Friday, October 16, 2009

Richardson to move session back

...until 2 p.m. Saturday.

The extra two hours will give Gov. Bill Richardson time to present a budget counter proposal to lawmakers. It might give the rest of us time to get in a decent lunch before the mayhem.

"Governor Richardson had a productive meeting with legislative leaders and discussed their latest budget proposal," Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for Richardson, said in a statement. "Governor Richardson will present a counter-proposal to legislators on Saturday before the start of the special session."

I talked to lawmakers who just now met with Richardson and they said they expected something sooner than tomorrow from the governor. Their chief complaint was that they last week gave Richardson three budget proposals and he hadn't said anything about a counter offer until now.

One source said Richardson's proposal wouldn't cut state workers' salaries, a key concern many have rallied around. The source also said the proposal doesn't raise taxes but does cut from K-12 schools -- something Richardson had pledged not to do. When I have firm details on the plan, I will let you know.

The unusual move of changing the time could mean several things, none of which point to consensus between the branches. Stay tuned. I'll be blogging from the Capitol Saturday.

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