On the first day of the session there was a noticeable buzz filling the New Mexico state capital, aka the “Roundhouse.” There were children, parents, advocates, lobbyists and legislators hurriedly walking from point A to point B, all filled with the first-day jitters. But from Speaker Brian Egolf to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, there was a tone of great hopefulness for what the future holds.

Lujan Grisham’s Priorities for 2019

She entered the house floor to an uproar of applause. Gov. Lujan Grisham gave a personal challenge to each one of the Legislators saying the eyes of the entire state were on them, and they must work for their constituents. She outlined several goals she is prioritizing within her administration and is asking for the Legislators to prioritize them as well. Her initiatives include raising educator pay, less emphasis on standardized testing, gun reform, smart solutions to DWI and substance abuse, tackling the state’s behavioral health system, and addressing the needs at the Children, Youth and Families Department.

Introducing the “Rocket Docket”

One of the big announcements from Gov. Lujan Grisham was the introduction of the “Rocket Docket” that she crafted with both Senate and House leadership. The “Rocket Docket” revives bills that have been worked on in the past that received unanimous or near-unanimous support but eventually died on the former Governor’s desk. House Minority, Republican Leadership oppose the new plan citing that it does not give freshman Legislators the opportunity to fully understand the bills, and it may glaze over complex issues. Gov. Lujan Grisham mentioned that the “Rocket Docket” will include bill issues like land grants, farmers, midwives and rural communities, lobbyist reporting and more.

You can see the bills that the House and Senate are reviving as a result of the “Rocket Docket.”

Speaker of the House: New Mexico’s Strength in Diversity

Speaker Egolf kicked off the 54th Legislature with comments about how New Mexico is different from Washington. He explained that New Mexico is more diverse, and his goal is to showcase our differences as a strength to the rest of the country. Speaker Egolf also commented that he wanted to collaborate and reach across the aisle when feasible. He then introduced the newly-elected, Gov. Lujan Grisham.

We’re Listening, New Mexico

As Gov. Lujan Grisham neared the end of her speech she said, “I will listen as much as I talk.” Like her, the Viante staff and Board are committed to listening more than we talk. Listening to the communities and the needs they have. Listening to experts on complicated topics. And finally, listening to the Legislators and what they are doing to work toward common-ground solutions to New Mexico’s most pressing issues.

Cheers to the start of the 54th New Mexico Legislature. Now, let’s get to work!