A reading list to help you prepare for NM’s 2016 legislative session

A statue outside the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

Heath Haussamen / NMPolitics.net

The New Mexico Legislature’s 2016 session kicks off Tuesday at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

The 2016 session of the New Mexico Legislature begins at noon on Tuesday. Among the issues that will be considered are the budget, bringing New Mexico driver’s licenses into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, campaign and ethics reform, public safety, and economic development.

We’ve compiled a reading list to help you get up to speed on what to expect from the session:

Governor proposes $6.46B budget, stresses safety, education and jobs

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Gov. Susana Martinez, repeatedly invoking her prior experience as a prosecutor, proposed that the state spend $6.46 billion during the 2017 budget year on a plan that prioritizes public safety, education and jobs. Read it

Legislative panel puts its own budget on the table

Albuquerque Journal

A key New Mexico legislative panel warily released a roughly $6.5 billion spending plan that includes more money for state employee pay raises than a plan released earlier by Gov. Susana Martinez, but less money for some of the governor’s top education initiatives. Read it

Political fight over driver’s licenses pitched heading into session

The Santa Fe New Mexican

This year, House Republicans and the governor have given up on a repeal. Instead, at least some House members want to rewrite the law so that immigrants would receive one-year driving privilege cards instead of licenses that could be valid for up to eight years. Read it

REAL ID noncompliance starts to impact New Mexicans

NMPolitics.net

White Sands Missile Range will no longer consider a New Mexico driver’s license a valid form of identification to get visitors onto the base. Read it

Governor to add ethics to legislative agenda

The Associated Press

There have been numerous calls for ethics and campaign finance reforms in the wake of a scandal involving former Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who was prosecuted for misusing political donations to fuel a gambling addiction. Read it

Martinez’s actions prove the need for an ethics commission

NMPolitics.net

COMMENTARY • Gov. Susana Martinez’s recent abuse of power demonstrates the need for an independent commission to set standards for ethical conduct in state government and investigate complaints. Read it

While other states eye reform, NM readies for ‘tough on crime’ session

New Mexico Political Report

In a crowded conference room in the mayor’s office last November, reporters and police officers gathered to see Republican lawmakers and Mayor Richard Berry discuss their plans for combating repeat criminal behavior. Read it

Republican legislator targets gun violence with bill

The Santa Fe New Mexican

A day after President Barack Obama announced new restrictions on gun sales, a Republican state lawmaker filed a bill aimed at improving the background check system for gun buyers in New Mexico in an effort to prevent felons and mentally ill people from purchasing firearms. Read it

Why New Mexico needs bail reform

NMPolitics.net

COMMENTARY • SJR1 would let our judges protect New Mexicans against dangerous defendants without sacrificing the rights of non-dangerous defendants. Read it

Martinez revives ‘right-to-work’ debate in New Mexico

The Associated Press

The governor called it a no-brainer, saying adopting a law that would prohibit workers from having to pay mandatory union fees — often called “right-to-work” legislation — would make the state more competitive when it comes to attracting businesses. Read it

McMillan proposes salary of about $45,000 for New Mexico legislators

KRWG Public Media

The nation’s only unsalaried state legislature is considering whether it wants a steady paycheck. Read it

Slew of water bills to be introduced in session

The Santa Fe New Mexican

State Rep. Bill McCamley is concerned that the rains and heavy snow over the past year have led people throughout the state to forget the harsh effects of drought. Read it

NMPolitics.net discusses legislative session on TV

KRWG Public Media

Topics included compliance with the federal REAL ID Act and driver’s licenses for immigrants without legal status, ethics and campaign finance reform, economic development, and Spaceport America. Watch it

2016 legislative guide

New Mexico In Depth

A look at N.M. state government and the ways in which it can be improved. Read it

A final look at House pre-filed legislation

New Mexico Political Report

In all, the House introduced over 200 bills, memorials and joint resolutions. Read it

Infighting has already started in Santa Fe

The Santa Fe New Mexican

Republicans control the Governor’s Office and the House of Representatives. Democrats are the majority party in the Senate. Rancor between the two legislative chambers dominated last year’s session, and already the most powerful man in the Senate is at odds with the most powerful woman in the state, Gov. Susana Martinez. Read it

This BBSNews article was syndicated from NMPolitics.net, and written by Heath Haussamen. Read the original article here.