On the Floor
House Education Committee Substitute For House Bill 27 (“Expand Lottery Scholarship Eligibility”), sponsored Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, passed the House with a vote of 49-13. The legislation will extend the Legislative Lottery Scholarship eligibility to students who are accepted to attend a two-year state educational institution within two years of completion of a high school curriculum at a public or accredited private NM high school, receiving a high school equivalency diploma, beginning service in the US armed forces, or honorable service or medical discharge from the service.
House Judiciary Committee Substitute For House Bills 38 & 508 (“Remove Rights For Certain Rape Convictions”) passed the House with a 68-0 vote. House Bill 38 sponsored by Alonzo Baldonado (R-Valencia-8) as combined with HB 508 “Termination of Parental Rights for Rape,” sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Bernalillo-26), was sent by the House Judiciary Committee to the House Floor. Together, they create a new section of the Domestic Relations Act which recognizes the right of the victim (mother) to elect the type of relief that best serves her needs and the needs of her child, while acknowledging the due process rights of the putative father. If the court finds that a child was conceived as a result of criminal sexual penetration, at the request of the victim, the court shall either terminate or permanently suspend legal and physical custody and visitation rights of her assailant. The bill requires that the court consider the relationship between the biological parents, the circumstances of the child’s conception, and whether the relief sought is necessary for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the victim.
House Business and Industry Committee Substitute For House Bill 87 (“Alcohol Sales & Interlock Devices”), sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe-47) passed the House with a vote of 59-5. The HBIC Committee Substitute for HB 87 would ban alcohol sales to individuals whose drivers’ licenses have been revoked due to a violation of the Implied Consent Act or of DWI laws. The legislation also amends state statute to ban individuals in possession of an ignition interlock license from purchasing alcohol. The term “no alcohol purchases” would be added to ignition interlock licenses to show alcohol retailers that the individual is prohibited from purchasing alcohol.
House Education Committee Substitute For House Bill 158, (“School Performance-Based Budgeting”), sponsored by Rep. Patricia Lundstrom (D-McKinley & San Juan-9) and Sen. John Sapien (D-Sandoval-9) passed the House a vote of 43-20. The HEC Substitute for HB 158 amends the Public School Finance Act, requiring performance-based budgets for school districts and charter schools.
House Bill 180, as amended (“Military & Spouses Professional Licensure”), sponsored by Rep. Rudy Martinez (D-Dona Ana, Grant & Sierra-39) passed the House today by a vote of 65-0. HB 180 makes it easier for service members to apply for a professional or occupational license when transferring from one jurisdiction to another.
House Bill 260, as amended, (“Oriental Medicine Doctor Imaging Licensure”), sponsored by Rep. Emily Kane (D-Bernalillo-15) passed the House with a vote of 64-0. HB 260 amends the Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Health and Safety Act to exempt doctors of oriental medicine who have an expanded practice license from having a medical imaging license to use ultrasounds for specific diagnostic procedures, i.e., diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound or musculoskeletal ultrasound procedure guidance. Current law exempts chiropractors, osteopaths, doctors, dentists and podiatrists from having a medical imaging license.
House Bill 273 (“Public School Capital Outlay Lease Payment”), sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo-19) passed the House by a vote of 60-4. HB 273 amends §22-24-4 to empower the Public School Capital Outlay Council to adjust grants for lease payments for classroom facilities concurrently with changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
House Bill 401 (“State Investment in Tech Transfer Companies”), sponsored by Representative Carl A. Trujillo (D-Santa Fe-46), passed the House today by a vote of 41-26. HB 401 would add to the list of companies in which the state investment council is allowed to invest, adding to that list New Mexico based, technology-focused businesses.
House Bill 593 (“County Higher Ed Facility Property Tax”), sponsored by Rep. Nick Salazar (D-Colfax, Mora, Rio Arriba & San Miguel-40), was passed by the House today by a vote of 63-1. The bill establishes the County Higher Ed Facility Property Tax, which allows the board of county commissioners to suggest a property tax levy in order to improve four-year higher education institutions in the area. These property tax levies would go to referendum to be approved by the voters in the county.
*** UPDATE*** House Bill 567 (“Suspension of Local School Board Members”), sponsored by Rep. Lucky Varela (D-Santa Fe-48), failed to pass in the House Education Committee (HEC) today, but the HEC Committee Substitute for HB 567 passed by a vote of 8-4. HB 567 proposes to amend the Public School Code to give the Secretary of Public Education the power to suspend from authority a local school board member. HB 567 was amended during the Education Committee to include a strong 5 step due process procedure to protect School Board members: Step 1: School board President meets member in private to resolve the issue. Step 2: If not resolved entire school board meets in excutive meeting to resolve the issue. Step 3: Local School Board in open meeting can vote censure individual member. Step 4: Local School board President can file formal complaint with PED Sec. for review and to authorized interventions. Step 5: If all previous steps fail to resolve issue the local school board can file a complaint with the Public Education Commission for a hearing on possible removal. HB 567 is next scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 579 (“NM Wildlife Protections and Public Safety Act”), sponsored by Rep. Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales (D-Taos-42), cleared the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee (HENRC) by a vote of 6-5. House Bill 579 creates the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act. Broadly, the Act prohibits any attempt, successful or not, to trap or poison wildlife in New Mexico. HB 579 was amended in committee to limit these regulations only to public lands, defined as land that is not either private property or Indian land. HB 579 head to the House Judiciary Committee next.
House Memorial 71, (“National Lab Support & Funding”), sponsored Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe-43), passed out of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee today with a 11-0 vote. HM 71 requests that the New Mexico congressional delegation support continued or increased federal funding for New Mexico’s national laboratories and United States Department of Energy (DOE) facilities so they can continue their national missions and remain critical partners in the economic welfare of New Mexico. HM 71 now goes to the House floor for final passage.
House Bill 513 (“Certain School Tests As Competence”), sponsored Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo-21), was replaced by a House Education Committee substitute which passed out of HEC by a vote of 13-0. The committee substitute changes the requirements high school students must meet in order to receive a diploma of excellence. The committee substitute establishes standards for end-of-course exams which prove the students’ competence in various fields of study. These tests can be taken within five years of a high school student’s senior year, and if passed, the student may then receive their diploma. HB 513 now goes to the House floor for final passage.
House Bill 543, (“Public School Dual Language Teachers”), sponsored by Rep. Rick Miera (D-Bernalillo-11), passed out of the House Education Committee this morning. HB 543 makes an appropriation of $500,000 to support dual-language instruction in New Mexico schools. HB 543 now goes to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC) for further review.