Feb. 7, 2006 Legislative Roundup

Compiled by Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers

Legislative round-up:

• The house approved a bill to fund a new judge in the 9th Judicial District. House Bill 337 allocates $2.2 million for judges, equipment and staff in selected areas throughout the state; and over $1 1/2 million for the offices of district attorneys and public defenders. The new 9th Judicial District judge (and staff) would hold a principle office in Roosevelt County, and would be funded by $313,566, the bill said.

• Like the methamphetamine ordinance already in effect locally, a bill which would label pseudoephedrine “a controlled substance,” and restrict the sale of many cold and sinus medications statewide, passed through the House Saturday. HB 211 requires consumers buying many pseudoephedrine products sign a log and show identification. Pseudoephedrine can be used to make methamphetamine.

• A bill sponsored by Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, would standardize sentences handed down to convicted methamphetamine manufacturers. The bill passed through two committees and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

• A bill to standardize penalties for convicted methamphetamine traffickers, passed through two House committees and will next go to the House for a vote.

• A bill to legalize medical marijuana, called the Lynn Pierson Compassionate Use Act, passed through the Senate and three committees. It next goes to the House Agriculture Committee. A panel of doctors would approve every prescription, under the bill, for patients with the following debilitating medical conditions: AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, people with specific neurological damage, epilepsy and any other conditions approved by the board. Marijuana would be cultivated by licensed marijuana producers on secure production facilities in New Mexico.

• A bill to decrease the number of New Mexicans without health insurance (21 percent) unanimously passed in the Senate Saturday, according to a release from the New Mexico Human Services Department. Senate Bill 381, gives employers the option of providing workers insurance through the State Coverage Insurance Program, among other Health Insurance Alliance options, the release said.

• A bill for DNA to be taken along with fingerprints in all felony arrests passed through three committees and will next go the Senate Finance Committee. DNA and fingerprints would be taken before the accused is released from detention.