Former Sen. John Arthur Smith, the conservative-leaning Democrat from Deming who served the head of the Senate Finance Committee for more than a decade relinquished his position earlier this year after losing a reelection bid to a progressive candidate in the primary. Smith earned the nickname “Dr. No” for his refusal to fund various initiatives, even those championed by his own party, over the years. His steady leadership and fiscal restraint and foresight will be a hard act to follow.
As of Tuesday the newly appointed head of the powerful Finance Committee, Senator George Muñoz will take the wheel and have a large part in shaping the financial future of our state. Senator Muñoz, like his predecessor, is also considered a conservative leaning democrat but as the session progresses only time will tell if he is willing to push back on some of the more radical and costly initiatives from the progressive wing of his party. “Everything is going to get a fair hearing” said Muñoz, including an effort to tap into the Land Grant Permanent Fund to pay for early childhood education programs. Senator Muñoz is the owner of multiple businesses and has served on the boards of multiple banks, so there is reason to hope for a similar steady hand in spending restraint like that of his predecessor. For now all we can do it wait, there is still 55 days left in the session and plenty of work still undone. Click HERE to read more.