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Bill To Make Drug Companies Negotiate Lower Prices Passes Key Committee On Bipartisan, Unanimous Vote

on February 25, 2017 - 8:04am

STATE News:
  • SB 354 Could Save State $100 Million

SANTA FE – Legislation to save taxpayers millions of dollars by requiring the State to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices has passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee by a bipartisan, unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 354, ‘Interagency Pharmaceutical Purchasing Council’, would require that all state agencies and state benefit providers who purchase prescription drugs negotiate for bulk purchasing discounts.

House Passes Bill To Consolidate Local Elections

on February 25, 2017 - 6:45am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Bill 174, a bill to consolidate all local elections to the same day.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Paul Bandy (R-San Juan) and Rep. Jim Smith (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe) as well as Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo).

House Bill 174, known as the Local Election Act, would create a uniform process for local elections and require that those elections be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November in odd numbered years. It would apply to elections for:

  • School Districts;
  • Community

HJM 4: Shining Light On State Infrastructure Projects; Examining Capital Outlay Structure Passes House

on February 24, 2017 - 10:35pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE The New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Joint Memorial 4 (HJM 4), which calls for the creation of a new interim committee that would accomplish two goals:
  • Shine a light on all state infrastructure projects to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently on these endeavors; and
  • Examine state’s capital outlay structure and propose recommendations on how to improve it.
 
“Just last year, our State Auditor’s Office produced a report showing approximately $1.8 billion in taxpayer money that was earmarked for infrastructure projects around the

Letter To The Editor: House Bill 50 ... Just To Clarify

on February 24, 2017 - 10:27pm
By KHALIL SPENCER
Los Alamos

I just want to clarify a couple things in response to Jody Benson's letter as well as thank her for her engagement on the topic (link).

I did not say that we should reject House Bill 50. What I said was the original and present wording was problematic. There is still plenty of time in this legislative session to find some common ground on this
bill and amend it so it has bipartisan and gun owner support.

To excerpt from my own essay (link), what I said was "...provisions in the bill put onerous constraints on temporary transfers and casual sales between law abiding

Scenes From Ellen Ben-Naim Victory Celebration At Pig & Fig In White Rock This Morning

on February 24, 2017 - 3:31pm
Newly elected Los Alamos School Board member for District One, Ellen Ben-Naim, with School Board Member Bill Hargraves at her Victory Celebration this morning at Pig and Fig Cafe in White Rock. The district encompasses Pinon Elementary School and other areas. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
Guests chat at the Victory Party for newly elected School Board member Ellen Bn-Naim this morning at Pig and Fig Cafe. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
Supporters, from left, Robyn Schultz, Karyl Ann Armbruster, Amy Storey and Eric Vasquez at the Victory Celebration this morning

Annual Benefit Basketball Game Helps New Mexicans

on February 24, 2017 - 3:25pm
Check presentation. Courtesy photo
 
SPORTS News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE ― The New Mexico Senate “Lobos” tip off against the House of Representatives “Aggies” on Wednesday, March 1, at Santa Fe High School.
 
The hotly-contested game is a fun event for those on the court, on the bench and in the stands. But everyone knows that the real opponent is cancer.
 
The annual game is an important source of private donations for The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center. Over the past six years, it has raised more than $100,000.
 
“The proceeds help us to deliver the cutting-edge,

Yang: Fact, Truth, Reality ... Which One Is Debatable?

on February 24, 2017 - 7:38am
​By ELENA YANG
Former Los Alamos Resident
  • Author’s note: In one of my last columns of 2016, I mentioned that the Los Alamos Daily Post graciously invited me to submit my writing whenever the mood seizes me. So, I am back, more or less, less on a weekly basis, more as an irregular presence.
 
A child asks mom, “what is that man doing?” Mom says, “He’s entertaining.” Child, “No, what is he doing?” Mom, “He’s performing.” Child gasped, “But what is he doing?” Mom tries again, “He’s making people smile.” Child continues, “But what is he doing?” Mom finally adopts the conventional definition,

NMVC On Indiscriminate Immigrant Raids

on February 24, 2017 - 7:25am
NMVC News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE — James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding the recent immigration raids in southern New Mexico:
 
“We are disturbed at the news of immigration raids in southern New Mexico and urge immigration officials to keep the best interests of all of our children and families at heart going forward.
 
