I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Committee amends immigrant driver’s license bill
The bill to revoke driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants was changed substantially in a Senate committee Tuesday night. The amendments were enough to have the bill’s sponsor say that the bill was “eviscerated.”
The KUNM Government Project described the changes made to the bill by the Senate Judiciary Committee:
It also would revoke driver’s licenses for any undocumented person who does not present certain documents to the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department to renew his or her license within two years of the legislation taking effect.The amendment passed on a 6-5 vote.
The changes came to a bill that was the subject of many hours of debate over two days in the House.
Gov. Susana Martinez, who has been pushing the legislation as perhaps her top priority this session, slammed the amended bill in a statement after its passage.
“The bill in its current form is a sham and insults the intelligence of every New Mexican who wants to see this dangerous law overturned,” said Martinez. “New Mexicans deserve an up-or-down vote on a bill that will actually stop the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants to protect the people of New Mexico, rather than a sham bill designed to protect politicians from being honest with their constituents.”
Committee Vice Chair Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, praised the compromise afterwards.
“The agreement was a collaboration and is a testament to what can be accomplished when people are committed to finding a solution,” said Wirth in a statement. “The 9 to 2 final vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on HB-78 shows Democrats and Republicans working together on an issue that concerns many of us here in New Mexico.”
The bill will now head to the Senate floor for consideration.
If the bill makes it through the Senate with the current language it would have to go back through the House to match the language before being signed by the governor. But if Martinez’s statement is any indication even then it might be vetoed by Martinez.