Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
Three Mustang Football players were named to the USA College Football All-American list on Friday. Senior Larry Young II and Junior Zachary Andrews-Worline received second-team honors, and Senior Mitch Glassman earned an honorable mention.
Luna County staff recently finished a 50-week Risk Awareness Program designed to help protect county employees and citizens on courthouse property and to reduce the frequency and severity of claims. The county was given two awards for achieving a positive claim trend and for five years of successfully completing the Risk Awareness Program.
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, discussed the decision to open all ground combat units to women with U.S. Department of Defense officials during a committee hearing today. The hearing comes after the Department of Defense announced the decision to lift restrictions on combat positions for women.
In legislative action: bipartisan legislation to significantly reduce an employee’s workers’ compensation benefit when the employee’s death or injury resulted from being drunk or high on the job passed the House by a 55-6 vote. Currently, individuals are eligible for 90 percent of their compensation if drugs or alcohol are a contributing factor to the disabling incident. This legislation would allow for that amount to be reduced from anywhere between 90 to 10 percent, depending on the degree to which the worker’s impairment contributed to the injury.
The House of Representatives passed Bipartisan legislation today to protect victims of sexual abuse and assault from their abusers. House Bill 27, also known as “Rachael’s Law,” would create a new section in the Family Violence Protection Act to courts to grant permanent restraining orders to victims of rape and sexual assault. It would allow judges to base their decision to grant the order on the evidence and facts used to convict the offender, sparing victims the ordeal of having to face their abusers in court. The bill would also allow another person to appear on behalf of the victim.
Legislation to protect children from sexual predators who use their position of authority to prey on their victims passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 63-0. The bill would remove the current requirement that an injury result an incident of abuse in order for an adult to be charged with criminal sexual contact of a minor. It would also align the victim age ranges defined in the criminal sexual penetration and criminal sexual contact statutes. The legislation clarifies that all offenders who commit criminal sexual contact or criminal sexual penetration will be held accountable for their actions by eliminating the defined list of offenders from the statute. If passed, prosecutors also would no longer need to prove that an individual expressly stated or leveraged their authority over to the victim in order to be convicted of criminal sexual contact with a child.
Legislation to ensure all New Mexico students make it to class passed the House Education Committee by a vote of 7-5. The bill, HB 240, is sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Hall It would establish programs to prevent truancy, and it would also allow driver’s licenses of habitually truant students to be suspended. he bill would require school districts and charter schools to implement an early warning system that would identify students who are either habitually truant or at risk of dropping out. The early warning system would notify parents when their student has three or more absences. The proposal would also require the student and parents to meet with a truancy prevention team to develop an attendance plan when the student has five or more absences.
Kay Papen will be presenting Senate Bill 191: Opioid Abuse Prevention and Assisted Treatment, which addresses this critical issue. SB 191 will be presented to the Senate Public Affairs Committee urging the Committee to pass legislation requiring the Dept. of Health to post opioid overdose prevention information on its website, requiring certain health insurers to provide coverage for abuse-deterrent opioids, and requiring the Secretary of Corrections to consider using medication-assisted treatment for persons under the supervision of the Corrections Department.