Time running out on legislative session

Posted at: 02/19/2014 8:49 AM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

State lawmakers will continue debating a number of bills on Wednesday with time running out. The legislative session draws to a close on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the state Senate passed the $6.2 billion budget, which now heads to the House.

The budget shows $17 million for public school initiatives. It also shows a 3 percent raise for government workers and teachers.

In a statement, Gov. Susana Martinez wrote that the budget represents a compromise that shows the importance of investing in education reform.

Omaree's Law passed in the House on Tuesday and now goes to the Senate. The bill was created following the death of 9-year-old Omaree Varela, who was allegedly kicked to death by his mother.

The bill would require the state's Children Youth and Families Department to take kids into custody for 48 hours if they show specific signs of abuse, like burns, bruises or bite marks.

But some people are worried the bill will overwhelm the department. Legislative analysts estimate CYFD would need an additional 4,000 employees to keep up with the law.