Saturday, October 17, 2009

Session underway . . . sort of.

(Scroll down for latest updates.)

Really not much official to report yet. But things are rolling in the House and Senate. Roll call, reading of the proclamation, etc. Formalities mostly. A memorial or two.

The Governor's Office hasn't released the proclamation yet, but it sounds like Richardson's plan is to not cut salaries and not allow any tax increases the session.

Sen. Michael Sanchez just said he doesn't expect any legislation to be discussed today and "if that comes, it would come in a day or two."

Sounds like the bills that have been introduced so far will go to the Committees' Committee Sunday at 1 p.m.. That's where it's decided if they are germane to the session.

Sanchez is apologizing to audience members who have been waiting around for something to happen today.

"I want to apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you...we're working the best we can to resolve a very serious situation in the state," he said.

UPDATE, 4:06
House is adjourned until tomorrow. I'm going downstairs to look into what they've done, as I've been in the Senate so far today.

Sounds like the Senate is also getting to wrap up until tomorrow. .

UPDATE, 4:33

Senate still in session. They are arguing about what is germane, what isn't. Talk of an extraordinary session.

In the meantime, the Governor's Office finally put out some info on the budget. It avoids layoffs and furloughs and cuts education by 1.5 percent. It also states tax increases won't be considered. Here are the details as released.

"We are able to minimize education cuts and protect classroom spending as a result of our aggressive efforts in the past to keep cash reserves at 10 percent or higher,” Richardson said in a statement. "The governor’s $617 million plan relies partially on those rainy-day reserves to protect schools, while still keeping future cash reserves at a prudent 5.5 percent. The plan is as follows:

· Cut Agency Spending by 3.5 %
· Cut Education Spending by 1.5%. Cuts must include safeguards that classrooms, kids and teachers will not be affected.
· Use federal stimulus money to prevent further cuts to education
· Divert available short-term bonding proceeds from future capital projects to reimburse general fund for existing capital expenditures
· Deauthorize stalled capital outlay projects; cancelling the Governor’s projects as well as those of lawmakers
· Delay General Fund increases to retirement and Retiree Health Care Authority funds
· Sweeping state accounts of unspent money

UPDATE, 4:44 p.m.
Senate is adjourned until 2:30 Sunday. Committees' Committee meets at 1 p.m.

Here's Richardson's proclamation.

Special Session Proclamation

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