SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Saturday, March 11, legislators will squeeze in a little more debate before the start of the final week of the session. Among the bills on the agenda is a bill to set an official state aroma and a bill to reduce litter statewide.

State aroma

It’s outside grocery stores, it wafts across the dinner table, and it’s thick in the air in Hatch, New Mexico. The smell of chile is tightly linked to New Mexico’s identity. Now, lawmakers are looking to make that link official.

Senate Bill 188 would do just that. Sponsored by Sen. William P. Soules (D-Doña Ana), the bill would make “the aroma of green chile roasting in the fall” the official state aroma.

The idea has seen a lot of support so far. Now, it’s up for discussion in the House Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee.

Littering and recycling

Legislators are also set to discuss a bill aimed at keeping New Mexico clean. Senate Bill 182, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D-Doña Ana) and Sen. Crystal R. Diamond (R-Doña Ana, Hidalgo, Luna & Sierra), would direct cities, counties, nonprofits and the state and federal government to come together to develop a waste reduction program for New Mexico.

In case you missed it: Capital outlay

Legislators recently debated this year’s capital outlay funding. Every year, the state puts millions toward projects, often with a focus on improving public infrastructure via capital outlay.

With this year’s budget surplus, legislators have a unique opportunity to fund projects outright, rather than issuing bonds. Ultimately, that could save the state money and ensure projects get completed.

But one sticking point in this year’s capital outlay is $10 million in funding for a reproductive healthcare facility in Doña Ana County. Already, some have opposed the idea on the grounds that the facility could support abortion. For more on the debate, check out this KRQE News 13 story.