Bill to support Indigenous women starting businesses passes committee

About 500 Native American women representing more than 50 tribes nationally have started their own businesses, say Indigenous women advocates. A bill to try to gather that kind of data locally passed the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee Monday. HB 262 sailed through committee with a unanimous vote of 7-0. Rep. Damon Ely, of Corrales, and Rep. Derrick Lente, of Sandia Pueblo, both Democrats, were absent. Rep. D. Wonda Johnson, of Rehoboth, and Rep. Georgene Lewis, of Albuquerque, also Democrats, sponsored the bill.

Committee gets first look at gaming compact

A legislative committee tasked with approving a gaming agreement between Native American tribes and New Mexico met for the first time on Tuesday. The Committee on Compacts heard from a representative of the governor’s office, and later asked questions, about the proposed gaming compact. The committee did not hear from the public or tribal officials but will at a future hearing. Jessica Hernandez, deputy chief-of-staff and general counsel for Gov. Susana Martinez, briefed the committee made up of Senators and Representatives about the proposed agreement between the state and five tribes. Some of the differences she highlighted were revenue sharing percentages and player credit lines.

Legislative tennis: How gaming compacts are made

The process of approving gaming compacts in New Mexico can be hard to understand. There is an interim legislative committee assigned to compacts, but it does not operate like traditional committees in the state legislature. Instead the Compact Negotiation Act outlines a process that can resemble legislative tennis. Gaming compacts are agreements between tribal and state governments regarding casino gaming. For New Mexico, gaming compacts outline rules, regulations and how much of a tribes net winnings are paid to the state.