throughout this crisis, throughout the recovery process and into the bright future we will build together on the other side.”
Lt. Governor Howie Morales issued the following statement:
“I want to congratulate and thank all legislators for conducting this overwhelmingly successful special session. In the face of an extraordinary global health crisis, whose effects reached right into our own Roundhouse, we nonetheless balanced the state budget and kept ourselves solvent – our first job. We met the daunting challenge of an estimated $2 billion shortfall in our revenues. We created the means to get critical, timely financial help to small businesses and our local governments hit hard by coronavirus-driven events. We moved to meet the pressing human rights challenge of this raw moment in time in our society, by laying the foundation to transform outdated law enforcement policies in New Mexico. I am particularly proud of this important work.
“With only a short period of time available to us, we passed a highly-responsive set of solutions that put our communities and main-street business, families and classrooms at the forefront of our economic recovery.
“And as president of the Senate I’d like to recognize all the hard-working public servants who will be leaving their positions in this chamber at the close of this session: Senator Papen, Senator Smith, Senator Martinez, Senator Sapien, Senator White, Senator Fulfer, Senator Payne, Senator Sanchez and Senator Ramos. Their devotion to New Mexico and improving New Mexicans’ quality of life will not be forgotten.”