Regional
2:52 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

NM Legislature Convenes

New Mexico – New Mexico lawmakers are back at work and facing a difficult task of cutting state spending and possibly raising taxes.

The Legislature convened at noon for a 30-day session that's dominated by budget problems.

The opening day of the session is mostly ceremonial. Gov. Bill Richardson delivers his final State of the State speech, which outlines his agenda for legislators.

Among the governor's proposals is a measure to allow domestic partnerships.

The governor also wants tougher penalties for drunken driving.

Anti-tax protestors rallied outside the Capitol. Among those at the rally was former Gov. Gary Johnson.

The former Republican governor was dressed in a heavy down jacket standing in a snowstorm and carrying a placard that said, "No New Taxes."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.