February 12, 2016

Legislature roundup Feb. 11Las Cruces Sun News

Gun bill: In a surprise move Thursday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would close loopholes in New Mexico law by requiring the state's courts to report relevant mental health records to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, originally introduced this proposal in House Bill 91. However that bill never received a message from Gov. Susana Martinez to allow it to be heard during the 30-day budget session. - - 2/12/16

Curfew proposal: The Senate Public Affairs Committee voted 5-4 Thursday night for House Bill 29 that would allow cities and counties to impose curfews on minors between midnight and 5 a.m. The measure has already cleared the House of Representatives. - - 2/12/16

No to fingerprints: Numerous groups, including the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, said Thursday they oppose HB 99 requiring fingerprinting of undocumented immigrants who receive state driver's licenses or driver's authorization cards. - - 2/12/16

Tracking campaign cash: The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would make it easier for the public to track the millions of dollars spent on campaigns during state elections. HB 105, sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith, R-Sandia Park, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, appropriates $985,000 to the Secretary of State's Office to pay for upgrades, maintenance and operations for the electronic reporting system. - - 2/12/16

Forfeiting pensions: A House committee on Thursday recommended the Public Pension Forfeiture Act that would strip state officials of their pension benefits if they are convicted of a felony while in office. The House Safety and Civil Affairs voted to give a do-pass recommendation to House bill 278, sponsored by Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso. - - 2/12/16

Bail compromise? The bail bond industry and key legislators pushing proposed constitutional amendments to reform the state's bail system apparently have agreed to a compromise. On Wednesday the sponsors of the competing measures agreed to work on a compromise using Wirth's Senate Joint Resolution 1 — which already has passed the Senate and one House committee — as the vehicle. Wirth's amendment would allow judges to hold some violent criminals in jail without bail before trial and would allow some nonviolent indigent defendants to be released. The other proposal, HJR 13, sponsored by Rep. David Adkins, R-Albuquerque, does not contain the provision about indigent defendants. - - 2/12/16