March 6, 2017

New Mexico lawmakers push for rural broadband expansionLas Cruces Sun News

Legislation designed to expand broadband internet access to the farthest reaches of New Mexico was sent to the governor for consideration on Friday. The state Senate approved a trio of bills including SB 308 designed to accelerate expansion of broadband infrastructure. One bill sent to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez would ensure an opportunity to insert broadband conduit underground any time trenches are dug to access utility lines. -- 3/6/2017


Democrats push assisted suicide proposal in New MexicoLas Cruces Sun News

Democrats are pushing a proposal that would allow terminally ill patients in New Mexico to end their lives with help from doctors regarding SB 252. The measure — opposed the Catholic Church and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez — would prevent New Mexico doctors from facing prosecution in such cases. In June, the New Mexico Supreme Court refused to overturn the state's existing assisted suicide law, meaning that aiding such deaths remains a fourth-degree felony. -- 3/6/2017


Senate approves New Mexico bill on guns, domestic violenceLas Cruces Sun News

The New Mexico Senate has approved Senate Bill 259 to require people involved in domestic violence situations to surrender their guns and prohibit them from buying guns while a protective order is in effect. The Senate's 25-15 vote Saturday sends the bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces to the House for consideration. -- 3/6/2017


New Mexico House OKs minimum wage hike to $9.25Las Cruces Sun News

The New Mexico House of Representatives has endorsed a proposal to increase the statewide minimum wage to $9.25 an hour from $7.50. The House endorsed the increase on Friday, days after the Senate voted for SB 36 to raise the base wage to $9. The Legislature has until the end of the session on March 18 to come up with a compromise. -- 3/6/2017


Realtors closely watching legislative activitiesLas Cruces Sun News

The Realtors Association of New Mexico has its collective eye focused on upwards of 140 bills that are winding their way through the current legislative session in Santa Fe.

Among the bills on the association’s radar is SB387, which would increase the number of years of experience required to become a Qualifying Broker from two to four and imposes additional education requirements on applicants.

 SB244 and HB374, which amend disclosure requirements, provide alternative dispute resolution methods, and cap fees that HOAs may charge for issuing financial disclosure documents to prospective purchasers.

SB343 Provisions include reducing the corporate income tax, increasing tax credits for working families, reinstating gross receipts taxes on food and healthcare practitioner services, and instituting a transfer tax on the sale of real property.

Senate Bill 125 would exempt auctioneers who auction real property from working under the control of a licensed real estate broker, eliminating the need for auctioneers to be licensed brokers.

House Bill 199 and Senate Bill 210 provide for additional disclosures to property owners who purchase or finance solar panels.

HB146, will makes it a crime to exploit vulnerable adults by misappropriating, misusing, transferring or selling their property.

HB205 alters building code rules to allow occupancy of vacant commercial buildings by small businesses, reduces compliance costs, encourages rural economic development, and prohibits municipalities from enacting contrary ordinances.

HB362, would require the licensing of home inspectors. New Mexico is one of only 11 states that do not license home inspectors, according to the National Association of Home Inspectors. -- 3/6/2017


Abortion restriction bills fall in committeeLas Cruces Sun News

Two bills that would have placed additional restrictions or qualifications on abortions were both killed Sunday in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, according to a press release from House Democrats. House Bill 220 would have prohibited abortions following the 20th week of pregnancy. House Bill 221 would have required a parent or legal guardian to be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a minor age 17 or younger. An exception would have been granted in cases of rape or incest, or if notification would have endangered the life or health of the mother. -- 3/6/2017


Latest try to bring back death penalty stallsLas Cruces Sun News

The latest effort to revive the death penalty in New Mexico (HB 7) was tabled Sunday in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on a 3-2 vote. The New Mexico Legislature abolished the death penalty in 2009. -- 3/6/2017