Santa Fe New Mexican: Absent Democrats give GOP slight boost in House
Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 6:30 pm | Updated: 12:09 am, Tue Jan 21, 2014.
By Milan Simonich
The New Mexican | 0 comments
Republicans, the underdogs of state legislative politics, last controlled the New Mexico House of Representatives in 1953.
But as this year’s legislative session opens, they will find themselves stronger than they could have imagined.
Two Democratic House members — Reps. Ernest Chavez of Albuquerque and Phillip Archuleta of Las Cruces — will be absent from at least the beginning of the 30-day session because of illness.
Neither will be able to cast votes on any bills until he physically returns to the Capitol.
Republicans at this time last year were the minority party by a 38-32 margin. They picked up one seat last fall after Democratic Rep. Stephen Easley of Eldorado died and Gov. Susana Martinez appointed fellow Republican Vickie Perea of Belen to replace him.
With Chavez and Archuleta unable to start the session, the Democratic majority drops to 35-33. In turn, Republicans will improve their chances of advancing two of the governor’s legislative priorities, though they still likely face difficulty in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Martinez wants to repeal a 2003 law that allows people without proof of immigration status to obtain a New Mexico driver’s license, and she is pushing for mandatory retention of thousands of third-graders who do not read proficiently…
Read the full article: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/legislature/absent-democrats-give-gop-slight-boost-in-house/article_f5d043af-4a5d-5be6-8180-7ee1559637b2.html