NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday that she will convene a special legislative session before Thanksgiving. The governor said the focus of the special session will be to provide COVID-19 relief to businesses and New Mexicans.
The state still has about $ 300 million in federal CARES money. The governor wants it spent on grants for small businesses as well as benefits like an extra $ 300 a week for four weeks for unemployed New Mexicans. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are eager to get this money to New Mexicans and have other ideas as well.
“I think we need to provide more resources for more testing, faster turnaround time for testing, for more responsible contact tracing,” said representative James Townsend (R-Artesia).
“We are looking into the possibility of including additional funds for the Department of Health to ensure New Mexico is ready to receive, store and deploy vaccine, so there will potentially be additional money in that package.” included for them, ”said Representative Brian Egolf (D- Speaker of the House).
The special session is due to begin on Tuesday, November 24, and lawmakers expect it to last only one day. The rotunda will be closed to the public during this period. The governor says she knows it is a difficult time to bring lawmakers back to Santa Fe, but said it was necessary for the state to quickly provide economic aid to those in need. The governor also says she hopes to start getting “the money out the door” by Monday, November 30.
It would be the second extraordinary session of the state during the pandemic.