SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A House committee has shelved a proposal by Republican Gov. Susana Mart[auth] inez to stop New Mexico from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants but the issue isn’t likely to go away in the Legislature.
The Labor and Human Resources Committee voted 5-4 along party lines Tuesday to keep the measure bottled up in the panel — a possible way for majority Democrats to try to delay action on the politically thorny issue until the Legislature adjourns in mid-March.
The governor’s allies still have options, however. They can try to bypass the committee and force a vote by the 70-member House. That’s what happened in 2011, and the House ultimately approved the governor’s measure with the backing of Republicans and a handful of Democrats. The proposal died in the Senate, however.