Informed Consent Likely To Be Hot Topic In Santa Fe

By: GPK Media

Legislators are in Santa Fe and pre-filing bills for the upcoming 60-day session, but nothing has been filed yet to extend Informed Consent laws for Spaceport America.
The Sentinel will be monitoring the session and report on any bills relating to the spaceport during next 60 days. Pre-filing of bills began Dec. 17 through Jan. 11, with the session convening on Jan. 15.
During the 2012 legislative session, two bills to extend Informed Consent protection to suppliers and manufacturers of parts for space flight carriers languished in two legislative committees, a major setback for New Mexico’s bid to become a pioneer in the emerging space industry.
Debbie Rodella (D-41) chaired the Business and Industry Committee last year, where one of the bills stalled.
“I made pleas at the talks about the Spaceport for the backers to get together and come forward with something we can all agree on,” said Rodella. “I asked them to not wait for the eleventh hour to get together like they did last year.”
According to Spaceport Executive Director Christine Anderson, the project now has the backing of the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, and the Save Our Spaceport (SOS) Coalition has formed to lobby for the effort.
“The impact is no longer theoretical. Over the past year, several companies have passed on locating in New Mexico, citing liability law as a reason to go somewhere else,” said Anderson.
During the 2012 Legislative Session, two bills to extend Informed Consent protection languished in Rodella’s and one in the Judiciary committees, a major setback for New Mexico’s bid to become a pioneer in the emerging space industry.
The failure of lawmakers to move forward the $209 million taxpayer-funded project, at the world’s first purpose-built spaceport—designed to send tourists and payload (military and commercial items) into space and create employment for Sierra County and the surrounding area—was pretty much doomed without adoption of stronger informed consent laws.
INFORMED CONSENT
In 2004, the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act was signed into federal law to foster the development of new companies in the United States, especially New Mexico. Then, in 2010, New Mexico lawmakers approved an Informed…