SENATE DEMOCRATS News:
SANTA FE ― Ten bills that Gov. Susana Martinez attempted to veto earlier this year became law today after Santa Fe District Court Judge Sarah Singleton denied Gov. Martinez’s request to delay their implementation.
The Court held that the Governor’s request is not likely to succeed if it is appealed, and that the public interest is best served by allowing those bills to become law. The First Judicial District Court’s decision in favor of the Legislature’s lawsuit to invalidate ten vetoes by Martinez during the 2017 Regular Session was cheered by sponsors of the ten contested bills.
“This is a win for every New Mexico kid and the future of our state’s economy. This legislation opens the door to computer science education for high schoolers across the state, giving them the tools to compete in a 21st century, new collar economy. I’m glad it is finally the law of the land,” Sen. Jacob Candelaria said. SB 134, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria and Rep. Debra M. Sariñana, will permit high school students to count computer science courses toward the math or science credits needed to graduate.
“Senate Bill 24 will give local communities the ability to determine their economic development and job creation destinies by treating high-speed broadband Internet services just like any other infrastructure. Expanding access to high-speed broadband means more jobs in rural New Mexico where they are needed, better options for higher education, and critical telemedicine services,” Sen. Michael Padilla said. SB 24, sponsored by Sen. Michael Padilla and Rep. Jim Smith, will give local governments a new option to pay for expansion of broadband access.
“I am glad the court upheld our Constitution today, and I am glad for the farmers of New Mexico who are finally going to have a cash crop – it is long overdue. The Governor’s reasons for vetoing SB 6 were always invalid. I am very thankful on behalf of New Mexico’s rural communities that we will have an industrial hemp law that farmers can use for supplementing their income,” Sen. Cisco McSorley said. Senate Bill 6, sponsored by Sen. McSorley, will allow the state to license farmers to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.
“This bill will enable school districts to plan for broadband expansion and faster networks by eliminating the sunset clause that was put on the use of broadband through public school capital outlay. Without this bill, school districts would only have state funding for another two years, but can now benefit from long-term planning using federal and state funds,” Sen. Mimi Stewart said. SB 64, sponsored by Sen. Stewart, will allow the Public School Capital Outlay Council to continue budgeting up to $10 million of the public school capital outlay fund for education technology initiatives such as broadband.
“I am very pleased by Judge Singleton’s decision today. The judge followed the Constitution, and it was the right thing to do.Thanks to this decision, we will now have an important law to clean up the horse racing industry in our state. Without these stricter rules and enforcement to end illegal practices, I fear that the racing industry will die, along with the many jobs in rural New Mexico that are supported by it. A message also has been sent that vetoes need a message and a rationale,” said Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen. SB 184, sponsored by Sen. Papen, will amend the Horse Racing Act to allow the revocation of licenses for up to five years if the licensee used electrical or mechanical devices for affecting the speed or stamina of a racehorse.
“My bill will help acequias and small water associations by cutting the red tape they currently face in trying to deliver an important resource to communities throughout the state,” Sen. Liz Stefanics said.
“The people of New Mexico now will be better served because county treasurers will be notified when a public improvement district or tax incremental development district is proposed, since they are the elected officials that invest these public dollars,” Sen. Nancy Rodriguez said. SB 67, sponsored by Sen. Rodriguez, will require that the county treasurer be notified of the formation of any tax increment development district within that county. SB 356, also sponsored by Sen. Rodriguez, will require that the county treasurer be notified of the formation of any public improvement district within that county.