Legislation proposes changes to train security, warning bells and fines

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican The New Mexico Rail Runner Express could have its own police patrol, would ring its bell for a shorter amount of time in Santa Fe and could tap into more funding under measures moving in the House and Senate this session. Another measure would increase by $90 the fine […]

March 5, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: 16 Webcasting progress: The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday approved SR3, which would allow webcasting from the Senate floor. The measure now goes to the Senate floor for debate. Meanwhile, another lawmaker is webcasting from House committee meetings. Rep. Dennis Kintigh, R-Roswell, is sending out video of meetings at www.nmgov.tv Fresh […]

Bill protects ‘controversial science’ teaching

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican A measure pending in the Senate Education Committee would

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 Mexico 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 […]

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

Freedom New Mexico 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 […]

Local Briefs July 31, 2008

Municipal court closed for trainingThe Portales Municipal Court will be closed today through Aug. 8 to allow staff to attend training, according to a press release from the court. Persons with a court appearance scheduled during this time will not be penalized. Court will reopen on Aug. 11 and those who miss a date should […]

Lawmakers review military spending measure

Freedom Newspapers Sen. Pete Domenici 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 for […]

Officials should pay for taking people’s property

Editorial 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 property owners […]

Budget wins final legislative approval, heads to governor

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson is withholding judgment on a nearly $5.1 billion budget measure that won final approval in the Legislature. Richardson, who had sharply criticized earlier budget proposals by lawmakers, declined to say whether he will accept or reject the spending measure that was approved Tuesday. The Legislature is […]

House bill would stop treasurer from taking contractor contributions

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — The House approved a measure Thursday to prohibit the state treasurer from accepting campaign contributions from contractors who do business with the office. The measure is part of an anti-corruption package that Gov. Bill Richardson recommended to the Legislature in the wake of a kickback scandal involving two former […]

House OKs stiffer domestic violence penalties

The Associated Press SANTA FE — Repeat domestic violence offenders would face tougher, mandatory penalties under legislation unanimously approved by the House on Thursday. The measure would require a minimum of 48 hours in jail for a second conviction, 30 days for a third, and six months for a fourth or subsequent conviction, which would […]

Committee shelves bill to speed up tax cuts

The Associated Press SANTA FE — A proposal to speed up the phase-in of personal income tax cuts was derailed Thursday by a House committee on a party-line vote. The measure by Rep. Justine Fox-Young, R-Albuquerque, would lower the top marginal tax rate to 4.9 percent this year rather than waiting until 2008 under the […]

Effort under way to open conference committes to public

The Associated Press SANTA FE — An effort is under way to open up what goes on behind closed doors in legislative conference committees. “Other public bodies have done this, and they’re still able to get things done,” said Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, sponsor of a measure to make conference committees meetings public. Conference committees, […]