House Highlights from Saturday, Feb. 15

STATE News:

House Highlights from Saturday, Feb. 15:

On the Floor

House Bill 330, Diploma Seal of Bilingualism sponsored by House Majority Leader Rick Miera (D-Bernalillo-11), has passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 67-0. HB 330 provides for a State Seal of Bilingualism-Biliteracy on New Mexico Diplomas of Excellence for graduates who are proficient in speaking and writing a language other than English. HB 330 requires the Public Education Department to adopt rules to establish criteria for students to earn the state seal of bilingualism-biliteracy. It now heads to the Senate.

House Bill 156, Fuel Prices A Transportation Emergency, sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo-21), has passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 62 to 0. Hb 156 amends section 22-8-29.6 NMSA 1978 to expressly include fuel price increases fuel price increases as a permissible use of the Transportation Emergency Fund subject to the existing requirement that any disbursement from the Fund must be to ensure the safety of students receiving to-and-from transportation services. It now heads to the Senate.

House 254, Lottery Scholarship Solvency, co-sponsored by Rep. Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Sandoval-43), has passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 60-0. HB 254 defines the eligibility requirements for students to receive lottery scholarships.  HB 254 defines two types of students eligible for the awards. It now heads to the Senate.

In Committee

House 391, formally known as  HB 67, sponsored by Rep Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo-21) was introduced in House Education Committee and received passed on a Do Pass by a 7 to 0 vote. HB 67 authorizes teacher and principal salary increases for the 2014-2015 school year. This bill addresses the alarming increase of experienced teachers leaving public school instruction in NM. Educators from all over the state in 2 recent public meetings held in Santa Fe by HEC reiterated the lack of an adequate living wage among the stressors of current policies and practices.

House Bill 330, Diploma Seal of Bilingualism, sponsored by Rep Rick Miera (D-Bernalillo-11) received a Do pass out of House Education Committee and  now heads to the house floor.  HB 330 is an act that provides for a State Seal of Bilingualism-Biliteracy on New Mexico Diplomas of Excellence for graduates who are proficient in speaking and writing a language other than English. HB 330 requires the Public Education Department to adopt rules to establish criteria for students to earn the state seal of bilingualism-biliteracy.

House Bill 359, Public Peace, Health, Safety, and Welfare, sponsored by Speaker W. Ken Martinez (D-San Juan, Cibola, McKinley, Bernalillo, Valencia, Socorro-69) received a Do Pass on a 3 to 2 vote in House Consumer and Public Affair Committee, and now heads to House Judiciary Committee.  HB 353 proposes a new section of The Motor Vehicle Code providing for the Taxation & Revenue Department to issue a “Real ID” card that meets the requirements of the federal Real ID Act of 2005 that is separate & distinct from the State driver’s license an ID card. HB 329 would bring New Mexico into compliance with the Real ID Act, passed by congress nearly 10 years ago. We are currently one of 33 states not in compliance with the Act.

House Bill 271, K-12 Breakfast After The Bells Program, sponsored by Speaker W. Ken Martinez (D-San Juan, Cibola, McKinley, Bernalillo, Valencia, Socorro-69), received a Do Pass and now heads to the house floor.  House Bill 271 appropriates of $680,000 from the General Fund to the Public Education Department. HB 271 appropriation, combined with the appropriation for breakfast for elementary students in the General Appropriation Act of 2014, will provide breakfast for all students.

House Bill 255, Keeping Families Together Act, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D-Bernalillo-24), received a Do Pass from the House Appropriations and Finance Committee and now heads to the house floor. HB 255 establishes a Keeping Families Together pilot program in the Children Youth and Families Department to provide supportive housing services to at least 50 families in Bernalillo, Dona Ana and Valencia counties who lack secure housing and whose children have been identified as victims of child abuse or neglect.  Keeping Families Together was launched in 2007 with a $700,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Corporation for Supportive Housing. A pilot project was conducted in New York City from 2007-2011 and found:    fewer incidences of child maltreatment, better school attendance, and greater home stability & significant reduction in foster home placement.

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