capitol reports

Capitol Report 2/17/2022 – Surpise Announcements Dominate Last Day of Session

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INTRO:

The Legislative Session adjourned at noon today and ended with two surprise announcements.

Jason Espinoza reports from the Roundhouse:

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As the State Senate was winding down amidst a two- and half-hour filibuster by State Senator William Sharer, members of the House of Representatives were met with a surprise announcing by Speaker of the House Brian Egolf.

In the final minutes of the 2022 Legislative Session Speaker Egolf, who has presided over the House since 2017, announced that he will not seek reelection and will instead step down from what is perhaps the most powerful post in the State Legislature.

During the shocking announcement, Egolf noted that no speaker has voluntarily left the post since 1965. Egolf will serve the remainder of his term, and his successor will be picked in the upcoming general election.

Then, just a few hours later, during a news conference discussing the recently adjourned 30-day legislative session, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made her own surprise announcement—by lifting the mandate for face masks in most indoor public settings, effective immediately.

The updated Public Health Order states individuals will still be required to wear face masks in most healthcare and congregate care settings.

The updated order also states that public and private educational institutions serving children and young adults from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade shall continue to adhere to the face covering requirements outlined in the New Mexico Public Education Department  COVID-19 response toolkit, until the school district or private institution elects otherwise.

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Jason Espinoza

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