Wednesday, March 29, 2023

New Mexico passes bill to protect abortion providers

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico legislators pressed hard Friday to advance tough proposals to protect access to abortion, provide tax relief and limit access to guns in the final hours of a 60-day legislative session. knocked on.

Republicans in the legislative minority raised several objections during House floor debate to a bill that aims to protect abortion providers and patients from out-of-state interference, prosecution or extradition efforts.

In a victory for abortion rights advocates in New Mexico and states where the procedure is banned, the House passed final passage of that bill by a vote of 38-30 with Republicans and some Democrats in opposition. Democratic Gov. Mitchell Lujan Grisham is expected to sign it. The governor has already signed a law to block local abortion-ban ordinances.

Legislators have time till noon on Saturday to send the bill to the Governor for his consideration.

The Democrat-led legislature passed bills in the final days of the session that would increase the salaries of elected officials statewide, including the state attorney general and secretary of state.

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Among criminal justice initiatives, legislators passed a bill that would cap penalties for organized retail crime and eliminate the possibility of life sentences without the possibility of parole for crimes committed as children.

Another bill placed on the governor’s desk would use opioid settlement funds to administer drugs, including methadone and buprenorphine, to inmates in county jails for drug addiction and alcohol dependence, which are drugs without causing an euphoric high. Can stop cravings.

Crucial votes were pending Friday on gun control measures that would ban firearms at polling places during an election and allow state prosecution of straw purchases of firearms on the part of a banned buyer. Several bills faced lengthy roadblocks, including banning assault rifles, establishing a 14-day waiting period on most gun purchases, and raising the minimum purchase age for some firearms to 21.

Republicans have helped co-sponsor a bill to overhaul medical malpractice rules. The initiative aims to reduce insurance rates for independent clinics and attract more medical professionals, especially in remote, rural areas. The Democratic governor helped negotiate the bill’s provisions and is expected to sign it into law.

The governor signed a bill Thursday that would establish an Office of Renewable Energy to oversee the expansion of wind- and solar-power generation leases on state trust lands.

The State Land Office will oversee the new division. The agency, once focused on oil and natural gas development, has expanded to renewable energy development in recent years to oversee 27 leases for wind power generation.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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