SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thursday, February 9, some interesting bills will be discussed around the Roundhouse. Among them are a bill to give tribal police additional powers, a bill to limit ticket reselling, and a bill to consider a high-speed railroad in New Mexico.
Legislators in the Senate Indian, Rural and Cultural Affairs Committee are set to consider Senate Bill 33. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Benny Shendo, Jr. (D-Bernalillo, McKinley, Rio Arriba, San Juan & Sandoval) and Rep. Charlotte Little (D-Bernalillo), would allow tribal and pueblo law enforcement officers to enforce state laws outside of the boundaries of tribal or pueblo areas.
Currently, tribal officers need to be commissioned as peace officers by the State Police in order to enforce state laws outside tribal areas. This bill would remove that requirement for officers certified by the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy (NMLEA) or an academy-approved training program, according to a Legislative Finance Committee analysis.
Ticket reselling rules
Ticket scalping, where people or computers buy large quantities of events tickets then resell them at exorbitant prices, is a big problem in some areas. A KRQE News 13 Larry Barker investigation recently revealed that such resellers can hurt New Mexicans.
Now, legislators are set to consider legislation to help address the issue. Senate Bill 100, sponsored by Sen. Antonio Maestas (D-Bernalillo), would prohibit people from knowingly circumventing online ticket purchase limits.
It’s an idea that’s come up before: the feasibility of a high-speed train in New Mexico. Now, legislators will once again debate the topic.
Senate Bill 59, sponsored by Sen. William P. Soules (D-Doña Ana), suggests putting $500,000 towards a feasibility study. The tentative idea is to make a train connecting El Paso to Albuquerque to Denver.
But, the New Mexico Department of Transportation says there might be an issue. $500,000 might not be enough for a comprehensive study, they note in a Legislative Finance Committee analysis. They also noted that even if they complete a feasibility study, it could take years or decades for a train to become operational.
In case you missed it: Soda in school, doctor shortage
Recently, legislators considered a bill to ban soda sales at public schools. After hearing from some members of the public who supported the ban, and some soda industry representatives who opposed the ban, the Senate Education Committee voted to table the bill. For more on why, check out this KRQE News 13 story.
Legislators also considered a bill to fund the education of more doctors. A 2022 study shows New Mexico has lost around 30% of its primary care providers in the last four years, and legislators recently considered Senate Bill 231 to address the issue. The bill moved through the Senate Education Committee but will likely be adjusted before it heads to its next committee. For more details, check out this KRQE News 13 story.