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Several Democrats broke party ranks on Wednesday in supporting a Republican-led attempt to advance legislation to stop New Mexico from issuing driver's licenses to most immigrants who illegally came to the country.
All 32 Republicans supported the parliamentary maneuver and were joined on three separate votes by Democratic Reps. Mary Helen Garcia of Las Cruces, Dona Irwin of Deming and Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint.
Freshman Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba) broke party ranks on the first vote and supported moving a stalled license proposal to another committee. However, she joined Democrats in opposing similar efforts to bypass two other committees.
Freshman Democrat Christine Trujillo of Albuquerque voted with Republicans once, but said she had made a mistake and hit the wrong button in the electronic voting system.
The Governor’s office called out Garcia Richard Wednesday night.
Gov. Susana Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said in a prepared statement, “We're pleased that this important compromise legislation advanced beyond two committees that were intent on keeping it from an up or down vote on the House floor.
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