Post-legislative session, the chatter is all about friction and gridlock because it requires looking a little harder to see the whole picture.
In a year like this, when available money evaporated like a water hole in the desert, when uncertainty and tight budgets exacerbated differences, the debates were bound to be sharp.
Both parties and both chambers spent a lot of time hunting for money, and because there was none in the usual places, the hunt turned to who had money and how they might be parted from it.
That led to some well intended but labored bills.
One was House Bill 474, by Rep. Paul Bandy, R-Aztec.
It attempted to divert money from the Fire Protection Fund, which supports fire departments, and use it for forest and watershed restoration. Forced to choose between fire prevention and fire fighting, legislators deliberated uncomfortably and chose their fire departments.
HB 236, by Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, and Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, demanded more hard choices.