Legislative Roundup: 51 Days Remaining In Session

Legislative Roundup

A longer academic year: A bill that would extend the academic year and require all public elementary schools to provide K-5 Plus or extended learning programs cleared the Senate Education Committee on a 7-1 vote.

The K-5 Plus initiative would add 25 days to the regular school calendar, and the Extended Learning Time program would add 10 more school days and also require schools to provide after-school programming and 80 hours of teacher professional development.

Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, cast the lone dissenting vote on Senate Bill 40, raising concerns about

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PAC 8 Community Media Center Schedule: Jan. 29-Feb. 4

PAC 8 News:

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, PAC 8 Community Media Center is available by appointment for recording events, transferring of old media, shooting and editing and pick-up and drop-off of videos and other items.

For information, email, call 505.662.7228 or visit

PAC 8 Television schedule for Jan. 29 through Feb. 4:

  • 6 a.m. — Democracy Now! – Live
  • 10 a.m. — The Tom Hartman Program
  • 11 a.m. — County Council Meeting Replay 1-27-20
  • 2:45 p.m. — Meet the Farmers
  • 3 p.m. — Democracy Now!
  • 4 p.m. — Rising Up with Somali
  • 5 p.m. — PAC PAGES – Los Alamos County

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PED Answers Questions On Expanded In-Person Learning


The New Mexico Public Education Department on Tuesday released the answers to an expanded in-person learning for public schools frequently asked questions:

When will my middle/high school open?

The decision to expand in-person learning to secondary students is made by each local district or charter school’s governing board. The Public Education Department now permits all middle and high schools to reopen in a hybrid model beginning Feb. 8, as long as they meet requirements. However, they are not required to do so and may choose to remain in the remote learning mode.

What is the

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Chart 319: COVID-19 In New Mexico Jan. 27, 2021

The state of New Mexico updated its COVID-19 county map with risk designations applicable for the two-week period Jan. 27-Feb. 9. New Mexico’s ‘Red to Green’ framework includes two gating criteria: (1) Average daily cases below 8 per 100,000 residents, and (2) test positivity rate below 5 percent. There are three risk designations: (a) RED, none of the gating criteria are met, (b) YELLOW, one gating criteria met, (c) GREEN, both gating criteria are met. Los Alamos County, with average daily cases of 28 per 100,000 people and test positivity of 4.7 percent moved from RED to YELLOW. Six additional

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New Mexico COVID-19 Update: 755 New Cases, Total Now 171,047 With 27 New Deaths And 98,042 Patients Recovered


SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced this afternoon 755 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County reports 8 new cases today bringing the total to 433 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update includes 27 new deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The New Mexico Department of Health reports today’s most recent cases:

  • 157 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 47 new cases in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 6 new cases in Colfax County
  • 8 new cases in Curry County
  • 123 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 50 new cases in Eddy County
  • 5 new cases

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Rep. Christine Chandler Sponsored Bill Bringing Fairness Back To Tax System Passes House Committee

Rep. Christine Chandler


SANTA FE — A bill reforming the current Low-Income Comprehensive Tax Rebate (LICTR) passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee Tuesday, bringing greater tax relief for low-income New Mexicans one step closer to reality.

Sponsored by Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), House Bill 42, the Low-Income Comprehensive Tax Rebate Changes Act, would provide New Mexico taxpayers who make under $36,000 with an increased tax rebate under LICTR.

Designed to offset the regressivity of the state’s Gross Receipts Tax and return some tax fairness to

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New Mexico Department Of Health County Map Update: Los Alamos Reaches Yellow Level; Almost Every County Improving In Health Metrics And Suppressing Virus Jan. 27

DOH News:

  • Los Alamos among 7 counties to reach Yellow Level
  • One county at Green Level
  • More than two-thirds on cusp of Yellow;
  • Almost every county improving in health metrics, suppressing virus

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health announced today the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Jan. 27, with seven New Mexico counties at the Yellow Level and one at the Green Level, reflecting an improving overall COVID-19 outlook for the state.

Twenty-eight of 33 counties saw improvements in their average daily per-capita rate of new cases in the last two weeks, and

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UbiQD Publishes Initial Results Of NASA-Funded Agriculture Study, Optimizing Spectral Quality For Growing Plants On Space Missions Using Quantum Dot Films

Artist’s rendition of UbiQD’s quantum dot-enabled greenhouse film, UbiGro™, installed in a lunar greenhouse growing tomatoes. Courtesy/UbiQD, Inc.

