Senators Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D) and Cliff Pirtle (R)

Air Dates: February 1-3, 2020

This week's guests on REPORT FROM SANTA FE are two New Mexico Senators, Gerald Ortiz y Pino, (D) Bernalillo, and Cliff Pirtle, (R) Roswell, discussing bills legalizing recreational marijuana and other hot topics of this 30-Day Legislative Session.

Senator Ortiz y Pino is the sponsor of SB 115, the Cannabis Regulation Act, which just this week passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee. Senator Pirtle was the sponsor of an unsuccessful bill to legalize cannabis in the 2019 60-Day Session that created lots of controversy. The two lawmakers discuss complex elements of marijuana legalization and the factors that must be considered for the health and safety of the public.

Bills for studying the financial abuse of seniors (SM 8), increasing the Working Families Tax Credit (SB 87), making alterations to the Workplace Violence Against Health Care Workers Act (SJM 5), and establishing (for Dreamers) licensure eligibility without lawful presence (SB 137) are among the many pieces of legislation introduced by Ortiz y Pino.

Bills enacting the Vocational Training Scholarship Act (SB 147) and adding the NM Mounted Patrol as Law Enforcement (SB 163) have been introduced by Pirtle. Senator Pirtle sponsored the Permanent Daylight Saving Time bill last session and the lawmakers talk about the furor that was created by the idea of time zone changes in New Mexico.

Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino is a Democrat from Bernalillo County, representing Senate District 12. He is a social worker who first came to the Senate in 2005 and has now served15 years in Senate. Ortiz y Pino is the Chairman of the interim Legislative Health and Human Services Committee. During the Legislative Session, he serves as Chair of the Senate Public Affairs Committee and is a Member of the Senate Rules Committee.

Senator Cliff Pirtle is a Republican from Roswell, representing Senate District 32. He first came to the Senate in 2013 and this year marks his seventh year in the Senate. Pirtle is the Ranking Member of the Indian & Cultural Affairs Committee and is a Member of the Senate Land Grant Committee.