February 18, 2016

House panel kills bill to shore up lottery fundLas Cruces Sun News

The House Ways and Means Committee has killed a bill that would have required the New Mexico Lottery to provide $41 million a year to a stagnant fund for college scholarships. The committee voted 8-5 against Senate Bill 180 on Wednesday, with two Democratic lawmakers joining Republicans in voting against the bill and one Republican crossing party lines to vote for it. Their action effectively leaves the struggling scholarship program without any means to shore it up until next year's legislative session. - - 2/18/16

Bill to let 17-year-olds vote in primaries OKedLas Cruces Sun News

Certain 17-year-olds would be able to vote in primary elections under HB 138 now on its way to Gov. Susana Martinez. The measure would allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary if they will turn 18 before the general election. Senators voted for the measure 24-16. House members approved it 10 days ago in a 41-26 vote. - - 2/18/16

Legislature roundup Feb. 17Las Cruces Sun News

Industrial batteries:

The full Legislature has approved SB 76 that adds lead-acid batteries to the scrap metals that are tracked under a state law aimed at catching thieves. "Industrial batteries on bulldozers and other large equipment can weigh 100 pounds and bring in a quick $100 for drug addicts who steal them and sell them to battery shops and recycling centers," said Sen. Steve Neville, R-Aztec, the bill sponsor. - - 2/18/16

Share the road:

The Senate approved Senate Bill 270 Wednesday allowing all-terrain vehicles and off-highway vehicles to drive on paved roads at speeds up to 55 mph unless prohibited by local authorities. The bill, approved in a vote of 34-7, was sent to the House of Representatives with less than a day left in the legislative session. - - 2/18/16

More School:

Senate Bill 81, introduced by Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Sandia Park, won support from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers who said the extra classroom time should pay off in higher academic achievement levels for students. Schools would have to apply quickly for the program and would be notified by April 15. The bill next goes to the House of Representatives. - - 2/18/16

Brain Injury:

The Senate unanimously approved a SB 180 to amend the state law on care of youth league and high school athletes who receive brain injuries. Players would be required to sit out at least 10 days after being diagnosed with a concussion. Current law requires seven days. - - 2/18/16