SANTA FE, N.M. — A Republican lawmaker says his budget request to restore $41 million to public school reserve accounts was pushed aside after members of lead budget writing committee met out of public view.
Rep. James Townsend of Artesia says House rules may have been broken when a quorum of 10 members of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee met in a legislative agency conference room to discuss provisions of a proposed $6.3 billion budget.
He announced the concerns Thursday on the House floor and filed a verbal complaint with the lead staff attorney for the Legislature. Townsend says the off-record meeting deprives lawmakers and their constituents of rights to representation.
Democratic Committee Chairwoman Patricia Lundstrom says decisions are not made at such working group meetings and that Townsend was welcome to attend.