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State Auditor Tim Keller Releases Third Annual Fund Balance Report, Recommendations

on March 17, 2017 - 8:14am
New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) released the third annual Fund Balance Report that tallies unspent funds in government accounts.
 
The OSA Government Accountability Office compiled data from the most recent financial audits of 431 funds in 91 state agencies. Most of the dollars reside in funds for thousands of specific projects and programs.

Letter To The Editor: Support Legislation To Require Background Checks For All Gun Sales

on March 17, 2017 - 7:56am
By NINA SAMMONS
Santa Fe
 
As a voter in Sen. Liz Stefanics’ district, I encourage my fellow residents to call our legislators to support legislation to require background checks for all gun sales.
 
The law requires sales from gun shows or the internet to include a background check on the buyer ensuring that guns don’t end up in the hands of criminals or those with a dangerous mental illness. Polling has shown that this policy is supported by 87 percent of New Mexicans and 84% of New Mexican gun owners.
 
Please contact your legislators and let them know you support background checks on

Heinrich Calls On Trump To Address Wiretap Claim

on March 17, 2017 - 7:53am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement calling on President Trump to come clean on his unsubstantiated accusation that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower prior to last year's election:
 
“If President Trump wanted to put this to bed, he’d come clean with whatever ‘evidence’ he claims to have.

Funding For REDI Net Manager Position Fails

on March 16, 2017 - 4:52pm

Councilors Rick Reiss, left, and Pete Sheehey motion to approve funding for REDI Net to hire a general manager during Tuesday's County Council meeting. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com

 

By KIRSTEN LASKEY
​Los Alamos Daily Post
 

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) failed to receive approval from the Los Alamos County Council to provide funds to REDI Net to hire a new general manager. REDI Net is the public organization which provides broadband network services in Northern New Mexico.

 

The MOA was discussed during the regular County Council meeting Tuesday at the White Rock Fire

Opioid Overdose Prevention Bill Moves To House Floor

on March 16, 2017 - 4:45pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE The House Health and Human Services Committee has passed legislation to prevent opioid drug overdoses in New Mexico. House Bill 370, sponsored by Reps. Sarah Maestas Barnes (R-Bernalillo) and Rebecca Dow (R-Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra), passed by a vote of 6 to 0.
 
The bill aims to increase awareness and access to naloxone. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, blocks the effects of opioids and is used to treat suspected opioid overdoses.

Sen. Martin Heinrich: President Trump’s Budget Outline Does Not Reflect Our Core Values And Principles

on March 16, 2017 - 7:56am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich issued the following statement after President Trump released his Fiscal Year 2018 budget outline that cuts $54 billion from non-defense discretionary spending.

The President's budget boosts Defense Department spending by 10 percent, cuts the State Department by 28 percent and the Environmental Protection Agency by 25 percent, eliminates funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and provides $1.5 billion for construction of the border wall.

“President Trump’s proposal irresponsibly robs $54

House Passes Ban On Conversion Therapy

on March 16, 2017 - 7:41am

STATE News:

SANTA FE The New Mexico House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 121 Wednesday evening, a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for individuals under 18 years of age.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Andrés Romero (D-Albuquerque). Conversion therapy, aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, has been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.

“This discredited practice is not based on medical science. It’s based on dangerous misinformation,” Rep.

Ethics Commission Proposal Advances To Senate

on March 16, 2017 - 7:14am
Rep. Jim Dines (R-Bernalillo). Courtesy photo
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE ― March 9 the House of Representatives unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 8, a proposal to establish an independent ethics commission in New Mexico. HJR 8 is sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines (R-Bernalillo).
 
HJR 8 would amend the New Mexico Constitution to create a seven-member independent commission, no more than three of which may belong to the same political party, to investigate and adjudicate ethics complaints against state officers and employees in the legislative and executive branches of government.

Freedom Of The Press ... Sunshine Week Editorial

on March 16, 2017 - 6:35am
By CHRIS WOOD, President
New Mexico Press Association

Recognizing that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, the intent of the legislature in enacting the Inspection of Public Records Act is to ensure, and it is declared to be the public policy of this state, that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officers and employees.

