Legislative bills filed ahead of the 2013 session include one extending Informed Consent measures for Spaceport America.
Prefiling of bills for the 60-day session was Dec. 17-Jan. 11, to get what legislators feel are important bills moving through the committee process. The session opened on Jan. 15.
SB63 is sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-38, Doña Ana County), who sits on the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC). The committee has endorsed efforts to get Informed Consent laws expanded. Papen was elected Senate President Pro-Tem this week, which positions her to name committee assignments. Papen told the Sentinel this week that Sierra County representative Sen. John Arthur Smith will continue as chair of the LFC.
Smith and others have joined as co-sponsors of the legislation.
“We’ve met with members of the House and Senate and I feel confident, with the amendments and compromises we have made, the bill will work,” said Papen. “We need these (expanded Informed Consent) laws so we can be competitive with states like Florida and Colorado, and we need them quickly. The entire state will benefit from the good jobs, which we desperately need.”
The failure of lawmakers in 2012 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, is pretty much doomed without adoption of stronger informed consent laws. Current law does protect Space Flight operators, but not manufacturers of parts for spacecraft.
The bill stalled in the Business and Industry and Judiciary committees last year, held from a vote by the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association.
According to Spaceport Executive Director Christine Anderson, the project now has the backing of the New Mexico…..