Bill tracker: New bills introduced

Tonjia Rolan Local area legislators have introduced 14 new bills since Jan. 26. The deadline for filing legistlation was Feb. 1. House and Senate bill progress has been updated to reflect information available 5 p.m. Monday.

People heat up Congress on Internet bills

“When I feel the heat, I see the light,” Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois fam`ously said. He died in 1969, just weeks before the first data packets were sent on ARPANET, the Pentagon-funded academic and research digital network that was a forerunner of the Internet. The senator’s remark certainly applied to events this month in […]

Proposed bills pose danger to free speech

Freedom New Mexico If you went to the English-language version of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia on Wednesday, you would have seen only a message warning about attempts in Congress to censor the Internet. Reddit (a social news site), Boing Boing (a popular group blog) and other websites joined the one-day “blackout.” The protest is […]

Legislators ready to tackle upcoming bills

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Kevin Wilson New legislators for eastern New Mexico report a steep learning curve in their first state legislative session. But, as sessions go, this year’s 60-day affair is the best one to learn from, as budget woes mean there’s little extraneous legislation coming. “All sessions are defined by how many dollars there are and where […]

McGee: Moonlighting at a funeral home

By Grant McGee: Freedom columnist It was a Sunday morning and I was thumbing through the newspaper, pondering picking up a little more cash to pay some bills faster. Looking over the newspaper’s classifieds I stumbled upon what I thought was the perfect job for someone who works mornings at a radio station, afternoons at […]

Immigration enforcement not police’s job

With the 82nd Texas Legislature just a couple of weeks away, pre-filed anti-immigration bills already are piling up. Let’s hope that reason wins out and bad legislation is shuttled to the dustbin where it belongs. One such bill, filed last month by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, would require law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration […]

Tax planning enters crunch time

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Sharna Johnson Pay bills early, make donations, install new windows — With about two and a half weeks remaining to the end of the year, it’s the last chance for tax planning. Taxpayers can still do a number of things to help reduce their taxes before the window closes on 2010, according to tax preparers. […]

Voter registration bills cut

By Steve Terrell: The New Mexican Don’t count on being able to register to vote at early voting sites this year. Two legislative committees effectively killed bills that would have allowed a voter to register right before casting a ballot at early voting sites or at the county clerk’s office when in-person absentee voting is […]

Bills seek to rein in exempt jobs

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican The issue of exempt employees on state government’s payroll hasn’t gone away this session, despite layoffs of 59 of the governor’s political appointees in January. Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, again is pushing a measure that would limit the number of exempt state employees to about 400. “The number of […]

Legislative tidbits: Bill would limit bills

Days remaining in session: 28 Bill would limit bills A measure introduced by Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, would limit the number of bills a lawmaker can introduce each session. Under the plan, lawmakers could prefile as many bills online as they like before a session starts, but then would be limited to five bills […]

House OKs bill cutting education funding

By Deborah Baker and Barry Massey SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers in recession-wracked New Mexico who are trying to wrap up a special legislative session gave final approval to several deficit reduction bills and moved closer to deciding how much to cut schools and state agencies. They’re trying to fill a $650 million hole […]

Government only drives up reform costs

Freedom New Mexico Finally ending what has been one of the more excruciating legislative episodes in recent history, the Senate Finance Committee has approved the Baucus bill. It happened after months of debate and negotiation on health care legislation. Now the real battles can begin. The Baucus bill, named for committee chairman Max Baucus of […]

State legislature adjourns

What passed (Bills already signed by Gov. Bill Richardson have been noted.): * Death penalty: HB285 repeals the death penalty and establishes life in prison without parole as the state’s maximum sentence. It was signed into law by the governor. * Open conference committees: HB393 opens to the public conference committees — meetings in which […]

Legislature approves two capital outlay funding bills

Freedom New Mexico State lawmakers passed a pair of capital outlay financing bills Saturday during the last day of the 60-day session. One bill allocates almost $140 million for more than 70 projects across the state, while another bill reallocates funding from previously approved projects to new ones. Both bills go to Gov. Bill Richardson’s […]

Long day, night at Roundhouse

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican In any other year, three days out from the Legislature’s adjournment, the Roundhouse hallways by 9:30 a.m. can be frenetic with lawmakers and lobbyists pondering the fate of their bills. Instead, the halls are mostly quiet, and the coffee maker of the Society of Association Executives is just rumbling […]

Unpaid lunch bills mounting

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer While bigger districts with bigger deficits are fighting the unpaid lunch bill battle with cheese sandwiches, Clovis and Portales schools are still in the trenches making phone calls and sending home statements. School districts across the state have seen a rise in unpaid lunch bills with the economic downturn. […]

March 3, 1981

The Portales City Council authorized the city attorney to file charges in magistrate court against citizens who had not paid their ambulance bills in the preceding four years. According to City Manager Don Hutson, more than $34,000 in ambulance bills were still due.

Bills would make government more transparent

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican The public would have better access to and could gain more understanding of the state government under several bills making progress this session. Certain committees that are now closed would be open while government documents would become public sooner under the measures originating in the House. The House Appropriations […]

Measure would promote green jobs

The New Mexican Days remaining in session: 30 Green measures: A pair of bills in the Senate, (SB318) and (SB420), aim to promote green jobs in the state. Sen. Eric G. Griego, D-Albuquerque, is carrying the bills. One would require spending of a minimum of $1 million each year from the Development Training Fund for […]

Anti-cancer bills get new focus

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican Activists are renewing their push for bills that target cancer screening and treatment in the wake of the death of Patty Jennings, the director of the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool. Jennings, wife of Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, died this weekend after battling breast cancer. She was […]