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Hello Neighbors,

Legislation of Interest

    • O-18-12 Decriminalization of Marijuana (Davis, Benton) was passed by Council at the April 2 meeting and signed by Mayor Keller this week.  Read the Journal article here.  This ordinance removes the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia and replaces it with a $25 civil fine.  Officers still retain the discretion to charge under the state or federal law for serious cases such as those involving drug trafficking and impaired driving.

Currently possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a criminal offense punishable by up to a $50 fine or 15 days in jail for a first offense, and up to a $500 fine or 90 days in jail for a second offense.  As a criminal offense, marijuana possession can hinder a person’s chances of securing housing or student loans. New Mexico is also among a handful of states where marijuana possession on a person’s record can block his or her chances of getting approval to adopt a child.

In 2014, 60% of city voters supported the decriminalization of marijuana, including a majority of voters in each of the nine Council districts.  Currently, more than 120 million people – or one-third of the U.S. population – live in jurisdictions where marijuana has been essentially decriminalized, meaning there is no jail time associated with possession. A few of the cities that have decriminalized marijuana include Santa Fe, New Mexico; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kansas City, Missouri; and Atlanta, Georgia.

  • FY 19 Operating Budget R-18-24 (Jones, by request):  The Mayor has submitted his proposed budget to City Council. The City Council will formally introduce the budget at Monday’s meeting.  Committee of the Whole (COW or “the budget committee”) hearings are scheduled for Thursday, May 3Thursday, May 10; and Thursday, May 17.  Councilor Trudy Jones is the Chair, and COW hearings are held in the Vincent Griego Chambers at 5:00 pm. I plan to be very active in reviewing (and amending as necessary) this first budget from the Keller administration. Please review it yourself and let me know your thoughts!
  • R-18-18 Intent to Adopt 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (Benton, Davis) will be heard at the Finance & Government Operations (FGO) Committee meeting on May 14.  This is a resolution to take the first steps toward adopting the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for the City.  I previously was the sponsor of the very advanced and easy to use Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code, along with now-US Senator Martin Heinrich.  The AECC was unfortunately repealed in 2010 after a change of Administration and Council, at which time the City reverted to the now-outdated 2009 IECC.  My intention is that the much more up-to-date 2018 code will help Albuquerque once again be a leader in energy efficiency for the benefit of all building owners, businesses, residents and other occupants.

Upcoming Events 

 

Community Announcements/Resources

Projects

  • Project List
  • Rio Grande and Candelaria Roundabout:  The final agreement with NM Dept. of Transportation has been signed. I am cautiously optimistic that the project will go out for construction bids late this year.
  • Kirtland Community Dog Park:  There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for this recently completed project on Saturday, April 21 at 11:00 am. Congrats to this wonderfully active neighborhood on our latest accomplishment together!
  • Santa Barbara Martineztown Pedestrian Improvements:  The study is complete and the report and recommendations have been finalized and posted online.  I am planning a “participatory budgeting” process to get input from the neighborhood to help the City prioritize the first actual projects.

Sincerely,
Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2

http://www.cabq.gov/council/councilors/district-2

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