From the Roundhouse: Freshman hazingFebruary 15th, 2013 at 7:48 pm by Alex Goldsmith under N.M. Politics
There are 35 new lawmakers this year in Santa Fe, the most fresh faces in the 112 member Legislature in decades.
Not all of them are truly new. Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Albuquerque, was a state representative before switching houses.
But there are more than enough true freshmen roaming the halls.
And just like freshmen on many sports teams or at many high schools, these freshmen lawmakers get their fair share of hazing.
One tradition appears to be that when a new legislator has his or her first piece of legislation on the floor of their chamber, no matter how small it seems, a frenzy of good-natured ribbing begins.
In one instance this week, Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Albuquerque, was presenting House Joint Memoria 25, a memorial promoting safer injection practices for state doctors and nurses.
Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, asked Thomson if her legislation would help medical providers “inject more cowbell” when necessary (cue classic Saturday Night Live sketch).
Today Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Nambe, got those kinds of questions from Egolf and a lot more too when he presented a memorial of his own dealing with water issues.
One rep complained that he had to sing when he presented his first bill, so he asked Trujillo to sing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”
Trujillo opted for “Row Row Row Your Boat” instead.
Another rep asked Trujillo to make him a promise in exchange for his vote.
On March 1, the House and Senate play their annual basketball game for charity. The rep wanted Trujillo to yank down the shorts of former representative and now Senator O’Neill. Trujillo obliged.
As this session winds down and the floor debate moves from memorials to far more controversial issues, partisan bitterness will surely start building. But when there are opportunities for light moments, it can be refreshing.
Bill of the Day: Senate Bill 576
Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, would like to make sure school buses are well protected and well tracked.
SB 576 asks for $565,000 in the budget to pay for GPS tracking and security devices for state school buses.
Morales’ bill is waiting for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.