Bills for PTSD treatment, 17-year-old voters died in Senate
One bill focused on military veterans looked like a good bet in January but died in March.
Rep. Dianne Hamilton, right, R-Silver City, had hoped to launch a program at Western New Mexico University that would treat shell-shocked soldiers with computer simulations of the very war zones that scarred them.
Her bill cleared the House of Representatives 70-0, but the 60-day session ended without it getting a vote on the Senate floor.
The idea was to use the sights, sounds and even smells of war to treat soldiers with PTSD.
This may sound counterintuitive to helping a veteran haunted by chilling memories, but the treatment is effective, said Skip Rizzo, a professor and associate director of the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California.
Hamilton had a deep interest in the bill and PTSD treatments. Her husband and three of her children are military veterans.Another bill that died in the homestretch was Rep. Jeff Steinborn's proposal to let 17-year-olds vote in primaries, provided they would be 18 by the general election.
It cleared the House of Representatives despite opposition from 24 of the 32 Republicans.
Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, said the bill would engage young people in politics and create life-long voters.
His bill made it to the Senate floor on the final day of the session, but Majority Leader Michael Sanchez stopped the debate after several minutes. The calendar was jammed and it appeared discussion on Steinborn's bill could run out the session.
Various Senate Republicans said they opposed the bill because the state Constitution makes no provision for 17-year-olds to vote.
Twenty states already allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries.