Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
At the Tuesday Silver City Town Council Meeting, Grant County Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott Terry asked the council to pass a resolution that supports the transfer of Fort Bayard to the Village of Santa Clara. Terry stated the area could be a tourist attraction if it was revitalized and maintained, and that under state management, the place has been allowed to fall into disrepair. What maintenance has been done has been accomplished by the Village of Santa Clara.
Penny Park will be closed the rest of this week so the town can install crumb rubber around the playground equipment. The crumb rubber is made from recycled tires and the project will be funded through a RAID Grant from the New Mexico Environment Department. The work should take about five days and is expected to be completed on Monday morning.
In legislative action, HB198, the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Opportunity Act, a bill that will bolster minority-owned small businesses by promoting opportunities passed unanimously through the House Tuesday.
Yesterday, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Bill 9, a bill that provides law enforcement with the appropriate tools and training to apply tourniquets – a proven life saving measure.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal to establish a “rainy day” fund for surplus oil and gas revenue. House Bill 191 would create an oil and gas stabilization reserve intended to save excess oil and gas revenues during boom years to cover revenue shortfalls during industry downturns.
The House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to strengthen consequences for felons in possession of a firearm or other destructive device. House Bill 52 would make the crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm a third degree felony instead of the fourth degree felony it is now. The penalty enhancement would only apply to felons who have been convicted of committing extremely violent crimes.
the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved House Bill 228, known as the “Right to Try Act.” The bill sets eligibility requirements for terminally ill patients to petition for approval to receive experimental treatments not yet fully approved by the FDA, including a doctor’s recommendation and informed consent.
A bill to improve New Mexico’s lottery scholarship program was unanimously passed by the House Business and Industry Committee yesterday. House Bill 250 would amend the New Mexico Lottery Act to require that all unclaimed lottery prizes be directed to the lottery tuition fund used to pay for student scholarships. The bill would also tie bonuses for lottery employees and contractors to the size of the tuition fund rather than gross revenues and other non-scholarship related items. Finally, the bill would prohibit the lottery from offering any type of video-style lottery games.
Tuesday, on a party-line vote, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee killed a bill to increase penalties on repeat drunk drivers who commit great bodily harm by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Specifically, House Bill 337 would increase penalties and implement a tiered sentencing schedule for individuals with four to seven DUI convictions.
The House of Representatives passed House Bill 73, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines (R-Bernalillo) to strengthen “cooling off” standards for public officials in New Mexico. HB 73 will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.