Speaker of the House Brian Egolf

Air Dates: January 26-28, 2019

This Week: BRIAN EGOLFSpeaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives

TOPICS:Historically New Gender Makeup of The Democratic Caucus & The House

The Permian Basin: N.M. Now The #3 Producer of Crude Oil in The U.S. -- Possibly More Oil There Than In Saudi Arabia-- How The Legislature & Governor Plan To Use The Extra Money The State Is Getting From Extractive Industries

"Moon Shot For Education"Diversification of N.M.'s EconomyChanges In The House Regarding MemorialsThe "Rocket Docket"

QUOTE:“If we get this right, we can use our surplus, combine it with meaningful reforms to education policy, and we have got an opportunity in New Mexico to save an entiregeneration of New Mexico’s children from a life of poverty.” -- Speaker Brian Egolf

Jan. 24, 2018 – This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives Brian Egolf discussing issues in the current legislative session such as the extra money the state is getting from the extractive industries and how the legislature and the governor plan to use it, the "moon shot for education," diversification of NM's economy, and interesting changes in the House regarding Memorials and the "rocket docket."

Egolf describes how the make-up of the Democratic caucus in the House has changed since the last election. Out of 46 members, 25 are women, so the Democratic caucus is a majority of women. The entire House is just a few women short of an equal gender split.

The New Mexico House of Representatives is the first legislative chamber anywhere in America and in the entire history of our country where all three of a party’s leaders - majority leader, majority whip, and caucus chair - are all women of color. Speaker Egolf points out that it has never happened anywhere in the country. New Mexico's House has an African American woman, Sheryl Williams Stapleton as the majority leader; a Hispanic woman, Doreen Gallegos is the whip, and Wonda Johnson, a member of the Navajo Nation, is the caucus chair.

"That’s a first in the entire history of our country this year,” Egolf states. "We just elected the first Asian American and the first Muslim member to the House and it is just a wonderful cross-section of our state - incredibly diverse background, viewpoints. We can use this to show Washington and show the other states in our country that diversity can bring strength."

Speaker Egolf is a Democrat representing Santa Fe and has served as a Representative since 2009. Much of that time (before he was elected Speaker), he served as the Chair of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee where he developed a deep understanding of energy and extractive industries.

The Permian Basin, one of the richest and most prolific oil and gas regions located underneath the Texas-New Mexico state line, is extremely important as a source for extra money for the state.

Egolf explains, “New Mexico is now the number three producer of crude oil in the United States behind Texas and North Dakota...the Permian Basin...is definitely the largest oil field ever discovered in the United States and it could be one of the largest oil discoveries in the history of the world.”

“We think there is probably more oil there than in Saudi Arabia – past, present, and future – and this has completely transformed the state’s budget,” Egolf continues. “We are going to have a surplus for the next fiscal year of at least $1.1 billion of revenue.”