“As a nation built on ingenuity, America can craft common-sense reforms to our immigration system that improve our economy and keep us safe while maintaining our American values of inclusion and equality of

Governor Signs Emergency Funding For Courts

on February 23, 2017 - 5:05pm

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Today Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law House Bill 261 sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Bernalillo) and Rep. Zachary Cook (R-Lincoln and Otero), House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo).

The new law appropriates critical emergency funding for New Mexico’s judiciary system by providing $80,000 to the Supreme Court and $1.6 million to the Administrative Office of the Courts’ Jury and Witness fund to prevent anticipated FY 2017 budget shortfalls in those entities.

“Justice Charles Daniels alerted us to the grave funding

State Senate Unanimously Confirms Butch Tongate Secretary Of New Mexico Environment Department

on February 23, 2017 - 4:51pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE — Secretary Designate Butch Tongate has been confirmed unanimously by the Senate as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.
 
Tongate, who has worked at the Environment Department since 1993, was appointed Deputy Secretary in 2011.
 
“I’m proud to have Butch lead this department, which is so important to present and future generations of New Mexicans,” Gov. Susana Martinez said.

Bills To Attract, Retain Good Teachers Pass House

on February 23, 2017 - 4:43pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Tuesday, two bills that aim to ensure New Mexico attracts and retains good teachers by improving teacher evaluations and recognizing teacher skill and competency passed the House.
 
Rep. Debra Sariñana’s (D-Albuquerque) bill, HB 163, makes teacher evaluations more fair by ensuring a teacher’s evaluation is not disproportionately affected by students who have too many absences. The second bill introduced by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s (D-Albuquerque), HB 124, provides a three-tier framework for teachers to advance to level II and level III licensure.
 
“HB

Common Cause Gerrymander Report Out As HJR 3 Redistricting Goes To Committee

on February 23, 2017 - 4:37pm
CCNM News:
 
A constitutional amendment to establish an independent redistricting commission will be heard in a House committee Thursday, just as Common Cause New Mexico releases Restoring Voter Choice: How Citizen-Led Redistricting Can End the Manipulation of Our Elections, a report about the 2016 election completed by Common Cause nationally.
 
New Mexico is cited as one of eight states where the outcome of the election—and the composition of the legislature—was already determined before any votes were cast.
 
Approximately 62% of legislative races in New Mexico were uncontested,

Los Alamos School Board Extends Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus' Contract Maximum Allowed By Law

on February 23, 2017 - 10:02am

Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus

 

By KIRSTEN LASKEY

Los Alamos Daily Post

 

The Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Board of Education unanimously renewed Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus’ contract for three more years, which is the maximum amount of time allowed by state law.

 

The decision to extend the contract occurred during the Feb. 14 regular school board meeting. In addition to extending his contract, the board offered Steinhaus a raise identical to the amount offered to all other staff.

NM House Passes Revenue And Budget Bills

on February 23, 2017 - 9:38am

STATE News:

SANTA Fe Wednesday evening, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed both a new revenue package and a budget for fiscal year 2018. Taken together, the two bills will allow New Mexico to have a balanced budget and raise cash reserves to a respectable 3.2 percent.
 

HB 202 comprised of a package of provisions to raise new money for the state to mitigate and avoid further devastating cuts to education, Medicaid, and other critical areas. Budget predictions from the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Committee project a $120 to $125 million hole for fiscal year 2018.

The new

Democratic Party Of Los Alamos Holds County Convention March 20 At UNM-LA

on February 23, 2017 - 9:37am

DPLA News:

The Democratic Party of Los Alamos will hold its Democratic County Convention at 6 p.m. Monday, March 20, 2017 at UNM-Los Alamos, Building 5 (Wallace Hall), 4000 University Dr. in Los Alamos, NM.

Each Ward will elect a Ward Chair, Ward Vice-Chair and additional County Central Committee members.

The County Central Committee will elect the County Chair, County Vice-Chair and two State Central Committee members. State Central Committee (SCC) members will attend the SCC meeting Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Albuquerque.

The County Credentials and Rules Revision Committee meets before

Letter To The Editor: Straight Scoop On HB50

on February 23, 2017 - 8:07am
By JOHN N. HORNE
Los Alamos

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos is up to those old tired political tricks again. In order to bolster support for HB50, Ms. Garcia Richard jumped at the opportunity to have her picture taken with a shooting victim and then imply her bill will solve all the world’s ills regarding gun violence.

