Feb. 20, 2009 Legislative Roundup

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Days remaining in session: 29

Chile verse would become state’s official poem: A measure (HB674) introduced by Elias Barela, D-Belen, would name an official state poem.

The poem, “We Love it Real Hot” by Alberto Onaldo Martinez, reads in part:

Ah, Chimayo chile is so delicious to eat!

That cure-all food is a special treat,

So fiery good, it makes us sweat,

A runny nose is more proof yet.

A hot bite and you’re chile afflicted,

Another bite and you’re chile addicted!

#Caramba! it’s hot, turistas say,

They beg for more when out our way.

The bill is pending in the House Education Committee.

Historic preservation: A bill that clarifies how state government will interact with historic preservation rules heads to the Senate following Thursday’s approval in the House.

The measure, an amendment to the Historic District and Landmark Act, is a substitute for an original version introduced by Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Nambe, (HB360). It passed 65-0.

The bill arose from a dispute between the city of Santa Fe and the state over construction of a parking garage near the Roundhouse. It lays out a plan for the state to consult with the city’s review board and interested citizen groups on plans to build, demolish or alter structures within historic areas.

City officials have claimed jurisdiction over preservation issues, but the legislation attempts to avoid further dispute on that point, supporters have said.

An earlier version of the bill said the state would comply with city rules on preservation within “reasonable budgetary constraints,” but that language was stripped from the adopted version. The new version also contains more promises about what the state will do before and during the design process for projects.

The Old Santa Fe Association had opposed an early version, but association president Marilyn Bane said the group is pleased with the revisions.