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House Highlights Friday, February 15, 2013

On the Floor
House Joint Memorial 19, sponsored by Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo-18), went to the House floor for a final vote today. HJM 19, the “J. Paul Taylor Early Childhood Task Force,” honors former Rep. J. Paul Taylor of District 33. The memorial creates a task force to improve collaboration among early childhood development stakeholders, aiming to prevent child abuse and help invisible, unserved, and underserved at-risk infants and children. The joint memorial passed by a vote of 37-23.
House Joint Memorial 24 as amended by the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee (HAGC), sponsored by Rep. Carl Trujillo (D-Santa Fe-46), passed the House today by a vote of 61-0. HJM 24, as amended, requests that New Mexico’s congressional delegation request that the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture establish a work group to evaluate risk from wildfire and flood damage and develop best practices to reduce these risks. The amendment by HAGC narrows the scope of the work group to focus on a smaller area.
House Joint Memorial 27, sponsored by Speaker of the House W. Ken Martinez, passed the House today by a vote of 62-0. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Mary Kay Papen, is carrying the same bill in the Senate (SJM 21). These identical bills form a jobs council to develop a plan to create jobs in new and emerging fields in New Mexico. This council would report to an interim committee of the legislature by November 1, 2013. HJM 27 will now be introduced to the Senate. Its Senate counterpart is currently in the Senate Rules Committee.
In Committee
House Bill 54, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo-19), passed the House Education Committee this morning. HB 54 adds specific language to the statute on school bullying to address the growing problem of cyber bullying. HB 54 will now be heard in the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 193, sponsored by Rep. Jim Trujillo (D-Santa Fe-45), passed the House Education Committee this morning. HB 193 makes an appropriation to fund early childhood education, designed to attract and retain high-quality early childhood educators. HB 193 will now be heard in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
House Bill 247, sponsored by Rep. George Dodge, Jr. (D-Curry, DeBaca, Guadalupe, Roosevelt & San Miguel-63), passed the House Education Committee this morning. HB 247 creates the Military War Veteran Scholarship Fund to support our military veterans who wish to return to school. HB 247 will now be heard in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
House Joint Memorial 29, sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo-21), passed the House Education Committee this morning. HJM 29 requests that the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) convene a work group to study the New Mexico A-F school grading system. HJM 29 will now go to the floor for final passage.
House Joint Resolution 7, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Sandoval, Rio Arriba & Santa Fe-43), passed the House Education Committee this morning. The joint resolution suggests an amendment to the state constitution to specify maximum class sizes in New Mexico public schools. If passed by the whole legislature, HJR 7 would go on the ballot for referendum. The joint resolution now goes to the House Appropriations & Finance Committee for examination of its fiscal impact.
The House Judiciary Committee Substitute for House Bill 146, sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, passed HJC on Wednesday. HB 146 in its original form implemented a “stop sale” system to limit ephedrine and pseudoephedrine sales to attempt to curb the manufacture and use of methamphetamine. The HJC substitute changes the language to make an exception for stores without the technological capabilities to implement such a “stop sale” system (i.e. without internet.) HJC substitute for HB 146 will now go to the floor for a final vote.
House Bill 325, sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Bernalillo-26), passed the House Labor and Human Resources Committee Thursday afternoon. HB 325 would modify existing unemployment statute to allow employers to reduce work hours in lieu of layoffs and allowing these employees to collect unemployment in proportion to the reduction in their work hours. HB 325 will now be heard in the House Judiciary Committee.

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