Lujan critiques other lawmakers for questioning legislators’ integrity

Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Nambe, just rose to make a short speech during the ongoing debate on the state’s film incentives program.

“Calling people liars on this floor is uncalled for,” Lujan said. “I will guarantee you that I will never call a member a liar.”

Lujan said he was reacting to a lawmaker’s comment during the sometimes, tense debate over how much New Mexico should pay out each year to TV and film productions in any single year through the state’s film production tax credit program.

It was unclear to whom he was referring.

But Lujan went on to say that House Minority Leader Thomas Taylor, R-Farmington, had promised that he would vote for Lujan’s bill last Saturday during a meeting of the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.

“Unfortunately, when we voted, he chose, and it’s his prerogative, not to vote on that bill,” Lujan said, referring to Taylor’s decision to take a walk on Lujan’s bill. “That’s what created the seven to seven tie.”

Lujan went on to admit making a mistake Saturday when the House Taxation and Revenue Committee voted to lower to $45 million what New Mexico can pay in a single year to TV and film productions that qualify for the state’s film production tax credit.

“When we agreed potentially agreed with the gentleman from Curry, that we would agree to $45 million,” Lujan said. “I made a mistake. I was premature. We had a three-legged stool. We only had two legs talking about the compromise. The third leg was missing. That third leg was a film industry.”

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About triptothecapitol

Trip Jennings is a Capitol reporter at the Santa Fe New Mexican.
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