A look at the innards your Legislature could turn into laws
Making Sausage: Commit A Felony, Lose Your Government Pension
Ethics bills are blowing through the Legislature like so many tumbleweeds this session, but it’s hard to say whether any will catch hold. Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort (R-Sandia Park) introduced a measure that would nix retirement benefits from state employees convicted of felonies that have something to do with their government jobs.
Making Sausage (Un)Public Records
Rep. Bill O’Neill (D-Albuquerque) is sponsoring a bill that would exempt building and security plans from being open to the public. Rep. Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos) introduced a measure that protects technical or business info about the spaceport from public view. Conversely, House bills 507, 534 and 598 request that e-mails and faxes be considered written public records requests.
Making Sausage This Dog Wears Chains Like Jewelry
Owners of pit bulls and rottweilers would be required to register their pets as dangerous under an act by Rep. John Heaton (D-Carlsbad). Opponents consider this measure breed discrimination, given that dog parents would have to register their animals as dangerous before any violent behaviors were exhibited.
Making Sausage There Are No Funny Death Penalty Headlines
Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Albuquerque) put forth a bill to replace capital punishment in New Mexico with a sentence of life without parole. Her measure made it out of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, Feb. 9. But the legislation to repeal the death penalty usually makes it past the House. Time will tell if it can withstand the real trial: the state Senate.
Making Sausage Beat Your Wife, Lose Your Badge
Remember that bill that would prevent spouse abusers from becoming police officers within three years of an abuse offense? Well Rep. Nate Cote’s (D-Las Cruces) legislation is moving right along. It would also revoke a peace officer’s badge if he or she is convicted of domestic violence. The House passed the measure Tuesday, Feb. 10.
Making Sausage Ditches Are Delightful
Bernalillo County residents pay lots of money to the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District even though most of them don’t irrigate, writes Sen. Dede Feldman (D-Albuquerque) on her blog. That’s why the conservancy district should use some of that revenue to create a trails program with the city’s Open Space Division. Her bill would preserve the ditch banks so they could always be used recreationally.