Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The Grant County Community Health Council recently welcomed Cari Lemon as its new coordinator. Lemon will supervise community efforts to enact the Grant County Health and Wellness Plan, a strategic model to better the quality of life for local residents. Lemon previously worked at Western New Mexico University as Director of Alumni Affairs, and has been involved with the Virus Theater Company.
The Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority advised the Silver City Police Department on Wednesday of a call reporting a student at Silver High School had threatened to “shoot up the school.” The threat was taken seriously, but investigators determined there was no viable threat of harm. He also stated there was no list of names or a firearm associated with the possible threat found during the course of the investigation.
In legislative action: A bipartisan bill that would authorize local governments to impose curfews on minors under the age of 16 from midnight to 5 a.m. passed the House Judiciary Committee by a 9-4 vote. This bill would allow officers to detain minors, and it would provide guidelines on how law enforcement should handle children who are caught violating a curfew. This legislation would prohibit children from being placed in secure settings for violating a curfew. The bill will also provide a variety of exemptions for children who have reason to be out during the regulated times, such as participating in a school function, attending an event with their parent or guardian, or attending a civic or religious function. This legislation excludes emancipated youth from its provisions.
Legislation would ensure that judges have a complete view of a violent criminal’s prior record passed the House Judiciary Committee today by a 12-0 vote. The bill would change the Criminal Procedure Act to allow judges to review an adult defendant’s prior record as a youth offender. The bill would not apply to juvenile offenses committed prior to the age of 14 or to juvenile delinquent offenses. It is targeted specifically at older juveniles found guilty of committing serious violent youth offenses such as second degree murder, aggravated battery and rape.
Today, a bipartisan compromise bill that will stop giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and bring New Mexico into compliance with the REAL ID Act passed the House Floor by a 39-30 vote. The bill proposes a compromise by giving those here illegally a driving privilege card while ensuring New Mexicans are able to receive a secure, REAL ID compliant license. It is a true two-tier compromise. Under the proposal, two distinct forms of identification would be created: a secure license that is REAL ID compliant for citizens and residents with lawful immigration status, and a driving privilege card for illegal immigrants. The license would be valid for federal identification purposes and the driving privilege card would not. Driving privilege cards would only be issued to individuals who cannot prove lawful immigration status, and it would only be valid for one year. To qualify for a driving privilege card, illegal immigrants would have to prove that they have resided in New Mexico for at least two years before applying or provide evidence that they have filed personal income taxes with the State of New Mexico for the prior year. Applicants would be required to successfully complete a driver’s education course, pass a written and road test and submit fingerprints.
Motorist who drink and drive with a child in their vehicle can face additional charges to their DWI offense. The new charge- “ DWI with a minor.” SB 45, sponsored by Senator Lisa Torraco, would make it a new misdemeanor offense to be drunk and drive with a child in the vehicle.
Senator Bill Sharer is introducing a bill this session on late-term abortions that bans the practice of elective abortions after five months until the day of birth in New Mexico. The late-term abortion ban bill has bipartisan support in both the New Mexico Senate and House.