Letter To The Editor: How Ironic ...

on March 15, 2017 - 4:52pm
By ANDREW DELOREY
Los Alamos
 
How ironic that the Los Alamos GOP chairman should write, “No matter what political party a citizen chooses to associate with, it should be their first and most precious duty to protect the republic.” (link)

We have a GOP president that likely has many undisclosed conflicts of interest regarding his domestic and international business relationships. He has assaulted the first amendment by threatening and excluding the media. The media is diverse and every president has adversaries; that is by design. He has assaulted the first amendment by discriminating based on

Bill Promoting Use Of Local Inspectors Gets Concurrence And Awaits Governor’s Signature

on March 15, 2017 - 2:00pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  March 14, the House of Representatives unanimously concurred with the Senate on House Bill 305. HB 305 Sponsored by Rep. Candie Sweetser (D-Deming), a strong advocate for agriculture, would ensure that our local farms are inspected by local inspectors from the New Mexico department of agriculture (NMDA), rather than federal inspectors from the FDA.
 
This increase in certified inspectors not only allows agribusinesses to grow, but it increases opportunities for them to expand into value-added enterprises that require additional inspectors.
 
“I am thrilled that

Egolf Hails Passage Of Sweeping Ethics Reform

on March 15, 2017 - 1:56pm
HOUSE DEMOCRATS  News:
 
SANTA FE  After extensive work on both sides of the aisle, the New Mexico House passed a bipartisan resolution that would bring sweeping ethics reform to New Mexico government.
 
HJR 8, which gives voters the opportunity to decide on the creation of an independent State Ethics Commission, passed unanimously 66-0.
 
“The people of New Mexico have asked year after year for transparency and accountability, and the New Mexico House answered their call tonight,” said New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) “I was pleased to work with the sponsor on needed

Officials Brief County Council On Library System

on March 15, 2017 - 11:27am

Library Board Chair Jennifer Baker and Library Manager Steven Thomas present the board's Fiscal Year 2017 work plan and details about the County library system and board to the Los Alamos County Council during its regular meeting Tuesday night at the White Rock Fire Station. During the presentation, Baker reported that in FY 2017, more than 391,000 items were checked out of the libraries and the library system had more than 333,000 visitors. Councilor Antonio Maggiore commended the library board for its work. ''ou guys run some fantastic libraries here," he said.

Udall, Heinrich Invite Energy Secretary Rick Perry To Visit New Mexico National Laboratories

on March 15, 2017 - 10:06am

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry inviting him to visit Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

“The work at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories is critical to meeting DOE’s mission of assuring national security through stewardship of the nuclear weapons stockpile, nuclear non-proliferation, and homeland security,” wrote the senators.

Beware The Ides Of March: A Warning For All Republics

on March 15, 2017 - 9:52am
By JAMES ROBINSON
Los Alamos GOP Chair

On this day, 2061 years ago, Roman Dictator Julius Caesar was brutally assassinated by Roman Senators in the Roman Senate.

The event was the culmination of Caesar’s victory in the Civil War with his rival Consul Pompey the Great. After the victory, Caesar contributed on to a regime change in Egypt, and returned to Rome as triumphant leader. As he concentrated his power, Caesar reportedly denied the offer to make him King of Rome. He reportedly did this three times.

Letter To The Editor: Concerns With County Financial Disclosure Forms And Public Access Procedures

on March 15, 2017 - 9:35am
By EDWARD BIRNBAUM
Los Alamos

The Feb. 3 issue of the Los Alamos Daily Post had a story (link), which caught my eye regarding the violation of the Code of Ethics in Hobbs as reported by State Auditor Tim Keller. Apparently, Hobbs public officials were not filing the required financial disclosures and perhaps more importantly, were not recusing themselves from voting on official business issues when their personal financial interests were involved.

Members of the County Council and the Board of Public Utilities here in Los Alamos are responsible for making decisions involving many millions of

Bill To Help Workers Care For Sick, Elderly Relatives Heads To Senate Floor

on March 15, 2017 - 9:18am

STATE News:
  • Caregiver Leave Act Allows Employees to Use Already-Provided Sick Leave for Caregiving

Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s Caregiver Leave Act, HB 86, is headed to the Senate floor for a final vote after it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, moving the widely supported bill, which would allow workers to also use sick leave that is already provided by their employers to cover absences for caregiving, one step closer to the governor’s desk.

