Wrap Up: Public Health In 2016 Legislature

  •  Anna Lande
  •  Tuesday, February 22, 2016
Credit Safari_Vacation via flickr, CC

Credit SalFalko via flickr, CC

Study Low-Cost Loans To State Employees — PASSED

When folks in New Mexico need quick money for things like groceries or medical bills, they often turn to storefront lending shops. These shops charge interest rates of 300 percent or more. Democratic Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino’s Senate memorialorders the State Personnel Office to look into providing small loans with rates as low as 26 percent as a benefit for state employees.

Related: State To Study Storefront Loan Alternatives

Rape Kit Testing And Analysis / Sexual Assault Services Programs — FAILED. KIND OF.

CREDIT WEST MIDLANDS POLICE VIA TWITTER / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

CREDIT WEST MIDLANDS POLICE VIA TWITTER / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

Technically, a pair of bills addressing the 5,406 untested sexual assault evidence kits in the state didn’t make it to the House or Senate for a vote. But the money they requested was rolled into the budget overall, and preserved despite cuts in the finals days of the session. Rape Kit Testing And Analysis offered the Department of Public Safety funds to work through the backlog of rape kits, while Sexual Assault Services Programs offered support to survivors. Democratic Reps. Patricio Ruiloba and Antonio Maestas sponsored both bills. Lawmakers put $1.6 million into next year’s budget for processing rape kits and providing services.

Related: Legislature Funds Rape Kit Processing Despite Tight Budget 

curfew signAllow Local Government Curfew Ordinances — FAILED

Republican Rep. Nate Gentry and Democratic Rep. Carl Trujillo’s billwould have let local government set specific curfews for minors. The bill passed the House, but failed on a 6-4 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Related: Lights Out For Curfew Bill

Denial Of Bail For Certain Felonies — PASSED

Democratic Sen. Peter Wirth and Democratic Rep. Antonio Maestas’ joint resolution allows courts to deny dangerous defendants bail and the pre-trial release of non-violent defendants if they are being held in jail just because they can’t bond out. Low-income defendants would have to file a motion stating that they can’t afford bail.

Related: Compromise On Bail Reform

Permanent Funds For Childhood Education — FAILED

This bill would have pulled money from the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood education programs. Democratic Sen. Michael Padilla’s measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee but did not travel any further after being referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

Related: How To Pay For Early Childhood Education

CREDIT JOHN HARTMAN VIA FLICKR / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

CREDIT JOHN HARTMAN VIA FLICKR / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

Driver’s License Issuance And Federal Real ID- PASSED

New Mexico is waiting for the governor’s signature on a bill that would make state driver’s licenses compliant with the REAL ID Act. People who are in the country illegally and people who don’t want a REAL ID-compliant license would be able to get driver’s authorization cards, which would have to be renewed annually.

Related: House REAL ID Fix Would Create Hurdles For Undocumented Drivers

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