The fact of the matter is there is nothing in HB50 that would’ve had any bearing on the (Former U.S. Rep. Gabby) Giffords' shooting.

Professor Emerita Denise Fort: How Can U.S. Retain Scientific Leadership In Environmental Protection?

on February 23, 2017 - 7:27am
By DENISE D. FORT
Professor Emerita UNM School of Law
Former director, NM Environmental Improvement Division
 
The upheaval in Washington, D.C. that is occurring now has one surprising objective - the discrediting of scientists. Science is under attack in numerous ways.
 
The assertion that climate change is a Chinese hoax was bad enough. Now the Administration has nominated a climate denier to head the EPA, taken down web pages that inform the public about agency work, and threatened to slash funding at EPA.
 
The threat comes from the Congress as well; 114 representatives have

Update On Pursuit Of USS Los Alamos

on February 22, 2017 - 11:00pm

James Nesmith testifying Dec. 15, 2015 to Los Alamos County Council. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously passed and adopted a resolution endorsing the naming of a United States Navy Submarine as the U.S.S. Los Alamos. 

That was the beginning of an intensive yearlong effort by the USS Los Alamos Commissioning Committee to gather documentation from across the state substantiating the wide spread support for our effort.

In that year, memorials were passed by both houses of the State legislature, and letters of support were obtained from

Councilor Rick Reiss At Regional Coalition Of LANL Communities Meeting In Washington, D.C.

on February 22, 2017 - 5:00pm

From left, Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives, Los Alamos County Councilor Rick Reiss and Santa Fe County Commissioner Robert Anaya at today's Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Federal Legislative Agenda meetings in Washington, D.C.Courtesy photo

VIDEO: Udall Urges Senate To Reject Nomination Of Friedman For Ambassador To Israel

on February 22, 2017 - 2:15pm
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At a recent hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall urged senators to reject the nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
 
 
Udall questioned Friedman on his litany of well-documented, extreme, and inflammatory positions and statements maligning members of the Senate, the Obama administration, and other public officials. Below is the text of Udall’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:
 
“Mr.
Tags: 

Udall On Trump's Plans For Mass Deportation

on February 22, 2017 - 2:05pm
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released the following statement in response to recently released memos from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security establishing new guidelines for carrying out President Trump’s immigration orders:
 
"President Trump’s guidelines amount to a plan to begin mass deportations. These plans are unrealistic, inhumane, bad for the economy, and an extremely inefficient use of already thin resources.

Sig Hecker To Address Nuclear North Korea, Moderated By Valerie Plame Thursday

on February 22, 2017 - 1:41pm
CIR News:
 
Sig Hecker, Stanford University Research Professor and Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Emeritus will offer his thoughts and opinions on the timely topic of “Nuclear North Korea and Lessons for the Iran Deal.” 
 
His talk is 5:50 p.m., Thursday at the Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living, 505 Camino de Los Marquez.
 
Dr. Hecker is an internationally recognized expert in plutonium science, global threat reduction and nuclear security.

Arts In Public Places Advisory Board Meets Thursday

on February 22, 2017 - 1:30pm

‘No Border Wall’ Bill Passes House Committee

on February 22, 2017 - 1:23pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  House Bill 292, which would bar the federal government from using state lands to build a wall on New Mexico’s border with Mexico, has passed the House Government, Indian and Veterans Affairs Committee (HGIVC) in a partisan 5-4 vote.
 
In an impassioned debate, the bill’s sponsors, Representatives Bill McCamley (D-Mesilla Park), Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces), Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque) and Linda Trujillo (D-Santa Fe), stated that a wall divides communities, destabilizes trade with Mexico, runs contrary to New Mexico’s core values, and hampers economic

Letter To The Editor: House Bill 50

on February 22, 2017 - 1:21pm
By JODY BENSON
Los Alamos
 
House Bill 50: Relating To Crime; Requiring Criminal Background Checks On Gun Transfers Between Certain Persons; Providing Exceptions; Providing Penalties Khal Spencer’s excellent OpEd on House Bill 50—the proposed background check for all gun sales including online sales and at gun shows—offered statistics and arguments about why we should support a background check bill.
His bottom line? Support a background-check bill—but not this one.
 
I completely agree with his argument that people murdering other people with guns are part of a culture of violence that

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