Friday, January 24, 2020

Posted On January 24, 2020

It was a quiet day at the Roundhouse. The Senate didn’t convene, and the House recessed at midday. In this brief 30-day Session, there’s been little action in the Democrat-led chambers this first week.

1. LAWMAKERS SCHEDULED TO TAKE UP RECREATIONAL POT NEXT WEEK

Debate may get hot on Tuesday when the Senate Public Affairs Committee plans to hear a proposal over legalizing marijuana. Gov. Lujan Grisham seems to think this is going to be a cash cow. The Party opposes legalizing pot, citing concerns about increased crime, impaired driving, underage access and black markets. Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D)-Albuquerque is sponsoring the bill. Call his office, and tell him NO to legalizing recreational marijuana!

2. REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER’S CRIME BILL SITS IN COMMITTEE

A Republican-sponsored crime bill aimed at cracking down on felons is now sitting in the House Rules & Order of Business Committee. Rep. Bill Rehm’s (R)-Bernalillo “3-Strikes” bill calls for any felon convicted of a third violent felony to serve a mandatory life sentence.

“When we look at Albuquerque, crime is out of control. My constituents are contacting me. They’re upset and it’s time we start doing something about crime,” said Rehm.

Despite the crime crisis in the state, it’s doubtful Democratic leadership will move this bill forward, particularly in a Session devoted to the budget and finance.

3. IMPORTING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FROM CANADA?

There’s Republican skepticism over a proposed Democrat-sponsored bill that could lead to New Mexico importing prescription drugs from Canada. Senate Bill 1 has already cleared its first legislative hurdle. The legislation would allow the state Health Department to apply for federal approval to import wholesale drugs from Canada. Sen. Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, (R)-Portales, isn’t sure if the state can pursue legal claims against Canadian drug manufacturers.

“I do think we have some real questions here,” Ingle said.

There’s also the question of spending $350,000 appropriated for this legislation.

The House will reconvene on Monday at 10:30am. The Senate will reconvene on Monday at 11am.


For more information about bills, lawmakers and happenings at the Roundhouse,
go to the
 New Mexico Legislature website.

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