UbiQD News:

 …The peer-reviewed study presents collaborative research with the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, validating the importance of light color on crop productivity

UbiQD, Inc., a Los Alamos-based advanced materials company, announced today that it has published the groundbreaking results of the first phase of its NASA-funded plant trials in the open-access Nature Research journal, “Communications

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Special Parade Honors Retiree Corine Christman For Her Many Years Of Service To United Church Thrift Shop

Corine Appreciation Day: United Church Thrift Shop board members held a drive-by appreciation parade this morning for their beloved chair Corine Christman, left, on her retirement. Her friend Nina Thayer holds thank you balloons and bouquets for her this morning in front of the Thrift Shop between Canyon Road and Rose Street. The parade of cars drove by Christman and the drivers honked and waved and thanked Christman for her many, many years of service, including eight years as chair or co-chair. Photo By John McHale/’

Corine Christman, center, is honored by colleagues

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AFT Reacts To Governor’s Plan To Re-Open Schools

AFT News:

SANTA FE — American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

“Since the initial closure of in-person learning throughout New Mexico’s public education system, our union has maintained a collaborative approach to not only addressing the on-going needs of the students, families, and educators we serve, but have also laid the groundwork for today’s announcement of expanded opportunities for a safer return to in-person education.

“Driven by science, and prioritizing

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New Mexico Land Commissioner And Game Commission Sign Four-Year Easement Agreement For Hunting Access

Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard


SANTA FE – New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard and the New Mexico Game Commission have entered into a four-year easement agreement to give licensed hunters and anglers access to nearly nine million acres of state trust land.

Through the easement, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will pay an annual rate of $800,000 directly to the State Land Office for access, along with agreeing to spend an additional $200,000 annually on mutually-agreed upon projects to improve sportsperson access

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Sen. Ben Ray Luján Presides Over U.S. Senate And Votes To Confirm Antony Blinken As Secretary Of State

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), seated center left, presides over the U.S. Senate Tuesday and votes to confirm Antony Blinken as Secretary of State. Screenshot/LADP

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement Tuesday after voting to confirm Antony Blinken as Secretary of State:

“From combating COVID-19 abroad to restoring America’s global leadership, our next Secretary of State faces numerous foreign policy challenges. We need a leader capable of repairing our alliances while holding our adversaries accountable

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Bills For Economic Recovery Heard In Senate Committee


Santa Fe — The first of many bills aimed at helping New Mexico workers and small businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic was heard Tuesday in the Senate Tax, Business & Transportation Committee.

Senate Bill 1 (Sponsored by Senators Peter Wirth, Jacob Candelaria, and Siah Correa Hemphill) creates a new $600 income tax credit for individuals earning up to $31,200 who claim the working families tax credit. It also establishes a new GRT deduction for certain food service establishments for the period between March 1, 2021 through June 20, 2021.

“Working families, particularly

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Office Of Renewable Energy Announces Two New Projects: 480 Acres Leased For Solar And 642 Acres Leased for Wind

Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard in her Office in Santa Fe. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


…New renewable energy projects will bring $5.2M in new revenue for New Mexico public schools

SANTA FE – The New Mexico State Land Office held auctions Jan. 8 for two renewable energy projects. The winning bidders – Wildcat Solar Power Plant, LLC and Boulevard Associates, LLC  will move forward with development of new solar and wind energy projects that combined will bring an estimated $5.2 million in new revenue for the state trust land beneficiary.

In both

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Los Alamos Police Blotter: Jan. 15 To Jan. 20, 2021

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.



Jan. 15 at 8:54 p.m. / Police arrested William Scott Jean, 21, of Los Alamos at 2500 Trinity Dr., and charged him with possession of a controlled substance.






Jan. 20 at 1:53 p.m. / Police arrested Michael A. Novak, 60, of Los Alamos on Yucca Street on an outstanding District Court warrant.

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AGU: Study Shows Reaching Zero Net Carbon Emissions Surprisingly Feasible And Affordable

Infographic details way U.S. can reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. Photo by Jenny Nuss/LLLNL

AGU News:

WASHINGTON—Reaching zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from energy and industry by 2050 can be accomplished by rebuilding U.S. energy infrastructure to run primarily on renewable energy, at a net cost of about $1 per person per day, according to new research.

In a new study in AGU Advances, which publishes high-impact, open-access research and commentary across the Earth and space sciences, researchers created the first published roadmap specifying how to achieve carbon neutrality

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New Mexico State Land Office 2020 Oil And Gas Royalty Audits Recoup $2.3 Million For Land Grant Permanent Fund

State Land Office News:

SANTA FE –The New Mexico State Land Office Royalty Management Division has announced the collection of $2,302,418 from standard audits of royalty collection for calendar year 2020.

The 2020 audit collection amount is a 47.5 percent increase from 2019 and a 120.4 percent increase from 2018.

The Royalty Management Division audits approximately 85 percent of State Land Office royalty revenue every five years. Staff auditors and compliance analysts look for mistakes and errors in reporting from all businesses that lease state trust land and are required to pay royalty

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BeWellnm Awards Contract To Albq. Hispano Chamber


Albuquerque — BeWellnm, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX), announced Tuesday it has awarded its outreach and education contract to the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce (Hispano).

The Hispano is a non-profit member-based organization focused on improving economic development, education and job training in New Mexico. The partnership between BeWellnm and the Hispano will increase awareness among New Mexicans about individual, family and small business health care coverage options.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber

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