Locals’ bills pass

March 14, 2013 • Local News

With the state’s 2013 legislative session scheduled to end Saturday, there has been a flurry [auth] of activity at the Roundhouse. Here’s a brief look at the bill activity of area legislators so far this week:

Monday, the House of Representatives passed SB183, sponsored by Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, which would replace the term “GED” with “High School Equivalency Diploma” in state law.

Kernan has said doing so would allow the state to adopt a more cost-effective alternative test, if one should be developed in the future.

Another piece of legislation sponsored by Kernan that has passed both houses is SJM16, a memorial to recognize Inez Bushner Gill and Maralyn Budke, who both “dedicated their professional careers to New Mexico state government and, ultimately, to the people of New Mexico.”

The state Senate voted Tuesday to pass SB455, sponsored by Sen. Cliff Pirtle. R-Roswell, which would require traffic citations to be filed in the county or district where the offense occurred.

SB202, another bill sponsored by Pirtle, was read on the House floor Wednesday, but was rolled over for revision. The bill would add a new section to the state’s motor vehicle code to allow employees of certain farm-related service industries to obtain restricted commercial driver’s licenses without having to take the tests required, so long as they meet all of the qualifications.

Roswell Reps. Candy Spence Ezzell and Bob Wooley questioned the bill. Rep. Bill Gray, R-Artesia, said he opposed the bill as it was, calling it “a bad bill.”

The revised bill is scheduled to be heard again by the House today.

The House also passed Wednesday SB160, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, pertaining to the definition of biodiesel. Other bills sponsored by Ingle to pass both the Senate and the House are SB138, which would repeal fruit and vegetable standard’s statutes, and SB572, which involves the renovation and construction of state offices.

Today is the last full day scheduled in the legislative session. A special session is possible if Gov. Susana Martinez vetos the budget proposal that has passed both houses.

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