Small business loan bill goes to governor
By Walter Rubel Southern New Mexico Journalism Collaboration
The New Mexico House of Representatives gave final approval Thursday, February 25, to legislation to make low-interest loans available to more small businesses in the state that have been harmed by restrictions on public health measures imposed to combat the pandemic.
Senate Bill 3 would make changes to legislation passed in an extraordinary session last June. This bill made $ 450 million available for loans, but only about $ 40 million had been used. The new bill will ease the restrictions, making loans available to many more businesses.
The bill passed 51 to 7. Republicans who voted against the bill said they opposed restrictions imposed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “It just allows the current administration to keep the state locked up longer,” House Minority Leader James Townsend R-Artesia said.
Ethics are changing
House Speaker Brian Egolf D-Santa Fe said Thursday he would seek to change the legislature’s ethics policy to incorporate parts of the state’s human rights law into dealing with allegations of discrimination and harassment.
Egolf said the rules currently in place are limited and he wants to make sure those concerned have an appropriate body to respond to them. Egolf said he would ask the Legislative Council Committee to consider the matter in the interval between this session and the next.
“This is something that has happened over the years, and I think it’s important that we pick up on it in the meantime,” Egolf said.
Legislation to crack down on so-called chop shops was passed unanimously in the House on Thursday.
House Bill 145 would make it a third degree felony to dismantle a stolen vehicle or knowingly operate a store where it takes place. Sponsor’s representative Meredith Dixon, D-Albuquerque, said her city was second in the country in auto theft.
“Law enforcement officers have come to the Legislature and asked us to facilitate prosecutions against those who are driving the demand for stolen vehicles and helping this market to thrive in New Mexico,” she said. declared. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Walter Rubel can be reached at [email protected]