The Speaker of the House gets to hand out committee chairmanships and this was the first time that Speaker Ken Martinez was able to do so. There were some notable changes.
The short story is that no committee chair was displaced. However, committees that were headed by legislators who have since left the legislature were up for grabs and other committee chairs took over, causing a domino effect.
But Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, will serve as chair of the Education committee — which will be a key stop for legislation this year as Gov. Susana Martinez is making a big push for education reform and Democrats are pushing their own education proposals.
Stewart did not displace anybody — Rep. Rick Miera, D-Albuquerque, previously chaired the committee but cannot chair a committee while he serves as Floor Majority Leader.
Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Jemez Pueblo, takes over the House Health, Government and Indian Affairs Committee that was previously chaired by
Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, took over the House Judiciary Committee. Al Park previously chaired the committee but opted to run for Public Regulation Commission instead of reelection in the House in 2012.
Chasey previously chaired the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee — now that committee will be chaired by Rep. Eliseo Alcon, D-Milan.
Alcon chaired the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee last year and will be replaced by Rep. George Dodge, D-Santa Rosa.
Committees, except for the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, have not started meeting yet. The Senate will announce committee membership tomorrow, the Democratic caucus announced.
The following list is from the New Mexico House Democrats’ Facebook page.
Agriculture and Water Resources – Chair, Rep. George Dodge (D-De Baca, Curry, Guadalupe, Roosevelt – 63
Appropriations and Finance – Chair, Rep. Henry “Kiki” Saavedra (D-Bernalillo-10)
Business and Industry – Chair, Rep. Debbie A. Rodella (D-Rio Arriba, Taos- 41)
Consumer and Public Affairs – Chair, Rep. Eliseo Alcon (D-Cibola, McKinley-6)
Education – Chair, Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo-21)
Energy and Natural Resources – Chair, Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe-47)
Health, Government, and Indian Affairs – Chair, Rep. James Roger Madalena (D-Bernalillo, Rio Arriba, Sandoval-65)
Judiciary – Chair, Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo-18)
Labor and Human Resources – Chair, Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Bernalillo-14)
Taxation and Revenue – Chair, Rep. Edward Sandoval (D-Bernalillo-17)
Transportation and Public Works – Chair, Rep. Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales (D-Taos-42)
Voters and Elections – Chair, Rep. Mary Helen Garcia (D-Doña Ana-34)