Gun bill to be signed into law

A bill expanding background checks for private firearm purchases has passed both houses of the Legislature and now heads to the governor's desk to be signed into law. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that "no responsible gun owner in New Mexico has anything to fear, despite the misinformation critics have spread about this gun safety proposal and others."

Not so fast

A man who killed a family of three in El Rancho eight years ago will not get a new trial, despite a ruling two years ago that said he was entitled to one. The new trial was granted because a judge said the jury wasn't given sufficient instruction on how to tell if a crime is first-degree murder, but then the conviction was upheld this week by the New Mexico Supreme Court because the defense didn't file the request for a new trial within six months of conviction.

Ed news

Early childhood education, recognized as being in need of significant attention by the Legislature this session, likely won't be getting more money from the state's Permanent Fund through a bill that died in committee. Opponents say that the proposed one-percent bump in distribution (what the gov called a "poquito") would threaten the fund's long-term health. This is on the heels of Saturday's vote in the Senate, wherein the body approved the creation of a government department specifically for early ed. That bill now heads to the House. Oh, and the gov has appointed a public education secretary, but the hearing involved no drama or intrigue (unlike previous dealings in that department), so no one really said anything about it. Cool.

Whiteout

About 80 miles west of Denver, an avalanche closed I-70 in Colorado for a bit yesterday. Ho hum, right? Not so! The event was captured on video by a few motorists and, not gonna lie, that's gonna give us bad dreams.

So much for that idea

KUNM reports that while an effort to fund rural libraries has passed the Senate, that body took a huge swipe out of its funding as it went by, essentially gutting the bill. The original measure would have put $50 million into an endowment fund; that amount was reduced to $5 million.

Frosty reception

Last night the hi-lo country east of Las Vegas (Lil' Vegas to its friends) saw freezing fog, or hoarfrost. The photos were beautiful, but man it looked cold. We have been spared the most brutal temps of these last few days, and the rest of the week looks downright balmy.

Thanks for reading! The Word is wondering what you're reading right now. We just finished The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler last night, and definitely recommend it.