February 19, 2015

Bill would give less weight to tests in teacher evaluationsLas Cruces Sun News

Less weight would be given to standardized tests in New Mexico teacher evaluations under House Bill 144 that passed the House Education Committee. The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. James Smith of Sandia Park passed on an 8-3 vote Tuesday. It now goes to the full House for a vote. – 2/19/15


GOP proposes three-strike mandatory sentencing billLas Cruces Sun News

Offenders convicted of three violent crimes would face mandatory life sentences in prison under a new proposal in the New Mexico Legislature House Bill 453. The measure introduced by House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, joins a growing list of tough-on-crime legislation proposed by the new Republican majority in the House. Already, the caucus has pitched proposals to stiffen penalties or crack down on sexual exploitation of children, child abuse, food-stamp fraud, voyeurism, drunken driving, domestic violence and violent crime. -- 2/18/15


Bill would add WMD to state explosives lawLas Cruces Sun News

Under federal law, the use of a weapon of mass destruction — or threatening to use such a weapon — is punishable by up to life in prison or death. But several states, including Kansas, Idaho, Connecticut, New York and California, have their own WMD laws, and a similar measure is making its way through the New Mexico Senate. The Senate Public Affairs Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Senate Bill 180, which would make it a crime to use a biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear weapon in the state. -- 2/18/15


Bill calls for 1980 prison riot officers to be compensated– Las Cruces Sun News

It's been 35 years since one of the nation's deadliest prison riots erupted in New Mexico, and one lawmaker wants to compensate the guards who were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result. The legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. Eliseo Alcon of Milan is headed for its first committee this week. The House Bill 435, calls for setting aside $1.5 million for the state Corrections Department to compensate officers who were involved. -- 2/18/2015