- Bill to ban coyote killing contests heads to governor
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature is sending a bill to the governor that would ban contests to see who can shoot and kill the most coyotes.The House voted 37-30 on Tuesday to endorse the bill from Democratic Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces and Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque.Ranchers and outfitters from across the state have argued over the years that the contests are a tool for managing packs of coyotes that threaten livestock. Opponents say the practice is barbaric and ineffective. This year's bill would make it a misdemeanor crime to organize a contest. Participation would be a petty misdemeanor.Coyote killing contests were banned on state trust land earlier this year by State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard.
- POPULAR VOTE-NEW MEXICO
New Mexico may join popular vote compactSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Senate has voted for New Mexico to join a growing list of states pushing to elect the president of the United States according to the national popular vote.The Senate voted 25-16 Tuesday to approve the bill from Democratic Sen. Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque that would enroll New Mexico in an interstate compact that requires it cast electoral votes for the national popular vote winner, and not necessarily the winner in New Mexico. The compact would only go into effect when its membership represents at least 270 electoral votes.Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have entered the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.
- FILM INCENTIVES-NEW MEXICO
New Mexico Senate endorses more subsidies to film industrySANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Senate has endorsed a bill that would more than double New Mexico's annual payout to the film industry through tax rebates and address a backlog in payments.By a 32-8 vote on Tuesday, the Senate endorsed a bill that would increase the annual rebate cap from $50 million to $110 million. Other major provisions include authorized rebate payments of between $195 million and $225 million by July 2020 to address an accumulation of unpaid incentives.The tax incentives aim to attract filmmakers to New Mexico and provide a 25 percent rebate to film productions for most direct expenditures in the state, with provisions for larger rebates with long-term filming commitments.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned on promises to lift the $50 million annual cap on the film incentives.
- HEALTH OVERHAUL-NEW MEXICO-THE LATEST
The Latest: Obamacare-protections bill revived in New MexicoSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate committee has revived a bill designed to ensure access to medical insurance for people with pre-existing conditions after voting the proposal down.In a rare maneuver, Democratic Sen. Clemente Sanchez of Grants on Tuesday reversed his early vote on the measure that now moves to the Senate floor. Other Democrats had expressed dismay when the bill was voted down in committee.The bill from House Democrats including Rep. Liz Thomson of Albuquerque would enshrine into state law provisions of former President Barack Obama's health care law that protect medical patients with pre-existing conditions.Advocates for the legislation says provisions of the Affordable Care Act are at risk from a lawsuit by Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration's push for cheaper, skimpier health plans.
- GUN CONTROL-NEW MEXICO
New Mexico bill to keep guns from domestic abusers advancesSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico measure to keep people from possessing a firearm if they are under permanent protective orders for domestic violence is headed to the House floor.The Judiciary Committee approved the measure Tuesday evening. It's part of a slate of gun-control bills backed by Democrats.The first of the measures was signed by the governor Friday. It will expand mandatory background checks to include firearms sales between private individuals.A vast majority of sheriffs have expressed opposition to the bills. But on Tuesday they said they would support the domestic violence-related measure with amendments, including allowances for a weapon to be placed with a relative or other acquaintance rather than law enforcement.Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, a Democrat and bill sponsor, said she was not comfortable with the proposal.
- INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT
Appeals court hears case of on adoptions of Native AmericansNEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court in New Orleans is set to hear arguments on a 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children.A federal district judge in Texas last year struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act. That was a victory for opponents who say it is racially motivated and unconstitutionally discriminatory. Backers of the law, including numerous tribes and the federal government, say that if the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds that decision, many Native American children will be lost to their families and tribes.Backers of the law say its definition of "Indian child" is based on tribal affiliations that are political, not racial.A three judge 5th Circuit panel was to hear arguments Wednesday morning.
Albuquerque measure aims for more consultation with tribesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque officials say a new ordinance will require a city board to consult with tribes on any matters that might affect them.Mayor Tim Keller signed the measure on Tuesday following its approval by the City Council. He says the city's relationships with tribes can impact public safety, jobs and homelessness.Under the measure, the city will be required to expand its Commission on American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs from five members to nine.Tribal governments from communities that surround or are near the Albuquerque metropolitan area will choose their representatives, rather than the City Council or mayor.Officials say the measure recognizes tribal sovereignty, especially among tribes and pueblos near the city. Those tribal governments include the pueblos of Sandia, Isleta, Santa Ana and Laguna, and the Navajo Nation's To'hajiilee Chapter.
- BABY SHOT IN FACE
New Mexico man linked to baby shooting arrested again(Information from: Gallup Independent, http://www.gallupindependent.com)GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A man facing child abuse charges after a 3-year-old boy allegedly shot his 8-month-old sister in a New Mexico motel has been arrested again.The Gallup Independent reports authorities say Tyrell Bitsilly recently tested positive for methamphetamine and was ordered to be held until his case is resolved.State District Court Judge Robert Aragon ordered Bitsilly detained for violating his release conditions.The 21-year-old Bitsilly was arrested in December after police found his girlfriend's infant daughter with a gunshot wound to the face. Bitsilly and 18-year-old Shayanne Nelson told police they were showering at a Gallup motel when the boy found the gun and accidentally shot his sister.Bitsilly was released last month after Aragon reduced his bond to $10,000 cash.___