Days remaining in session: 49
No pensions for crooks
Senate Minority Whip Bill Payne, R-Albuquerque, says it's an outrage that impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich still will receive his state pension. And that should never happen in New Mexico, he said. ``It has to stop,'' Payne said in a statement. ``No more pensions for corrupt officials in New Mexico. Corrupt officials should lose their salaries and benefits like pensions.''
Payne's Senate Bill 141 would do just that. Under the bill, if an elected official is guilty of a felony in connection with the offender's holding an elected office, the basic sentence may be increased by an additional fine that could be as much as the value of the salary and fringe benefits paid to the offender.
Similar legislation has been introduced in recent years, but none has passed. SB141 has an uphill battle, having received three committee assignments in the Senate.
Overseas voters could do so electronically
Voters who live overseas would be able to to cast ballots electronically if they waive their right to a secret ballot, under a measure introduced in the House.
``In my discussions with the secretary of state and county clerks, I was told that it was much more efficient for them to issue and receive overseas absentee ballots by electronic transfer,'' said Rep. Nathan Cote, a Las Cruces Democrat who is sponsoring the measure. ``Voting is an important right for Americans and the voting process should be as convenient as possible for those working overseas.''
House Bill 489 doesn't specify what forms of electronic balloting would be allowed.
• Representatives of Northern New Mexico communities are scheduled to be in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday to mark the completion of a major economic development plan. Los Alamos County funded the Regional Economic Development Initiative, or REDI, which cost $250,000.
House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Nambe, will speak at the rollout event a 9 a.m.
The idea behind the plan ``was to develop an economic development plan that would capitalize on the strengths, resources and talents of Northern New Mexico in order to benefit all of the region's residents by creating new jobs, which would then create new revenue sources, and new opportunities for growth,'' according to a press release.
• The Domestic Partnership bill, SB 12, is expected to be voted upon next week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee heard the bill on Wednesday in a joint session with the Public Affairs Committee. Although Judiciary was expected to vote on the bill Friday, the vote was delayed because of a death in the family of one of the committee members. Senate Judiciary meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.