Ready, set … legislative session!

SANTA FE, N.M. — The 2017 legislative session begins at noon Tuesday at the state Capitol. In addition to the budget, a wide range of bills are expected to be debated during the 60-day session. Here are some issues to keep an eye on:

CRIME

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Expand “three-strikes” law.

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Allow local governments to enact curfew ordinances.

Toughen penalties for DWI convictions, allow police to testify in court via phone or video.

Expand age eligibility for intentional child abuse resulting in death.

Reinstate death penalty for certain crimes.

BUSINESS/LABOR

b01_jd_15jan_businessIncrease minimum wage, currently set at $7.50 an hour statewide.

Create income tax deduction for small businesses.

Cap interest rates on small loans.

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Require governments to award one-third of contracts to New Mexico businesses.

Extend prohibition on felony question on initial job applications to private employers.

EDUCATION

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Increase funding for early childhood programs, using Land Grant Permanent Fund or newly created fund.

Require many third-graders who cannot read proficiently to repeat the grade level.

Enact temporary moratorium on charter schools.

Change formula for teacher evaluation system.

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Boost solvency of lottery scholarship.

ELECTIONS

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Add New Mexico to list of states agreeing to use national popular vote to determine presidential elections.

Allow independent voters to participate in primary elections.

Expand voter registration period.

Automatically register eligible voters.

Set rules for reporting by independent spending groups and require donor disclosure.

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ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY

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Create ethics commission or public accountability board to investigate alleged wrongdoing by public officials.

Expand archiving of legislative webcasts.

Make elected officials wait two years before doing paid lobbying.

Require audits of governor’s contingency fund.

Require online posting of disciplinary action against doctors.

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GOVERNMENT

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Legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use.

Overhaul state system for funding public works projects.

Allow unlicensed concealed carry; require background checks for gun show, private sales.

Ban coyote-killing contests.

Narrow list of eligible items for food stamp recipients.

HEALTH/FAMILY

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Allow medical aid in dying for terminal patients.
Increase amount of medical marijuana grown by producers, possessed by patients.
Require children taken into foster care to be placed with relatives.
Require insurers to cover artery screenings for some patients.
Mandate that medical care be provided for infants born alive after attempted abortions.
TAXES
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Increase gas tax; allow local governments to impose their own gas taxes.
Prod online retailers to collect gross receipts taxes.
Reinstate food tax on “junk food” items.
Eliminate tax credits and deductions.
Renew solar tax credit.

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