KANW-FM

The Latest: New Mexico OKs solitary confinement reform bill

Mar 16, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on activity at the New Mexico Legislature (all times local):9:15 a.m.The New Mexico Legislature has passed a measure that would prohibit corrections officers from placing juvenile and pregnant inmates in restricted housing, or solitary confinement.The Senate late Friday voted 36-1 to send the bill to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham after advocates for years have tried to limit solitary confinement for some inmates.Under the proposal, inmates with serious mental disabilities could not be kept in solitary confinement for more than 48 hours.Lujan Grisham has not said if she would sign the proposal.___8:15 a.m.The New Mexico Legislature has voted to decrease penalties for marijuana possession.Both the House and Senate passed late Friday a measure that would reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. More ambitious reform proposals to allow recreational marijuana sales in New Mexico failed the pass.The bill from Sen. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces reduces penalties for possession of up to half an ounce of marijuana to a $50 fine on first offense.The proposal now heads to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.___1 a.m.The Legislature has passed a bill to establish an independent state ethics commission for complaints about the conduct of public officials.A final Senate vote on Friday capped weeks of public hearings and backroom negotiations and sends the bill to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for consideration.The creation of the seven-member commission was authorized by statewide vote in November 2018. That came in the wake of a series of high-profile public corruption scandals.Detailed workings of the commission were left up to the Legislature and governor.The bill limits the commission's subpoena powers to requests authorized by a specially appointed judge. Complaint wouldn't be made public until 30 days after a probable-cause finding to allow time for a settlement. Criminal violations may be referred to state and local prosecutors.