52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2016


Pete Campos









     WHEREAS, after thirty years of being a force of fairness and a champion of fiscal responsibility, Representative Luciano "Lucky" Varela is retiring at the end of the 2016 legislative session; and

     WHEREAS, a Democrat, Representative Varela will have represented Santa Fe house district 48, which encompasses southern and southwestern Santa Fe, for fifteen terms, from 1987 to 2016; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela is considered to be one of the chief experts overseeing the state's difficult and complicated budgetary process in the legislature; and

     WHEREAS, former Governor Bill Richardson once said that Representative Varela has forgotten more than most people will ever know about state finances; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela has exhibited his considerable financial acumen while serving on the house appropriations and finance committee as deputy chair from 2005 to 2014, vice chair from 2001 to 2004 and as a committee member from 1987 to 2000 and from 2015 to 2016; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela also has been instrumental in guiding the budget discussions on the legislative finance committee as either chair or vice chair of the committee from 2001 to 2014 and as a member from 2015 to 2016; and

     WHEREAS, during his tenure, Representative Varela served on almost every standing and interim committee of the legislature; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela is a trusted advisor and mentor to many of his fellow legislators; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela retired from state government as the state comptroller of the department of finance and administration; and

     WHEREAS, throughout his career, Representative Varela has been a staunch advocate for those most in need of a voice: the children of New Mexico, the elderly and the poor; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela has always expressed concern for the education of New Mexico's youth and has been especially focused on the well-being of at-risk youth; and

     WHEREAS, because of his concern, Luna community college has established the Representative Luciano "Lucky" Varela math and science summer institute to serve students from Pecos, New Mexico, a community close to Representative Varela's heart, and to serve students from San Miguel, Guadalupe, Mora and Colfax counties as well; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela has focused on the difficulty of people overcoming the impacts of poverty from birth and has been a supporter of core programs focusing on the well-being of very young children; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela supports state workers and educators and was often at the forefront of advocating salary increases and sound pension reform plans for the public employee and educational retirement plans; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela has cited his major professional accomplishment as his public service and advocation for children and the elderly and equality for all; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Varela has cited his major personal accomplishment as raising a family and providing for its well-being and providing a good future for his grandchildren; and

      WHEREAS, as Representative Varela winds down a political career that has benefited New Mexico immeasurably, he leaves office on his own terms, with the respect of his colleagues, legislative staff and the many friends he has encountered over his esteemed career; and

     WHEREAS, the residents of New Mexico have benefited from the representation provided by this principled, intelligent, fair and honorable man;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that Representative Luciano "Lucky" Varela be recognized and honored for his long and distinguished career of public service; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to Representative Luciano "Lucky" Varela.

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