SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The Latest on New Mexico bills singed or vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez (all times local):
There will be no reshaping of the political landscape for school boards, cities and other nonpartisan local governments in New Mexico through the consolidation of elections.
Gov. Susana Martinez did not take action on the bill before Friday’s signing deadline, resulting in an automatic veto.
The measure would have allowed such local elections to be combined and put before voters in November every other year.
Experts had suggested that doing so could boost turnout. Currently, such elections draw little attention, with some failing to garner a single ballot.
Dona Ana County Clerk Scott Krahling says this marks the third time the legislation has failed. Krahling says democracies aren’t successful if only a few people vote and consolidating elections would have been a step in the right direction.
Some Senate leaders and behavioral health advocates are voicing frustration that Gov. Susana Martinez did not sign legislation that would have addressed the handling of fraud accusation leveled against providers.
Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen sponsored the bill in response to a shake-up within the behavioral health care system that started in 2013 when the state froze payments to 15 nonprofits that provided services to the state’s most needy residents.
The state pointed to an audit identifying $36 million in Medicaid overpayments. The attorney general’s office eventually cleared the providers of criminal wrongdoing.
Under Papen’s proposal, providers accused of fraud would have had an opportunity to review the allegations made against them and the chance to respond in an administrative hearing and in district court.
New Mexicans will still have the option to get license plates recognizing their affinity for red and green chile. It just won’t be done through legislation.
Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a bill Friday that would have allowed chile license plates to be issued for an extra fee that would have gone to support the state farm and ranch museum.
Instead, the Motor Vehicle Division announced Friday it will issue a license plate featuring chilies and a declaration that New Mexico is the “chile capital of the world.” It will have yellow lettering on a black background.
It’s being launched as a standard plate and will require no additional fees on registration.
Martinez says the new license plates will send a strong message about the significant role that chile plays in the state’s culture.
Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation that would ban the use on minors of conversion therapy that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The measure was among dozens signed by the Republican governor as the Friday deadline approached for her to act on legislation passed during the session that ended March 18.
Bill sponsor Democrat Sen. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque called the signing historic, saying New Mexico has a commitment to protect all children from abuse and that the issue transcends party labels and ideological differences.
The prohibition will apply to licensed physicians, nurses, psychologists and other health practitioners who apply conversion therapy to people under 18. It changes provisions of a consumer protection law and outlines disciplinary measures that can be taken by state licensing boards.
Laws targeting conversion therapy have been enacted in about a half-dozen states.
New Mexico’s governor has vetoed a bill designed to prevent shootings in domestic disputes by banning the possession or purchase of firearms by people under permanent protective orders for domestic violence incidents
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez said Friday in a veto message that judges should retain the authority to prohibit or allow an individual to possess firearms in those instances. The Republican governor and former district attorney says civil protection orders can be issued for a variety of reasons from trespassing to physical violence.
Miranda Viscoli of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence says judges are not removing guns in many volatile domestic violence situations that can endanger families and law enforcement officers.
The veto lengthens a list of gun-safety bills that failed to win approve this year in New Mexico. Other failed bills would have banned the open carrying of guns in the state Capitol building and required federal background checks on nearly all private gun transactions.
A New Mexico bill has been vetoed that would have revealed who donates to independent political groups that spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday rejected the proposed disclosure rules for political committees that do not coordinate directly with candidates.
The bill responded to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United case that opened the door for corporations and unions to make unlimited independent expenditures in elections.
The initiative from Republican Rep. James Smith and Democratic Senate majority leader Peter Wirth would have set a $5,000 donation limit on direct candidate contributions each election cycle, doubling possible direct donations to legislative candidates.
New Mexico has a new law that ensures children are served school meals even if their parents do not pay on time.
The law signed by Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday was designed to ensure that students whose parents owe money at the cafeteria are still fed adequately and do not face public embarrassment.
The legislation outlines debt collection procedures for unpaid breakfasts and lunches at public, private and religious schools that accept federal subsidies for student meals.
Martinez is signing scores of bills ahead of a deadline at noon on Friday to act on legislation. After the deadline, bills without a signature are effectively vetoed.
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