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August 20, 2018
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First News: House passes Drivers License restrictions measure (listen)
(2012-02-09)
(KSFR) - After 3 hours of debate, by a vote of 45 to 25, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed HB 103 as amended, aiming to restrict New Mexico drivers licenses for foreign nationals. Sponsoring representative, republican Andy Nunez, explained the genesis of the bill ***. Two compromise bills were introduced as substitute legislation during the hearing but neither passed. As for the senate, they've been looking at a compromise that would tighten ID requirements for foreign nationals to obtain a license that would also have to be renewed every year. The senate is thought unlikely to pass the House's bill.

In other action, the House has unanimously passed a $5.6 Billion budget bill covering spending beginning in July, an increase of almost 4%. The measure would allow the governor to make across-the-board spending cuts to most departments to adjust the budget in the event of a revenue shortfall. The bulk of the spending is for public education and higher education, then health, hospitals, and human services. The budget plan now heads to the Senate.

Santa Fe City Council has unanimously approved that proposal that bans folks from possessing open containers of alcohol in unlicensed public spaces. Though current law all ready forbids that, enforcement required that police actually witness consumption. Now, mere possession will be enough for detainment. The measure was introduced to cut down on incidences of public inebriation and the public safety issues arising from that.

New Mexico RailRunner officials say the commuter rail line's existence has led the federal government to increase transportation funding to the Albuquerque area. Some $4.8 million extra in Federal Transit Administration funds can be used for track and train maintenance, offsetting the need of state support for day-to-day operations. The federal funds under the Urban Areas Formula are not new to the state but this is the first time RailRunner has been eligible to figure into the amount allocated. The Rio Metro Regional Transit District formed to oversee RailRunner is also investigating fast-tracking eligibility for another tier of federal funding that would go toward rail line capital improvements, further reducing the need for state monies.

A House resolution that would amend the state's constitution to define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman and also would prohibit the recognition of any same-sex marriage, civil union or similar relationship performed by another state or foreign jurisdiction has been pulled from consideration. Republican representative David Chavez of Valencia County pulled his proposal less than 24 hours before it was to be heard. In the past days, the US 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruled that California's voter-approved outlawing of same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. On Wednesday, Washington State lawmakers approved a same-sex marriage measure that will be signed into law next week.

Two of Governor Martinez' nominees for important state offices have received Senate confirmation. The Department of Indian Affairs will now be led by 64-year-old Arthur Allison, the first Navajo to be named to that cabinet post. And the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department has a new secretary in John Bemis, a former assistant commissioner for oil, gas and minerals at the State Land Office. The governor's original pick for that post was former astronaut and senator Harrison Schmitt who opted to withdraw instead of facing confirmation hearings.

Weather for Santa Fe - a 40% chance for mixed rain and snowshowers today, highs in the low 40s. A 20% chance for light snowshowers tonight with lows in the mid 20s. Mostly sunny skies tomorrow with highs again in the low 40s. The weather service says the overall weather pattern is changing, with a number of impulses due across the state every few days well into next week. Another shot at precipitation arrives Sunday with yet another due in next Tuesday.
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