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THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

1. TRAGEDIES IN EL PASO AND DAYTON, OHIO -- REACTION FROM RPNM AND STATE GOVERNMENT

Chairman Steve Pearce on behalf of the Republican Party of New Mexico released the following statement regarding the tragic mass shootings that took the lives of innocent people in our neighboring city of El Paso and in Dayton, OH.

The tragic and atrocious acts of domestic terrorism that took place this weekend bring enormous sadness to us all. It is not normal for someone to want to kill another human. It is not normal to have no regard for human life. However, unenforceable gun bans and background checks for private sales is not the answer. Mental illness is rampant in this country and continues to rise with the lack of accessibly and resources available to those who struggle with the disease. Gun-free zones won’t stop the mentally deranged from obtaining and using guns to carry out cold-blooded murder. Millions of law abiding citizens responsibly use guns daily to protect themselves. There has to be a solution but restricting the right to bear arms is not the answer.

Yesterday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called for a "summit" on domestic terrorism in Santa Fe later this month.

From the Albuquerque Journal:

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a first-term Democrat, said Monday that she will invite top state law enforcement officials and legislative leaders from both political parties to take part in a summit on domestic terrorism in Santa Fe this month.

The summit, which will include a closed-door briefing from FBI officials, could lead to new state policies, and gun-related legislation may be drafted in advance of next year’s 30-day session, a Lujan Grisham spokesman said....

A coalition of New Mexico sheriffs – who turned out in force earlier this year to oppose background checks and other gun legislation – is now working with state Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, on the possibility of compromise “red flag” legislation.

Legislation sponsored by Ely that would have allowed courts to order the temporary taking of guns from someone deemed an immediate threat passed the House of Representatives during this year’s 60-day session. But the proposal – sometimes referred to as a red flag law – failed to make it through the Senate before the session ended....

However, opponents of this year’s New Mexico bill say it failed to include adequate legal safeguards to protect the rights of gun owners.

Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, chairman of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association, said Monday that his group is talking to Ely about the possibility of finding common ground.

*****
While the need for civil dialogue on this issue is clear, what is not acceptable is for Democrats to be raising money off of these tragedies. In the past few days, Democrats have issued appeals for political cash that specifically mention the tragic shootings in the past week.

Chairman Pearce had this to say:

“The Democrats have continued to sow division and are now exploiting the memory of innocent victims by featuring them in political fundraising. The shooters are sick, deranged, mentally ill and there’s no excuse for what they’ve done. I call on Democrat leaders to immediately cease raising money off of this tragedy and donate what has been raised to a non-profit organization in El Paso to help the survivors and the families of the deceased.”

 

President Trump, who addressed the nation on Monday morning and condemned domestic terrorism as well as white nationalism, is expected to visit El Paso later this week.

2. RANKED CHOICE VOTING NOW ON HOLD IN ALBUQUERQUE

Last week we told you about some not very well publicized public hearings hosted by the Secretary of State's office regarding the issue of "ranked choice voting." At the hearing in Albuquerque, witnesses said there were only a couple dozen attendees.

On Monday night, the Albuquerque City Council decided to take the issue off the table for this year.

From the NM Political Report:

The Albuquerque City Council voted 8-1 late Monday night to withdraw a proposition that would have asked voters to decide whether the city would use ranked choice voting for municipal elections. Even if the council had sent the issue to voters, the city’s elections would not see a change until 2021.

After hearing from a few supporters of ranked choice voting, who expressed concern about educating voters ahead of November’s election, Councilor Don Harris, who sponsored the proposition, announced he was taking it off the table.

“I’ll probably just withdraw this,” Harris said just before the council was set to vote on the proposition.

Common Cause New Mexico Executive Director Heather Ferguson told the council her organization is usually emphatically behind voter initiatives, but that there are too many misunderstandings about ranked choice voting and the proposed language for the ballot was too vague.

“Our main concern is we want an informed electorate,” Ferguson told the council.

3. JUDGE: STATE MUST GIVE MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO OUT-OF-STATE RESIDENTS

Because of a single word in legislation passed in Santa Fe earlier this year, the state must now give access to medical marijuana cards to out-of-state residents. Clearly not what was intended. The intent was only to give reciprocal approval to residents from states that have also legalized medical marijuana.

From the New Mexico Political Report:

A state district court judge on Monday ordered the state’s Medical Cannabis Program to start issuing medical cannabis cards to individuals who qualify, regardless of where they live.

The question of whether non-residents of New Mexico could become medical cannabis patients started when major changes to the state’s medical cannabis law went into effect. One minor word replacement drastically changed who could become a patient, argued Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of medical cannabis producer Ultra Health. Before July 2019, the law stated that qualified patients must be a resident of New Mexico. Now, the law defines a qualified patient as a “person.” ...

In his ruling Monday morning, Santa Fe district Judge Bryan Biedscheid wrote that the law is clear.

  1. “The plain language of the current definition of qualified patient indicates that the qualified patient need not be a New Mexico resident,” Biedscheid wrote.

-Republican Party of New Mexico

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20191110