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Harder feelings linger in Senate

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By Sherry Robinson

 

Hardly a day passes without Tim Jennings’ name cropping up in Senate committees or floor discussions: “Sen. Jennings was working on… I was working with Sen. Jennings to…”

The Roswell Democrat was liked and respected, yes, but his absence is a constant reminder to Senate Democrats of the bruising election cycle that took their president. Most certainly, Majority Floor Leader Michael Sanchez, another target of the governor’s blitz, is not willing to forgive and forget.

The spirit of compromise lubricating gears in the House and (maybe) in the Governor’s Office is harder to detect in the Senate, where floor debate on some bills has been pointed and even sarcastic.

In February, Senate Democrats shot down a Republican measure to increase use of state aircraft.

Sen. Carroll Leavell, R-Jal, argued valiantly that his SB 250 would save money and time for “highly paid elected officials.” (I once used the same argument to defend PNM’s Lear Jet.) The bill would have expanded authorized passengers to include employees and students from the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the New Mexico School for the Deaf, along with children traveling for medical purposes.


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