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Voters To Decide On Independent Ethics Commission

on March 18, 2017 - 9:46am

HOUSE DEMOCRATS News:

SANTA FE – House Joint Resolution 8, to create an Independent Ethics Commission that will restore trust in government, will now head to the ballot.

HJR 8, sponsored by Representatives Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces), Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces), Daymon Ely (D-Corrales) and Jim Dines (R-Albuquerque), proposes a constitutional amendment creating an Independent Ethics Commission tasked with investigating and issuing advisory opinions regarding any violations of laws or misconduct by elected state officials.
 

New Democratic leadership and new members in each chamber with a

Statement On Attempted Override Of Governor’s Veto Of HB 241 - Attendance Component In Teacher Evaluations

on March 18, 2017 - 8:39am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Rep. Jim Smith (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe) released the following statement after the House of Representatives failed to override Gov. Susana Martinez’s veto of House Bill 241:
 
“In her veto message, Gov. Martinez stated that she would be willing to consider changes to attendance measures as part of a comprehensive teacher evaluation system. Attendance measures account for just five percent of a teacher’s overall evaluation. House Bill 241 sought to address only the attendance component in teacher evaluations, and we respect Gov.

Letter To The Editor: Leave Nonprofits Alone ... Bill 412 Is Double Taxation!

on March 18, 2017 - 8:13am
Lou Santoro
President
The Family YMCA Board of Directors

House Bill 412 calls for closing many exemption loopholes to address the budget crisis that our state faces. No doubt, there are many aspects of the Tax Reform Bill that need just that—reform. However, HB 412 also calls for eliminating the sales tax exemption for nonprofits—all nonprofits large, small, 501c3, churches etc., thus subjecting nonprofits to sales and gross receipts tax.

Under HB 412, nonprofits would need to collect and pay GRT on all contracts (local, state, federal), grants from foundations and United Way, fees from

House Of Representatives Honor New Mexico Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders

on March 17, 2017 - 4:33pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  March 9 the House of Representatives honored New Mexico’s law enforcement officers and first responders.
 
Reps. Yvette Herrell (R-Otero) and Patricio Ruiloba (D-Bernalillo) invited public safety personnel from across the state to join members on the House floor so they could be recognized and honored for their commitment to service.
 
Herrell also sponsored a certificate to acknowledge the dedication of New Mexico’s first responders, public safety professionals and volunteers.

New Mexico Ethics Watch: House Judiciary Committee Substitute For HJR 8, Creating Ethics Commission

on March 17, 2017 - 2:44pm
ETHICS News:
 
New Mexico Ethics Watch has significant concerns regarding the revised version of the constitutional amendment creating an Ethics Commission for New Mexico that the House of Representatives has sent to the Senate for consideration.
 
The House Judiciary Committee made sweeping changes to the legislation, changes that critically undermine a prospective commission’s independence, impartiality, and effectiveness. The legislation now before the Senate is flawed. The Senate should restore the resolution to the text it had at introduction before passing this measure.
 
The

Lottery Scholarship Gap Bill Goes To Governor

on March 17, 2017 - 8:50am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Lottery Scholarship Grace Period legislation, SB 420, sponsored by Sen. Bill Soules of Las Cruces, March 15 was passed by the full New Mexico House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.
 
The bill allows students to take up to 16 months off before beginning college, and still qualify for the state Lottery Scholarship assistance. The measure was the top priority for NMSU students. It was passed earlier in the session by the Senate, and now goes to the Governor for signature.
 
“I am pleased that legislators passed this bill that is so important to

Udall, Tester, Cantwell Introduce Measure To Create Jobs By Fostering Entrepreneurship In Indian Country

on March 17, 2017 - 8:42am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and former committee chairs Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) introduced the Native American Business Incubators Program Act, legislation to help launch small businesses and encourage job creation in Indian Country. 
 
Their bill, S. 607, creates a competitive grant program to establish and fund business incubators that will assist in cultivating Native American-owned small businesses.

Chile License Plate Bill On It's Way To Gov. Martinez

on March 17, 2017 - 8:38am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  March 15, the Senate endorsed House Bill 393 on a bipartisan 31 to 7 vote.  House Bill 393 is Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s proposal to create a specialty chile license plate for New Mexico. The bill will now be sent to Gov. Susana Martinez for her signature.
 
The specialty license plate would be available to New Mexicans for a fee of thirty-five dollars. Twenty-five dollars of the fee will be used to fund educational programs at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.

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