Health care exchange bill clears Legislature, headed to governor

A bill that would create a New Mexico health care exchange is headed up to the desk of Gov. Susana Martinez. The Senate just concurred to amendments the House added.

Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, and the sponsor of the legislation, told her Senate colleagues that the amendments clarified the duties of the board and the state’s Superintendent of Insurance and augmented the superintendent’s authority in relation to dispute resolution.

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Here are the House’s and Senate’s representatives

Rep. Andy Nunez, House Majority Leader Ken Martinez and Rep. Ray Begaye will be the House’s representatives in the conference committee on House bill 78. Sen. Peter Wirth, Sen. John Ryan and Sen. Howie Morales will be the Senate’s representatives.

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Driver’s license conference committee to meet in 30 minutes

House and Senate lawmakers will meet in Room 305 of the Capitol to hash out differences in House Bill 78, the bill that would have prohibited the state from giving state drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

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Senate appoints members to driver’s license conference committee

A few minutes ago the state Senate refused to retreat from the amendments it added to House Bill 78, which in its original form would have stopped New Mexico’s practice of giving state drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

The Senate changes would allow the state to keep issuing drivers’ licenses to undocumented individuals, but would tighten up rules against fraud, supporters say.

Because the Senate refused to back down on the changes, the House and Senate must now go to conference committee. Each chamber appoints members to the conference committee.

Sen. President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, just appointed the Senate’s three conferees: Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe; Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque; and Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City.

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The last night of the Capitol


This statement is hanging on the door of the office of Ron Forte, the chief of staff for Sen. President Pro Tem Tim Jennings.

The Capitol is a weird, tough place sometimes. I thought this statement summed up what it’s like.

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House opposes Senate changes

By a vote of 30 to 40, the House failed to concur to Senate amendments on HB 78, the drivers license bill.

The House will send a message to the Senate telling it of the House’s decision not to accept the Senate changes.

After that occurs, the Senate can withdraw its changes. But more likely it won’t, and the the two chambers will appoint members to sit on conference committee to work out the differences.

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Rep. Andy Nunez asks House not to agree to Senate changes to HB78

Seconds ago, Rep. Andy Nunez, I-Hatch, asked the House to oppose agreeing to Senate changes made to HB 78, which in its original form would have denied state drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. The Senate gutted that provision.

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