FINALLY?????!!!!! Go here:  Driver’s License Compromise Reached

Round Up From The Roundhouse from the New Mexico House Republican Caucus:


House Approves Bill to Combat Truancy


Santa Fe, NM – This evening, the House of Representatives passed legislation to ensure all New Mexico students attend class. House Bill 240 is sponsored by Reps. Jimmie Hall and James Townsend, and it passed by a vote of 33 to 25.


“Students can’t learn if they aren’t in class,” Hall said. “The goal of this bill is to help schools identify and assist students early before they make a habit of skipping school. We need to use every incentive we have to keep kids in school. ”


“The multi-step process established by this bill allows students, parents and schools to work cooperatively,” said Townsend.  “It’s designed to apply early intervention strategies to support students and help them succeed.”


The bill would establish programs to prevent truancy. It would require school districts and charter schools to implement an early warning system that would identify students who are either habitually truant or at risk of dropping out. The early warning system would notify parents when their student has three or more absences. When a student has tallied five or more absences, a truancy prevention team would be required to meet with at-risk students and their parents to develop an attendance plan.


This proposal would also put steps in place to suspend the driver’s licenses of habitually truant students who have recorded 10 or more absences in a school year.


Habitually truant students are more likely to drop out of school. Last year, almost 15 percent of New Mexico students were considered habitually truant.


House Approves Bill to Improve School Background Checks


Santa Fe, NM – This evening, the House of Representatives passed legislation to enhance protections for New Mexico students.  House Bill 127 is sponsored by Rep. David Adkins, and it passed by a vote of 59 to 2.


“Parents need this assurance that school districts have made every effort to keep their kids safe,” said Adkins. “Passing the bill through the House is the first step. I encourage the Senate to approve this bill and send it to the Governor’s desk.”


The bill would require all school district employees, regardless of their position, to pass a background check. The proposal would close a loophole that exempts school employees who have worked continuously in the same district prior to 1998 from receiving background checks. The proposal by Adkins would make it mandatory for all new hires and current employees of school districts to pass a background check.


Under current law, many school employees, such as cooks and custodial staff, have frequent contact with students but they are not subject to the background check requirement. In addition, other employees, like district administrative staff, do not often interact directly with students and are not required to go through a background check, but they still have access to schools and students.


Employees without a background check would have until July 2017 to comply with the law.



House Unanimously Approves Bill to Protect Mothers and Children


Santa Fe, NM – Today, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would allow mothers to terminate the parental rights of a biological father when the pregnancy is the result of rape. House Bill 50 is sponsored by Rep. Conrad James and passed on a unanimous 58 to 0 vote.


“This bill protects mothers and their children from suffering continued harm after a sexual assault,” James said. “It offers a measure of compassion by allowing survivors of rape to sever all ties with the person who assaulted them. I thank my colleagues in the House for joining me in support of this bill.”


Currently, a rapist is allowed custody and visitation rights to a child conceived as a result of a sexual assault. Under James’ proposal, a mother would be able to take away the biological father’s parental rights in the case of a rape conviction. The rapist would be denied all access to the child.


James sponsored a similar bill during last year’s legislative session, but it died in the Senate.

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