March 19, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: two

Media literacy: Under a bill approved by both the House and Senate, public schools could offer media literacy as an elective class.

The measure (HB342) calls for the electives to be offered to 6th through 12th graders starting in the 2010-2011 school year.

Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, is carrying the bill, which aims to teach students skills to analyze and understand information given to them from various media sources.

“Education is simply information and lessons that we might use for a lifetime. As one of the first states to incorporate this exciting course into our schools’ curriculum, our students will improve critical thinking skills and be more active participants in our modern 21st Century society,” Maestas said in a statement.

“When 53 percent of 13 year-old girls are ‘unhappy with their bodies’ there is a problem that government must address. Media Literacy will help teenagers better dissect and decipher the 6 1/2 hours of media consumed per day to become healthier more productive members of society.”

Methamphetamine: The House and Senate have approved a measure (HB117), that adds methamphetamine use near a child to the state’s child abuse law.

Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, is carrying the measure.

“Methamphetamine use is a growing problem both in New Mexico and the United States and HB 117 would give investigators the tools needed to remove the child/victim from dangerous situations,” she said in a statement.#”I hope the Governor will follow the House and Senate and quickly sign this bill into law.”

The measure says that exposing a child to methamphetamine is “prima facie” form of child abuse.

Looking Ahead: Today