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SANTA FE -- Ready or not, only one day is left in the 2012 Legislature. This 30-day session ends Thursday at noon -- no ifs, ands or buts. The New Mexico Supreme Court decided about 50 years ago that the Legislature no longer could “stop the clock,” as it was called, to get its business finished.
Congress and many state legislatures keep going until the leadership decides it has had enough. In New Mexico the watches of the House speaker and the Senate majority floor leader determine when it is noon.
That power used to include stopping the clock for several hours to get business finished. But today, no fudging is allowed. Any legislation passed after noon does not become law. Legislative per diem also stops at noon.
Usually much gets done on the final day. One house or the other often stays in session most of the night. This is true in Congress and virtually every state. But it isnít working quite that way in Santa Fe these days. The rhythm is a little out of kilter.
The fault lies with both the governor and Legislature. Gov. Susana Martinez is accustomed to getting her way. Word floats around the capitol that the first gentleman has been heard to say that he has never won an argument with his wife.
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