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Saturday, March 15, 2003

Around the Roundhouse

Staff and Wire Reports
    POVERTY PAY FOR LAWMAKERS DEFEATED
    SANTA FE A San Juan County lawmaker's proposal that state legislators be paid a poverty-level wage went down in flames on the Senate floor.
    Sen. Allen Hurt, R-Waterflow, got only one vote his own for the proposed constitutional amendment. Thirty-six senators voted against it.
    There was no debate on the measure, which provided that lawmakers be paid an annual salary equal to the federal poverty level for a family of four, or about $18,000.
    Lawmakers receive no salaries, although they get $145 a day during the session to reimburse them for expenses.
   

    HOUSE TO VOTE ON COCKFIGHT BILL
    SANTA FE A bill to ban cockfighting in New Mexico is headed to the House floor.
    The House Judiciary Committee on Friday unanimously endorsed the measure (HB 559).
    Rep. Ron Godbey, R-Cedar Crest, who sponsored the bill, said he hoped the House would vote on the measure early next week.
    New Mexico and Louisiana are the only states that allow cockfighting.
    The Senate Conservation Committee last month tabled a similar measure (SB 64), but Godbey on Friday expressed optimism.
    "The bill is very much alive, and it's very much moving," Godbey said.
   

    E.T. AND FRIENDS MAY GET OWN DAY
    SANTA FE Space aliens would be honored with their own day in New Mexico if Rep. Dan Foley, R-Roswell, has his way.
    Foley has sponsored a bill (HB 766) to designate the second Thursday of February each year as Extraterrestrial Culture Day.
    "The day should be observed to celebrate and honor all past, present and future extraterrestrial visitors in ways to enhance relationships among all the citizens of the cosmos, known and unknown," according to the bill.
    Foley's bill, which is pending in the House, has attracted national media attention.
    Legend has it that Foley's hometown was the site of a UFO crash in 1947. Roswell holds an annual UFO festival to celebrate its out-of-this-world heritage.