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Final Hours

The Senate and House planned to reconvene at 8 a.m. today as they pushed toward the Legislature’s required adjournment at noon.

Check our Capitol Bureau’s news blog below for developments as lawmakers raced to the end of the the 60-day legislative session.  See the Sunday Journal for a comprehensive wrap up of legislative action.

Lawmakers recessed after long floor sessions starting Friday night and sending Republican Gov. Susana Martinez two of her top legislative priorties: a measure to expand New Mexico’s Katie’s Law for DNA sampling in criminal cases; and an education acccountability bill to grade public schools.

The Senate met until 11:51 p.m Friday and the House met until 1:25 a.m. today before recessing. Each reconvened today at about 8:20 a.m.

The Senate refused Friday night to recede from its amendments to House Bill 78 on the issuance of New Mexico driver’s licenses to foreign nationals.

The original House measure was aimed at stopping illegal immigrants from getting licenses. The Senate modified the bill, allowing the practice to continue, but with with greater restrictions.

A House-Senate conference committee was set up to negotiate differences on the driver’s license issue, but time grew short for it to meet and reach agreement. The conference committee was scheduled to begin meeting at 9 a.m. today.

Senators named to the conference committee on House Bill 78 were: John Ryan, R-Albquerque; Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe; and Howie Morales, D-Silver City.  House members named were: Andy Nuñez, DTS, Hatch; Majority Leader W. Ken Martinez; D-Grants; and Ray Begaye, D-Shiprock.