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Legislative roundup, Jan. 25, 2019

January 25, 2019

Days left in the session: 50

State holiday: A bill that would designate the first Friday of April as Dennis Chávez and César Chávez Day cleared its first hurdle Thursday.

The House Local Government, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee unanimously supported the measure, House Bill 34. By creating the 11th state holiday, it would give state workers another day off.

The late Dennis Chávez was a U.S. senator from New Mexico, and the late César Chávez was an organizer of farmworkers, notably in California.

Rep. Miguel García, D-Albuquerque, is sponsoring the bill. He told the committee that Dennis Chávez and César Chávez advocated for civil rights and laborer rights.

García’s bill goes next to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

Withholding names: Senators voted 41-0 Thursday for a bill that would create another exception in the state Inspection of Public Records Act, this one to conceal the identity of certain crime victims.

Senate Bill 118 would create an exception regarding law enforcement records before charges are filed. It would conceal the names of victims and non-law enforcement witnesses to assault, stalking, rape and criminal sexual contact.

Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, said he has tried to make his reputation by standing for open government and open records. But, Rue said, he voted for this bill because victims might be dissuaded from reporting crimes if their names were readily available in police documents and then were made public.

The measure is sponsored by Sens. Jacob Candelaria and Daniel Ivey-Soto, both Democrats from Albuquerque. It advances to the House of Representatives.

Quote of the day: “It’s like a clown car where all these people get out.” — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, joking about the long line of people who followed her Thursday as she introduced her public education secretary, Karen Trujillo, four deputy secretaries and a special adviser to the department.

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