Friday, February 28, 2003
Around the Roundhouse
The Associated Press
BILL WOULD ALLOW LOCAL TRANSIT DISTRICTS
SANTA FE Local governments could form regional transit districts to operate public transportation systems under a measure unanimously passed by the House on Thursday.
Rep. Dan Silva, D-Albuquerque, said cities, counties and Indian tribes could form a transit district to plan, build and operate a public transportation system serving a region of the state.
"The proposal would encourage cost-effective consumer-oriented transit services, allow long-range planning and investment, and save money by providing unified services in areas where several systems currently operate," said Silva, who sponsored the proposal.
The measure is part of Gov. Bill Richardson's legislative agenda.
The proposed regional transit districts would have the power to issue bonds to finance construction of a transportation system and equip it.
The bill goes to the Senate.
HOUSE APPROVES BILL FOR FOREIGN LOTTERIES
SANTA FE New Mexico could participate in joint lotteries with foreign nations or Indian tribes under a measure approved Thursday by the House.
The measure by Rep. Luciano "Lucky" Varela, D-Santa Fe, would allow New Mexico to continue with the multi-state Powerball lottery if Mexico joined it in the future.
Currently, state law permits New Mexico to participate with other states in lottery games. The bill would expand that to U.S. territories, other nations, Indian tribes or pueblos.
The bill passed the House 52-11 and was sent to the Senate.
SEN. PAYNE PROMOTED TO REAR ADMIRAL
SANTA FE Sen. Bill Payne, R-Albuquerque, was honored by his Senate colleagues on Thursday for his promotion to rear admiral in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Payne is the first Navy SEAL reserve officer to reach the rank of admiral, senators said during a brief ceremony on the Senate floor.
Payne "serves as a model of leadership, valor, honesty and public service ... ," according to a Senate memorial introduced by Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, and Senate Minority Whip Leonard Lee Rawson, R-Las Cruces.
Ingle said Payne had served his country as "a member of the fearless, one-of-a-kind strike force trained to fight at sea, in the air or on land in the defense of this country and for the cause of freedom around the world."
Payne, a lawyer, has served in the Senate since 1997.