Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
BeWellnm, New Mexico’s Health Insurance Exchange, is warning the public to be aware of fraud scams that request personal information from people searching for health insurance plans online. Scam artists use phone calls, website forms, and other methods to obtain personal information and request payment through pre-paid debit cards. In the most recent scam, individuals seeking to enroll into a health plan have provided their name and telephone number through a fake website www.bewell-nm.org. Soon after submitting their phone number, individuals are contacted via phone and asked personal information including social security numbers, full names and more. Scammers then request for the individual to provide payment for a health insurance plan in the form of a pre-paid debit card.
In legislative action: Legislation sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines allowing judges to impose stricter penalties on DWI felons passed the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee today by a vote of 5-2. The bill, HB 82, would expand New Mexico’s Habitual Offender law to include DWI felonies. A DWI offense can be deemed a felony after the fourth conviction. Currently, individuals convicted of a DWI felony are exempted from the stricter penalties provided for in the Habitual Offender law. The legislation sponsored by Dines would make repeat drunk drivers eligible for sentencing under the Habitual Offender law.
Yesterday, legislation to help address New Mexico’s DWI problem passed the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee by a 4-3 vote. House Bill 81, sponsored by Rep. Paul Pacheco, will toughen the punishment for DWI offenders who continue to get in the driver’s seat after their licenses have been suspended or revoked. A recent study ranked New Mexico 33rd in the country when it comes to the strictness of its DWI laws, highlighting the need to enhance the state’s DWI penalties.
Today, Rep. Nate Gentry introduced the Gender Pay Equity Act, legislation to provide a tax credit to business owners who can demonstrate 100 percent gender pay equity. The bill, HB 282, was co-signed by Speaker Don Tripp as well as Reps. Alonzo Baldonado, Sharon Chahchischillage, Kelly Fajardo, Sarah Maestas Barnes, Terry McMillan, Andy Nuñez, Paul Pacheco, and John Zimmerman. It is also supported by Sen. Mimi Stewart.
A proposal working its way through the New Mexico legislature would prevent cities and counties from enforcing their own labor laws on private employers.
A bill to provide stronger oversight of the Children, Youth and Families Department while it ensures kids in foster care receive better representation has passed its first Senate committee this session.