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BC-NM--Legislature-New Mexico-The Latest, NM

February 19, 2019
The University of New Mexico would have to reinstate its intercollegiate sports teams for skiing, men’s soccer and women’s beach volleyball in the fall or do without $4.6 million in state funding under a proposed state budget. The $7 billion annual House spending bill was published on Tuesday. It makes general fund appropriations to the athletics department contingent on reviving sports teams that were cut last year amid financial troubles at the university’s athletics department.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on activity in the New Mexico Legislature (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

The University of New Mexico would have to reinstate its intercollegiate sports teams for skiing, men’s soccer and women’s beach volleyball in the fall or do without $4.6 million in state funding under a proposed state budget.

The $7 billion annual House spending bill was published on Tuesday and makes general fund appropriations to the athletics department contingent on reviving the defunct sports teams. It also says the teams must be reinstated prior to state approval of the university’s operating budget.

The University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted last year to cut the programs to get spending under control within its troubled athletics department.

A full House vote is expected this week on the proposal to boost state general fund spending amid a surge in oil-related state income. Approval would send the plan to the Senate for consideration.

Legislators including House appropriations committee chairwoman Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup are seeking greater accountability for university athletics expenditures.

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7:00 a.m.

The New Mexico House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at ensuring ready access to contraceptives.

The bill that requires insurance plans cover a full range of contraceptives without co-payments from customers now heads to the Senate after Monday’s approval on a 40-24 vote.

Bill sponsor Deborah Armstrong of Albuquerque casts access to contraception as a “family issue” and provides parity between men and women. Her initiative would provide access to birth control pills and vasectomies at no cost to consumers.

Under the bill, religious groups that purchase insurance coverage may exclude prescription contraceptives from covered purchases.

Republicans opposed the bill in unison, along with Democratic Reps. Harry Garcia of Grants and Anthony Allison of Fruitland.