Bill protects ‘controversial science’ teaching

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican A measure pending in the Senate Education Committee would protect teachers who want to talk about theories of a “controversial scientific nature,” including but not limited to creationism, its sponsor said. “There’s fear that if they say the wrong thing at the wrong time with the wrong student present […]

Legislation aims to open up political process

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican For Rep. Joe Cervantes, getting his bill that would open conference committees through the state House on Monday was a breeze. The measure to unshutter some of the last legally closed meetings flew through in about a minute, without a question or any debate on the floor. It was […]

Legislation Aims to Open Up Political Process

By Kate NashThe New MexicanFor Rep. Joe Cervantes, getting his bill that would open conference committees through the state House on Monday was a breeze.The measure to unshutter some of the last legally closed meetings flew through in about a minute, without a question or any debate on the floor. It was the first time […]

March 3, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: 18 Golden parachutes: The House Judiciary Committee will consider a measure (HB538) sponsored by Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, that would prohibit state agencies from giving extra money to employees who are terminated for cause or who resign. Under the bill, the state still could buy out an employment contract. During debate […]

Panel to consider zone system for developments

By Kate Nash: The Santa Fe New Mexican A measure before the House Taxation and Revenue Committee today would allow the creation of “infrastructure development zones” that could issue bonds and have the power of eminent domain. Each zone would have a board, and the boards would be able to impose special assessments and fees, […]

Legislative tidbits, Feb. 18

The New Mexican staff Days remaining in session: 31 A vote for the exempts: On a party-line vote, the Senate Public Affairs Committee on Tuesday killed a measure (SB 424) that would cut the salaries of exempt state workers who make more than $75,000 by 10 percent. Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Sandia Park, sponsored the […]

Feb. 13, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: 36 Measuring state workers: A measure by freshman Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, would measure the productivity of state government employees. An analysis of Senate Bill 158 says labor productivity is defined as “the output per worker-hour of labor.” Further, the bill says “labor productivity would be calculated using Bureau of Labor […]

Measure on deep water wells gains momentum

By Staci Matlock:The New Mexican Rep. Mimi Stewart’s bill to give the state engineer authority over brackish water in deep wells sailed through its second committee hearing Monday, winning unanimous approval. The House Energy and Natural Resources Committee saw fit to add a clause calling the need for the legislation an “emergency” after six private […]

Feb. 11, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: 38 Go hemp A measure introduced by Rep. Ray Begaye, D-Shiprock, would set up guidelines for the “growing, licensing, selling and processing of industrial hemp in the State of New Mexico.” House Bill 403 would spend $150,000. Of that, $100,000 would go to New Mexico State University to set up a […]

Feb. 10, 2009 Legislative Tidbits

Days remaining in session: 39 Autism bill passes Senate A measure requiring private health insurance companies to cover autism treatment passed the Senate Monday. If the House and Gov. Bill Richardson sign on, autism coverage would include screening and treatment through speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and applied behavioral analysis, according to the Senate […]

Bill would cap fees for locating property owners

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican A bill backed by the state Taxation and Revenue Department would limit how much people who locate the owners of unclaimed property held by the state can charge. The measure (HB 178) caps the fees for those finders at not more than 10 percent of the value of the […]

Ute water measure expected to hit Senate Thursday

CNJ staff Authorization of the Ute Water Project is expected to be on the Senate floor Thursday, according to a release from U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. By a 68-24 vote Wednesday, the Senate approved cloture on Senate Bill 22. Cloture is a procedure to end debate and limit amendments on a measure, contrary to […]

Bush authorizes Cannon funding

Cannon Connections staff President Bush signed into law Tuesday a military spending bill that authorizes $726 million in construction projects and new aircraft for Cannon Air Force Base, according to a press release from Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. The measure would permit $630 billion in spending for national defense programs in 2009, including $70 billion for […]

Base realignment measure shouldn’t affect Cannon

CNJ staff Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., has asked the Air Force to determine if a military spending measure that the House passed Wednesday could adversely impact New Mexico Air Force installations, according to his spokesperson, Chris Gallegos. The House spending measure — to be considered by the Senate in coming weeks — provides extra money […]

Property owners need protection from government

By Freedom Newspapers Politicians, environmentalists and professional planners all claimed the 2004 passage of Measure 37 in Oregon, which forces governments to compensate people when zoning rules or development restrictions lower a property’s value, would mean the end of the world. And it has spelled the end — for cost-free regulating. But the empowerment of […]

Language doesn’t require legislation

By Leonard Pitts: Syndicated columnist For its next trick, maybe the Senate will pass a law regulating the flight patterns of houseflies. That would be about as effective as something senators passed Thursday. The measure, an amendment to the immigration bill under debate, designates English the “national language” of these United States. Of course, that […]

Bulging budget passed

By Barry Massey: The Associated Press o Spokesman says governor undecided on signing $5.1 billion measure. SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson is withholding judgment on a nearly $5.1 billion budget measure that won final approval in the Legislature on Tuesday. Richardson, who had sharply criticized earlier budget proposals by lawmakers, declined to say whether […]

House committee shelves medical marijuana bill

The Associated Press SANTA FE — A House panel has shelved a Senate-passed bill that would have allowed patients suffering from illnesses like cancer or AIDS to use marijuana prescribed by a doctor to alleviate their pain. With the end of the legislative session set for Thursday, the move likely kills the bill for this […]

Few will benefit from mandated wage hike

Freedom Newspapers New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and many Democratic lawmakers are intent on raising the state’s minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.50 an hour. The bill now before the Legislature is one that should fail, however. Folks just can’t make a decent living on $5.15 an hour, Richardson and company argue. The […]

Lawmakers plan ’junior’ budget allowing members to earmark money

By Barry Massey: The Associated Press SANTA FE — With the state enjoying a revenue windfall, lawmakers are planning a possible $40 million “junior” budget bill that would allow each member to earmark several hundred thousand dollars for programs or projects of their choosing. The Senate is taking the lead in drafting the spending measure, […]