From the Roundhouse: Negative Space

February 26th, 2013 at 8:38 pm by under Latest Posts, Politics

Sometimes in the Roundhouse you can tell just as much from what lawmakers don’t do than from what they do get done.

A Democrat-proposed state health insurance exchange that’s a key part of the nationwide Affordable Care Act has been sitting on the House floor since late last week.

It was one of only three bills on the House schedule at the start of the day, but although a contentious bill banning coyote killing contests got a vote (failing 38-30), the exchange did not.

What’s not seen is a behind-the-scenes negotiation between the governor and House leadership on what form the exchange should be in.

That plus a simmering grudge between the bill’s sponsor, House Education Chair Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, and conservative Dems means the exchange doesn’t appear to have either the votes in the House or the governor’s support to move it forward.

The wait on exchanges is not unusual. On the Senate side, Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, has two background check bills (one on background checks for EMT providers, another for emergency checks for CYFD placements) that have been sitting on the floor for several weeks. The Senate calendar appears to have a greater tendency to be clogged.

But the longer something like the health insurance exchange sits, the more indicative it may be of a solid break within the House Democratic Caucus on this issue and others (7 dems voted against party leadership on the coyote killing bill including Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces).

Something to watch…

Bill of the Day:  SB 230

Expect to see a lot of coverage of this Senate bill tomorrow.

Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort’s, R-Sandia Park, bill would allow 3 employees at each school to carry a concealed weapon.

The bill’s in Senate Education tomorrow.

One Response to “From the Roundhouse: Negative Space”

  1. whiskeyriver says:

    Let the health insurance exchange lie there until it dies. It is not something our state needs and I am not happy with Gov. Martinez for thinking about accepting something from the federal government that will eventually hurt New Mexicans. The Affordable Healthcare Act is anything but that, as anyone with any sense can see.

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