Lawmakers face new governor, packed agenda

Deborah Baker

Santa Fe – The winds of change blowing through the state Capitol amount to welcome fresh air for some – but may give others the chills – as the annual meeting of the Legislature gets under way.

Lawmakers return to Santa Fe on Jan. 21 for what promises to be a jam-packed 60-day session.

The new governor, Democrat Bill Richardson, comes armed with ambitious agenda and pledges of a smoother relationship with the Democrat-dominated Legislature.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the air,” said House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe.

Old-fashioned give-and-take negotiations with the governor would be a marked change for Democrats, who butted heads for eight years with Richardson’s Republican predecessor, Gary Johnson.