Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
Silver City Ranger District fire personnel will begin burning woody debris piles in two locations during the winter months as weather allows. The debris piles are located at the Ft. Bayard Administrative Site. The piles are the product of safety measures taken at the Administrative Site. Light smoke columns will likely be visible from these piles for all of the Silver City, Arenas Valley and Bayard Valley basin, but dense night time smoke settle is not expected.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized 111 pounds of marijuana early Friday, Feb. 3. The estimated street value of the seized contraband is $88,800. On Saturday, officers from the same port of entry seized 8.5 pounds of cocaine hidden beneath the rear seat in a 2004 Ford Lobo.
In legislative action, a bill to legalize, tax and safely regulate marijuana passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on Saturday. House Bill 89, if passed, would open New Mexico to the $35 billion marijuana industry and create a major new stream of revenue for the state’s ailing economy.
House Bill 192 aimed at incentivizing the growth of New Mexico’s film industry passed through the House Business and Industry Committee. The bill increases the film tax credit from $50 million to $53.8 million for the next fiscal year and beyond.
A bill requiring background checks on all firearm sales passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee Saturday by a vote of 3 to 1. House Bill 50 would close a loophole that allows guns to be sold online or at gun shows or even in parking lots without criminal background checks. It has exceptions written in to allow family members to transfer guns to their relatives and for the loaning of guns for hunting, shooting ranges or self-defense.
A New Mexico lawmaker has an idea to curb drinking and driving that is sure to have people talking. She wants to give convicted drunk drivers special licenses that keep them from buying alcohol, some of them for life. The bill would take away the ability to purchase alcohol after a second DWI conviction for one year. After the third conviction, the person forfeits the right to buy or drink alcohol for life.
Legislators today heard from a group of cancer patients and high schoolers trying to bring attention to two major items. The first is to ask for a $1.50 tax increase on tobacco sales and electronic tobacco products to hopefully reduce youth smoking rates. The second is a push to pass House Bill 212, which would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices, and would make it against the law for those establishments to allow children to use a tanning bed.
A lawmaker is pushing to make hazing a crime. The House Bill describes hazing as initiation into a group that “recklessly or intentionally endangers the health of a student,” including examples like “yelling, humiliating, harassing, belittling, cursing, sleep deprivation and forced calisthenics.” Punishment could call for a $1,000 fine or less than a year in jail.