Monday, October 19, 2009

Nava, Garcia, Support Tax Increases in Senate Committee Yesterday

Senators Cynthia Nava and Mary Jane Garcia voted in favor of all proposals to allow tax increases to be considered as part of the fiscal crisis affecting the state, joining a coalition that included themselves, Sen. Carlos Cisneros, and Sen. Timothy Keller. These votes were cast in the Committee's Committee of the Senate yesterday (Sunday)afternoon. These four senators were part of a coalition largely of norteños who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Sen. Timothy Jennings as President Pro Tem of the Senate early this year as the January session began. Jennings was able to retain his position with eight votes from Democrats plus the votes of Republican senators, and the power of the south in the senate was preserved.

None of the votes to consider tax increases held up, as a stronger coalition of seven senators won the day on each vote, denying all motions to permit tax increases to be part of the legislative agenda. The governor's call clearly stipulated that increased taxes were not on the agenda and the winning faction spoke out against motions to consider tax increases on the grounds the governor had not included this possibility in his call for a special session. The winning faction was composed of several powerful senators from the south, including Sen. John Arthur Smith, from Deming, Sen. Tim Jennings, from Roswell, and Senator Stuart Ingle, from the Southeast corner.

Contacted this morning, Sen. Mary Kay Papen, whose district is adjacent to Sen. Nava's, indicated she attended the Committee's Committee meeting yesterday afternoon and agreed with the majority vote. She also said she was not necessarily opposed to tax increases as part of the overall solution to the current fiscal crisis as long as they are proposed within an appropriate constitutional framework. Should the governor revise his call to include tax increases as a potential solution, she indicated she might well support certain tax increases as a means of raising recurring revenues.

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