Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Lawmakers' Gifts Get Cold Shoulder.

Byline: S.U. Mahesh Journal Capitol Bureau

SANTA FE With the budget season coming on, the New Mexico Corrections Department just wanted to maintain a warm relationship with some key legislators.

So, at a cost of about $2,000 to taxpayers, the department provided 18 legislators with fuzzy-collared, blue jackets embroidered with a gold badge and the lawmakers' names.

Corrections Secretary Rob Perry called the jackets "a worthwhile investment." But House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe, said he sent his back.

"We appropriate money to the department, but I don't think it is for the purpose of buying jackets for legislators who are not entitled to them," Lujan said. …

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