Guns 'n' Wine (and Roses)
You want to bring a gun in to a restaurant that sells alcohol? The Senate's OK with that. A bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. George Munoz and backed by the National Rifle Association was passed by the Senate and is on its way to the House. Opposing lawmakers balked at allowing patrons to carry concealed weapons into family restaurants where liquor is served.
Title IX Takes Root in New Mexico
The federal civil rights law requiring equity for male and female student athletes is 37 years old. And old, stumbling-out-of-the-blocks New Mexico is doing its best to catch up. Democratic Rep. Danice Picraux's bill was given the unanimous thumbs-up by the House of Representatives. The measure requires school districts to distribute questionnaires to ensure compliance with Title IX and find out which sports the students are most interested in. Gooooooo, Land of Enchantment!
Laters, Daylight Savings
Senate Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia, a Democrat, introduced a bill to do away with daylight savings time, calling it a health hazard. She also points out that the hour change causes computer problems, as was the case this weekend when the state's unemployment office encountered problems with its website.
What’s in Your Wallet?
Republican Rep. Paul Bandy's bill calls for nonprofits to file funding disclosures with the Secretary of State's Office. This measure is probably a reaction to all the hubbub in the fall when legislators who lost their seats blamed nonprofits. Under the legislation if a tax-exempt organization runs ads about candidates, it would have to reveal a list of its donors. The bill has made it through the House Voters and Elections Committee.
Are We There Yet?
Not even close. An all-too-obvious ethics reform measure sponsored by Sen. Eric Griego died a frustrating death in the Senate last week. Griego's legislation would have prohibited ex-legislators from becoming lobbyists for a year after leaving office. Gov. "Suddenly Interested in Ethics" Richardson released a stern statement. He's "disappointed that the Senate rejected a common-sense ethics proposal that already applies to the executive branch," according to the news release.
Gallows Come Into View for the Death Penalty
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 in favor of a bill that would abolish the death penalty and replace it with a life sentence in prison. Next, the full Senate will vote on the measure before it heads to the governor for his signature. In the past, Richardson was notably in favor of capital punishment, though in 2009 he's said he's "softened" his position. The legislation's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Gail Chasey, said at the beginning of the session that she was confident the bill would pass the Senate.