State legislators met over the weekend for a special legislative session in Santa Fe, called by Governor Susana Martinez to address budgetary concerns. However, talk on the House floor turned to crime legislation after the Senate passed eight budget-related bills and adjourned. A House Judiciary Committee voted 12-1 to pass a a bill to expand on an existing child abuse law, and voted 8-4 to update the “three strikes” law—which requires mandatory life sentencing for offenders convicted of three violent felonies—to include 16 additional offenses within its scope. Also passed was a bill reversing the death penalty ban that has been in place since 2009. It went through on a 7-6 vote. State Democrats have voiced a distaste for the inclusion of crime legislation during a session supposedly convened with the state's overwhelming budgetary concerns in mind. By staying in special session for three days and amending part of the Senate's proposed “solvency package,” the House has ensured that the Senate must reconvene on Thursday to respond to the amendments. Each day of the special session has costed an estimated $50,000.
Two Balloons Crash On Second Day of Fiesta
Two different balloons crashed into power lines on the second day of the International Balloon Fiesta. On Sunday morning, the "Outlander" balloon, recognizable by its large alien graphic, struck power lines near Paseo del Norte and Jefferson, causing a small explosion at the point of impact and knocking out power for nearly 1,200 PNM customers. The outage was immediate, which kept damage to a minimum and only burned a hole in the balloon. Authorities say no one was injured. Meanwhile, on Montaño and Renaissance, another balloon became caught in power lines. Although the second crash seems to have done less damage, one of the passengers was injured while leaving the gondola.
Clinton Leads Race in N.M.
According to a poll conducted by the Albuquerque Journal, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is leading the race among likely New Mexico voters with 35%. Republican candidate Donald Trump follows with 31%. Former N.M. governor and current Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is showing strong support, polling at 24%, a reasonably high portion for a third-party candidate, as evidenced by the Green Party's Jill Stein, polling at 2%. According to the poll, 63% of New Mexicans believe the country is moving in the wrong direction. Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling Inc., told the Journal that Johnson is hurting Clinton more than Trump by appealing to the historically Democratic Hispanic vote. The poll was conducted between Sept. 27-29, quickly following the first presidential debate.