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Legislature Briefs

SANTA FE, N.M. — Bed-and-breakfasts may get beer, wine licenses

Bed-and-breakfast guests in New Mexico could be served wine and beer with food under a proposal approved by the House.

The measure by Rep. Dona Irwin, D-Deming, would create a new low-cost liquor license that could be issued to the owners or operators of B&Bs providing lodging for no more than 20 people.

It would permit a guest to have up to two 12-ounce servings of beer or two 6-ounce servings of wine with food.

The measure, House Bill 506, passed the House unanimously Tuesday and was sent to the Senate.

House approves tougher drunken-driving penalties

The House has unanimously approved a proposal toughening penalties against drunken driving in New Mexico.

The legislation would establish new standards for drunken drivers to meet before they could get their licenses fully restored and stop using an ignition interlock, which are intended to prevent vehicles from operating if the driver has been drinking.

Drivers must blow into the devices before starting their vehicles, and then randomly after that.

Another provision would allow judges to require drunken drivers sentenced to house arrest to use a breath alcohol analyzing device in their home to determine whether they remain sober.

The measure also would add mandatory prison time to the basic sentence of drunken driving offenders with previous felonies.

The legislation cleared the House on Wednesday and was sent to the Senate.

State Investment Council nominees confirmed

The Senate voted decisively Wednesday to confirm a pair of appointees to the New Mexico State Investment Council.

Senators voted 38-0 to approve the appointment of Harold Lavender, who was appointed to the investment body by the Legislature in August 2011. The term of the former member of the Chicago Board of Trade is set to expire this year.

Meanwhile, senators voted 39-0 in favor of the appointment of John Young, who was nominated to serve on the SIC by Gov. Susana Martinez in October 2012. Young previously served as the chief investment officer for Texas’ teacher pension fund. His term expires in 2014.

The 11-member SIC helps oversee more than $16 billion in state investments.

Federal lands transfer would cost $180M a year

Legislation that would move the ownership and management of some federal lands in New Mexico to the state would require at least $180 million annually in new state spending and likely more, officials say.

The Transfer of Public Lands Act, introduced by Sen. Richard C. Martinez, D-EspaƱola, and Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, would instruct the federal government to give up title to most U.S. Forest Service lands and Bureau of Land Management properties.

The millions of acres of public lands would be transferred to the state by Dec. 31, 2015.