February 5, 2016

Odds and Ends: Law enforcement honored in House

—It was a big day for law enforcement in the House on Friday. Two pieces of legislation regarding law enforcement officers and sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, passed on bipartisan votes. A memorial honoring officers brought out supportive comments from representatives on both sides of the aisle as well as a unanimous vote in favor of the memorial.

A bill from Gentry that would add law enforcement officers and emergency first responders to the state’s hate crime statute also passed on Friday evening. Originally a somewhat controversial bill, HB 95 was amended in the House Judiciary Committee to include first responders along with law enforcement officers and passed the committee unanimously. There was little debate on the floor before a vote of 58-4 with only four Democrats voting against it.

—An exchange near the end of the Senate floor session.

Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle:”Mr. President, will Senator Sanchez yield?”

Sen. Clemente Sanchez: “Which one?”

Ingle: “The one with the glare.” (Referring to Sen. Michael Sanchez’s lack of hair)

Michael Sanchez: “After the attacks yesterday, that was a softball.” (Referring to this)

—John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, showed up late to Senate Judiciary Committee, where his REAL ID bill was being heard because the Senate Finance Committee, which he chairs, meets at the same time.

His cosponsor Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, explained the legislation instead.

When Smith showed up, he said, “Whatever [Ingle] said, I couldn’t have said better.”

Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, quipped, “That’s depressing.”