Martinez says agenda is in good shape

Posted at: 02/27/2013 6:28 PM
Updated at: 02/27/2013 7:59 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Gov. Susana Martinez says her agenda for the 60-day session of the state legislature is in pretty good shape, as the end of the session on March 16 looms closer.

Her biggest setback? Probably the tabling, once again, of the keystone to her plans for education reform - no social promotion to 4th grade for kids who can't read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.

A major DWI bill Martinez is backing passed the House on Wednesday. It allows a felony drunk driving conviction to count towards a criminal's habitual offender status - something police and prosecutors have been begging for.

A lot of her legislation, especially on making the state business-friendlier and attracting jobs, is still in the works.

"A lot of the priority bills are set for hearings and set in the Senate for the floor to hear them, so I'm optimistic," Martinez said. "A lot of the big bills are the ones that are being calendared right now."

First-term Speaker of the House Ken Martinez, the most powerful Democratic leader in the legislature, says relations with the Republican Governor seem better than her first two legislative sessions.

"I think they're good," Rep. Martinez said. "My theory of life is that nothing succeeds like success, and let's not talk about where we disagree - let's start every conversation about where we agree."

Another big achievement for the Governor: the limited liability bill that launches Spaceport New Mexico into competitive business with other states has passed both the House and Senate.

The jury is still out on the Governor's economic agenda - things like lowering the corporate income tax, reforming taxes on exported goods, and more incentives for small businesses to hire and train new employees.