The third week of the legislative session is coming to an end this afternoon.
So far, some of the big bills have made process through the legislature -- and others have been tabled and will have to wait until next year.
The biggest mover is the Spaceport informed consent bill that has already cleared the Senate and will likely be fast-tracked through the House as well.
Tax bills have been slow going -- but expect them to start to come up in the coming weeks. As always, the budget is the biggest piece of the legislative session -- and with the Republicans introducing a massive paradigm shift to the tax system, the tax discussion will get a kick start.
On to the Word:
- The Santa Fe New Mexican has their legislative roundup online.
- Two people involved in a scandal involving misappropriation of funds from the Help America Vote Act were convicted "of multiple charges of conspiracy and theft of government property."
The Santa Fe New Mexican:
Gonzales said the two obtained federal money for work they didn’t perform and services they didn’t provide by submitting false invoices. He said Gutierrez and Kupfer also tried to obstruct an audit by the Election Assistance Commission and to conceal the funds that they had stolen.
- A writer at Slate says that Cathrynn Brown's controversial bill that would have criminalized rape victims was just designed to make it harder for rape victims to get abortions.
New Mexico has a sexual assault problem, with rape rates rising recently (one in four women in the state reports having been raped). It's in this context that Rep. Brown thought it would be a grand idea to make it harder for abortion providers to help rape victims, even though New Mexico has one of the few in the country that can help victims late in their pregnancies. It's possible that Rep. Brown is unaware that New Mexico has a clinic that serves rape victims who often have to travel far to get help. It's also possible that she knows.
- A bill in the state Senate would bar employers from asking for social media passwords.
- New Mexico Capitol Report reports on a voter fraud bill that had a weird procedural mistake that means the bill is not dead yet. But the sponsor says she is giving up anyway.
- KUNM reports on a rally on immigrants rights.
- New Mexico Capitol Report covers the film credit proposal of Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque.
- New Mexico Compass has its latest piece on the legislative session.
- A member of the ENMU Gay Straight Alliance doesn't like Pat Woods' view on gay marriage.
- U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she will vote early in the APS school board election.
- The Las Cruces Sun-News opened its new offices.
The ribbon-cutting event took place slightly more than two years after a fire that damaged the former structure — an old grocery store built in the '50s — and gutted an adjacent building. Many attendees commented that the modern structure was a marked improvement over its predecessor.
Addressing a crowd outside the entrance, [Gov. Susana] Martinez said it's "truly vibrant and reflective of the hard work and the enthusiasm that will take place under this roof.
- Sweeps! KOB says that some Albuquerque booting operations may be illegal.
- Sunland Park's mayoral saga has another turn -- a judge rejected a former mayoral candidate's appeal to overturn mayoral election results.
State District Judge Mannie Arrieta didn't find enough evidence of vote irregularities or fraud to overturn the outcome of the city's March 2012 mayor's race.
"He wanted us to prove 89 votes" were invalid, Hernandez said. "And it's almost impossible to do. We don't have the kind of resources we need to prove those facts."
- Department of Education secretary-designate Hanna Skandera approved a virtual school that was proposed by Paul Gessing of the Rio Grande Foundation. One wonders if Gessing will start adding disclaimers to his posts on Errors of Enchantment related to advocating virtual schools.
- Gary Johnson isn't disappearing from the political scene, he tells Capitol Report New Mexico.
- A San Miguel County resident is suing the San Miguel County Clerk, the Las Vegas Optic reports.
Lee Einer submitted a proposed petition to the County Clerk’s Office on Sept. 26 and asked her to sign off on the wording so that he could begin circulating it. The home rule petition seeks to force the county to appoint a charter commission to prepare a new charter for the county. Specifically, the petition requests a charter that recognizes a community bill of rights within San Miguel County, that bans the extraction of oil and gas within the county and that elevates the Bill of Rights above rights claimed by corporations operating in the county.
- A "sovereign citizen" says her conviction of a drive-by shooting is invalid because the state of New Mexico is a fictional entity.
Adopting the language and legal beliefs of the Sovereign Citizens’ movement, Lujan, and another woman, Marcie Martinez, have argued that the state of New Mexico is a fictional entity that cannot claim to be an injured party, as it does in all criminal cases brought against “living, breathing human beings.”
“What we’ve forgotten is that mankind created government,” explained Martinez, a weapons engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “If we’re the ones who create government, how can we be under their jurisdiction?”
- Los Alamos County is going to delay some capital improvement projects instead of "essential services."
- Deming High School has a thriving journalism class. Good luck, future journalists.
- Albuquerque jeweler Gertrude Zachary passed away.