NM legislator ill, possibly due to spider bite

Posted at: 01/29/2014 10:52 AM
Updated at: 01/29/2014 1:27 PM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE (AP) - A state representative's illness has caused him to miss the beginning of the legislative session, and House Speaker Kenny Martinez says that illness may be due to a spider bite.

Martinez says Rep. Ernest Chavez is being treated for swelling of his lower body.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the 76-year-old Chavez is one of two House Democrats unable to attend the session because of health problems.

Rep. Phillip Archuleta of Las Cruces is undergoing rehabilitation from a broken hip and leg bone.

Martinez says both men are frustrated that they aren't been able to return to the session, but he says he's told them that their health is more important than rushing to return to work.

The absences temporarily trim Democrats' House majority to 35-33.

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