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The Latest: Legislators send vetoed items to new governor

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The Latest on initiatives in the New Mexico Legislature (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

The Legislature is sending a string of bills to New Mexico’s Democratic governor for consideration that were vetoed by her Republican predecessor.

The state House of Representatives on Monday gave final approval Wednesday to bills that would expand cave exploration opportunities, require greater reporting of expenses by lobbyist and limit the ability of police to seize information from personal electronic devices.

A House- and Senate-approved bill from Senate majority leader Peter Wirth would require a court order before law enforcement agencies can take electronic information from mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

The House gave final approval to a bill from Democratic Sen. Daniel Ivey Soto of Albuquerque and Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos that would close a loophole that allowed lobbyist buy politicians meals and drinks of up to $ 100 without reporting it.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also will consider a bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Soules of Las Cruces aimed at allowing cave exploration underneath private property by waiving liability for land owners.


1:30 p.m.

A proposal to divert additional money toward early childhood education from a New Mexico state trust fund has cleared its first hurdle in the Legislature.

Amid emotional debate, a legislative panel on Wednesday voted 10-4 to advance a proposed constitutional amendment that would increase spending from the state’s $ 17 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund.

The amendment would need to be approval by the Legislature, a statewide public vote and Congress to provide an additional $ 144 million for spending on early educational services for infants and preschool-aged children.

Lawmakers are confronting a court order to provide greater resources to public education, including early childhood programs. Attempts to increase distributions from the permanent fund have repeatedly failed in recent years as fiscally conservative lawmakers seek to safeguard future investment returns.

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