The Senate announced the memberships of their committees today after a meeting of the Senate Committee’s Committee.
The big news was Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, keeping his Senate Finance Committee chairmanship. This was expected after Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, was elected Senate President Pro Tem instead of Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Cruces.
The Finance Committee was the lone committee not to have a freshman on its roster.
There were three new committee chairs. Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, will serve as chair of the Senate Conservation Committee. Sen. John Sapien, D-Corrales, will chair the Senate Education Committee. Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, will chair the Senate Public Affairs Committee.
The other committee chairmanships are unchanged.
The vice-chairs changed in most committees, as the Senate puts freshmen in that position. The exceptions were the Finance Committee and Indian and Cultural Affairs committees. Finance Committee co-chair Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, joked that he is a 27-year freshman, calling it Norteño humor. The joke did not land.
Not all freshman Democrats will serve as co-chairs; there are more freshman Democrats than available co-chairmanships, Papen explained. Four years ago, Sens. George Munoz, D-Gallup, and Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, were not co-chairs despite being freshman.
Here are the full Committee memberships:
Chair: Peter Wirth.
Co-Chair: Benny Shendo
Members: Phil Griego, Richard Martinez, Michael PAdilla, Bill Payne, John Ryan, Bill Sharer, William Soules, Pat Woods
Corporations and Transportation
Chair: Phil Griego
Co-Chair: Clemente Sancehz
Members: Joseph Cervantes, Lee Cotter, Tim Keller, Mark Moores, Michael Padilla, Sander Rue, John Sapien, William Sharer
Chair: John Sapien
Co-Chair: William Soules
Members: Craig Brandt, Lee Cotter, Gay Kernan, Bill O’Neill, Mary Kay Papen, John Pinto, Pat Woods
Chair: John Arthur Smith
Co-chair: Carlos Cisneros
Members: Sue Wilson-Beffort, Bill Burt, Pete Campos, Carroll Leavell, Howie Morales, George Munoz, Steven Neville, Nancy Rodriguez
Indian and Cultural Affairs
Chair: John Pinto
Co-chair: Cisco McSorley
Members: Stuart Ingle, Mary Kay Papeen, Cliff Pirtle, Benny Shendo, Lisa Torraco
Chair: Richard Martinez
Co-Chair: Joseph Cervantes
Members: Ron Griggs, Linda Lopez, Cisco McSorley, Bill Payne, John Ryan, Michael Sanchez, Lisa Torraco, Peter Wirth
Chair: Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Co-Chair: Bill O’Neill
Members: Craig Brandt, Jacob Candelaria, Ron Griggs, Daniel Ivey-Soto, Tim Keller, Gay Kernan
Chair: Linda Lopez
Co-Chair: Daniel Ivey-Soto
Members: Jacob Candelaria, Stuart Ingle, Mark Moores, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Cliff Pirtle, Sander Rue, Clemente Sanchez, Michael Sanchez