The House passed a bill on Tuesday that would change the state law on civil forfeiture and another that would only allow questions with the force of law to appear on election ballots. Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, said he sponsored the legislation related to civil forfeiture reform “so that people’s due process rights are given to them.” The bill would only allow police to seize property related to a crime for which the person was convicted. It comes as wider attention is paid to the issue of civil forfeiture nationally. Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park, commented on how Las Cruces received national attention after a the New York Times posted video of the Las Cruces city attorney speaking about civil forfeiture.
Right-to-work legislation has been and will continue to be a divisive subject during the 2015 Legislative Session. Gov. Susana Martinez has said that she supports it and the House majority has shown they are ready to push right-to-work bills through the committee process. There are a handful of bills in both the House and Senate that would ban employers from requiring their employees to pay union dues or negotiating fees. Defenders of the legislation have said workers deserve the right to choose whether they pay unions or not. Business leaders in New Mexico have said many companies tend to expand into states that have right-to-work laws on the books.
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]PAUL GESSING is president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation, an independent, non-partisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility.[/box]
Santa Fe’s ban on plastic bags isn’t making the city greener. Less than a year after formally implemented the ban, the City Council is now looking for a more effective solution. As recent studies have shown, instead of bringing reusable bags on their shopping trips, Santa Fe citizens have simply traded plastic for paper – nullifying the law’s sustainability objectives. In the months following Santa Fe’s bag ban, the Environmental Services Division surveyed local retailers on its effects. After two months, 97 percent of stores reported that less than one percent of customers were bringing their own reusable bags.