Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Winter State Fair

The New Mexico Legislature is meeting again.  I like to think of it as the Winter State Fair.  Unlike the late summer event that takes place in Albuquerque, the winter version happens in Santa Fe at the capitol building we refer to as The Roundhouse.  It's either because they built it on an abandoned railroad yard or because of the punches thrown by legislators from one side of the aisle to the other.  Either way, more people go to Santa Fe to see the special events and have fun and games than go to Albuquerque in the summer for the carnival rides and beer.

I can predict two things with certainty:

  1. Only about 10 percent of the bills introduced will be passed.  That's a good thing.  Only about 1 percent of the bills intruduced will probably have anything to do with real state business.  The rest of them will be things like naming the State Spinach Salad, or funding a study of whether it's shorter to drive to Santa Fe via I-25 or Highway 14.  Once the study establishes the shorter route, there will be heated debate as to whether they used the right kind of ruler.
  2. It will cost New Mexico citizens more tax money.  I'll grant you that Republican Governor Martinez has kept her promise on taxes for the most part, but that doesn't mean those pesky little hidden taxes won't keep cropping up.  Things like increased tuition at state colleges, for example.
Other things that I can predict with confidence:
  • There will be at least one constitutional crisis, as legislators are actually forced to read a copy.
  • There may be a second crisis as it is determined that the legislature doesn't own a copy.
  • At least one Democrat will call a specific Republican a bad name.
  • At least 75 percent of the Democrats will call all Republicans a bad name.
  • There will be livestock.
  • The legislature will spend at least one afternoon debating who will clean up after the livestock.
  • The Democrats will find undocumented workers to clean it up at less than minimum wage.
  • The Democrats will propose several bills to raise the minimum wage.
  • Global warming or climate change will be mentioned at least once in conjunction with each of the following: Oil and gas exploration, gas prices, jobs, education, beer, teacher pay, Republicans, the rich, the poor, green chiles, the homeless, Obamacare, Social Security, bean burritos, Medicare, minimum wage, baseball, beer, and, if they can get it all in, tamales, posole, enchiladas, sopapillas, and beer.
Because New Mexico has a citizen legislature, it only meets for one or two months a year.  This is also good.  It limits the damage that can be done and prevents the politicians from thinking of it as a real job.  This year, the Winter State Fair will go on for 60 days total.  Watch this page to see how many of my predictions come true.

© C. A. Turek - mistertrains@gmail.com

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Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.