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Political News

Click HERE to view the Los Alamos County Council webpage.

Political News

Senate Passes Balanced State Budget

on February 17, 2016 - 8:19am
Sen. John Arthur Smith
SANTA FE — The Senate passed the Senate Finance Committee’s amended House Bill 2 (HB 2) on a 39-1 vote Monday that includes minor to modest budget increases for the corrections and law enforcement, the Children Youth and Families Department and public schools, including salary increases for Level II and III teachers.
HB 2 as amended by the Senate now heads back to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
However, the adjusted budget will include about a 2 percent decrease to the budgets of all other state departments and agencies.

House Passes Bill Providing Parental Visitation Rights To Adult Children

on February 17, 2016 - 7:25am
Rep. Conrad James
SANTA FE  House Bill 120, sponsored by Rep. Conrad James, unanimously passed the House of Representatives yesterday. The legislation would ensure that adult children have the right to visit their elderly and ill parents even if they are under the care of another person.
“This bill will support the visitation rights of adult children with ailing parents, and I’m encouraged by its passage,” James said. “We need to take this step to clarify the law and protect the rights of children to maintain a relationship with their parents in their final days.”
This bill

Bail Reform Passes House

on February 17, 2016 - 6:27am
SANTA FE  Monday Feb. 15, Senate Joint Resolution 1, the Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment, unanimously passed the House of Representatives.
The Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment will allow defendants who pose a clear threat to the community to be held without bail. Conversely, non-violent defendants who are unable to pay bail where evidence shows they pose no threat to the community can be released with non-monetary restrictions.
“Jail should be for violent people, not poor people,” stated Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas, the bill’s sponsor.

Udall Staff Hold Los Alamos Office Hours March 1

on February 17, 2016 - 6:22am
Tuesday, March 1, a representative from the office of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall will hold office hours for Los Alamos residents who need help with issues related to federal agencies.
The office hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Residents of Los Alamos and the surrounding communities are encouraged to stop by.
“If you need assistance with a federal agency, my staff will guide you through the process and do whatever they can to help,” Udall said.

Council Votes To Express Opposition To SJR 16A And SJR 23

on February 16, 2016 - 7:35pm

Council Chair Rick Reiss calls for a vote of the Council. Screen Shot/LADP

Staff Report:

Council voted 6-1 to express its opposition to Senate Joint Resolution 16A - a floor amendment to extend term limits for the office of sheriff.

Councilor Kristin Henderson joined the meeting by telephone. Councilor Pete Sheehey voted against the measure.

Council also voted to oppose SJR 23, which would require specific law enforcement qualifications for individuals wishing to run for the office of sheriff. Councilor James Chrobocinski and Councilor Pete Sheehey voted against the measure.

Luján Introduces Bill To Create Jobs By Increasing Partnerships Between Businesses And National Labs

on February 16, 2016 - 9:55am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, of New Mexico’s Third District, introduced legislation Friday Feb. 12, to increase partnerships between businesses and national laboratories that spur economic growth and create new jobs. 
Luján’s legislation authorizes a dedicated fund to provide for the government’s share of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) that support maturing lab technology and transferring it to the private sector. 
Cooperative Research and Development Agreements are common mechanisms to support collaboration

DOE Makes Up To $7 Million Available For Assistance To Indian Tribes; Releases Alaska Solar Prospecting Report

on February 16, 2016 - 9:54am
DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz
DOE News:
BETHEL, AK  U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz yesterday announced the availability of up to $7 million to establish a technical assistance regional energy providers’ network to Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities.
Participants will be chosen through a competitive process and will receive five weeks of intensive training through the Department of Energy, DOE’s national labs and other entities, giving tribal communities and Alaska Native villages the knowledge, skills and resources needed to implement successful strategic

House Honors Rep. Luciano 'Lucky' Varela

on February 16, 2016 - 9:53am
Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela
SANTA FE  Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela (D-Santa Fe), after 30 years of representing House District 48, in the New Mexico House of Representatives was honored Friday, Feb. 13, for his years of public service.
Varela was inaugurated to the state House in 1987 becoming the third longest serving representative. Remembered for his incredible knowledge of state government, especially on financial matters and the budget, Varela was a factual database long before the regular use of computers.
“I remember ‘Lucky’ would only present proposals if he thought it