“Too many New Mexicans are in the Sandwich Generation,” Armstrong said. “My kids are grown, but my 88-year-old mother lives with me.

Letter To The Editor: Proposal For Workable Firearms Transfer Background Check Law

on March 15, 2017 - 9:06am

By KHALIL SPENCER
Los Alamos

A couple of us have thought of a background check proposal that might accomplish most or all of what we really want but with far less acrimony. So here is an idea if this is to be revisited again and assuming for the moment that the present bills are not resurrected. I’ve stolen some ideas from a colleague (with thanks) but modified them with my own additions, so any rotten fruit should be thrown at me alone. Here would be the basis of the law.

1. It is of material and social benefit to society to verify that a person unknown to you is not a prohibited person

Heinrich: GOP Healthcare Plan Disastrous As Expected

on March 15, 2017 - 8:29am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the GOP healthcare plan.
 
According to CBO estimates, 14 million would be uninsured by 2018 and 26 million by 2026.
 
“The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the Republican healthcare bill will be as disastrous as we expected.

Udall Celebrates Sunshine Week By Advocating Open Government, Defending Free Press

on March 15, 2017 - 8:09am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, will today mark Sunshine Week — a national initiative to educate the public on the importance of an open and transparent government — by advocating for transparency in our government, defending the critical role of the free press, and calling for campaign finance reform to shine a light on dark money in politics.

Starting at 10 a.m.

New Teacher Evaluation System Passes Senate

on March 14, 2017 - 5:40pm

STATE News:

 

SANTA FE – On a strongly bipartisan basis, the New Mexico Senate today passed legislation to develop a new system for evaluating teachers and principals that relies less heavily on students’ scores on controversial standardized tests. By a vote of 30-7, with both Democratic and Republican support, SB 34 was passed by the Senate. 

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City, also was amended to include language offered by Republican Sen. Craig Brandt from the historic Senate override earlier in the day of the Governor’s veto of teacher sick days legislation.

Bill To Allow Pharmacists To Dispense Interchangeable Biosimilar Medicines Passes Senate

on March 14, 2017 - 3:07pm
NM SENATE News:
 
The New Mexico Senate on Monday unanimously passed Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s bill, HB 260, which will allow pharmacists in the state, when filling a prescription for a biologic medicine, to dispense less-expensive biosimilar medicines once the Federal Drug Administration has determined that the medicine is interchangeable with an existing biologic treatment.
 
“With biological products becoming increasingly important in treating medical conditions from cancer to rheumatoid arthritis, and with the FDA currently considering several biosimilar products for ‘interchangeable’

Bills Limiting School Testing And Restricting Use Of Restraint And Seclusion Head To Governor

on March 14, 2017 - 8:38am

STATE News:
  • Bills Aim to Improve the Quality of Student Life at New Mexico Schools

SANTA FE – Monday night, the House concurred with two bills to improve the quality of student life at New Mexico schools.

House Bills 185 and 75 will now head to the Governor’s desk. House Bill 185 sets limits on the amount of time that students spend taking standardized tests.

“This bill puts teaching ahead of testing, and makes sure students aren't missing out on valuable classroom time,” said Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), one of the bill’s sponsors.

Senate Sends School Restraint Bill To Governor

on March 13, 2017 - 8:36pm

Rep. Jim Smith

SENATE News:

SANTA FE – This afternoon, the Senate approved House Bill 75, a bill to limit the use of restraint and seclusion techniques in schools. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe), passed on a bipartisan 30 to 4 vote.

House Bill 75 specifies conditions when restraining and seclusion techniques may be permitted in schools, and it requires New Mexico’s public schools to adopt policies and procedures for the use of restraint and seclusion techniques in their school safety plans.

McMillan To Testify At House Armed Services Panel

on March 13, 2017 - 8:03pm

LANL Director Charlie McMillan

Staff Report

The public will get a first glimpse under the hood of the next era of American nuclear weapons this week, when key officials in the complex stand for questions during a hearing of a House Armed Services subcommittee scheduled for Thursday.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan is set to be among those appearing before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The meeting at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

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