Legislators start the conversation on drones

New Mexico legislators are joining the conversation on drones and discussing the devices’ role in the state. The interim Science, Technology & Telecommunications Committee heard a presentation on Monday about the use of drones in New Mexico. Present at the meeting was Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park. McCamley, a supporter of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs, told New Mexico Political Report that he would like to see more legislation that outlines how and when drones can be used for personal use. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits the commercial use of drones without an FAA approved pilot’s license.

Bill to curtail drone surveillance passes committee

A bill that would bar people from using unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, “to conduct surveillance” without a warrant passed a Senate committee on Tuesday afternoon and is now headed to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, SB 303, passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee on an 6-2 vote, though committee members warned it had some problems that may trouble the Judiciary Committee. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, said it was help give some privacy to New Mexico residents. The legislation is cosponsored by Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, a former police officer. “It’s not just theoretical, this is happening already,” Ortiz y Pino told the committee.