State, Nation & World

State, Nation & World

New Mexico Counties Push For Jail, Sheriff Funding

By AMANDA MARTINEZ

New Mexican

An organization that represents New Mexico county governments is pushing the state Legislature to increase reimbursements to counties for the rising costs of transporting state prisoners and providing behavioral health care to state inmates housed in county jails and youth centers.

The Santa Fe-based nonprofit New Mexico Counties is seeking a more than $6 million increase to the County Detention Facility Reimbursement Fund, which now stands at $2.3 million a year.

State law allows county sheriff’s offices to charge the state per diem and mileage expenses


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Governor, Staff Gear Up For State Of State Address

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

By MICHAEL GERSTEIN

New Mexican

On the roughly eight-hour flight from Chicago to Dublin, Ireland, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s speechwriter and top communications staffer started a draft of what will be her second annual address to the Legislature.

Six hours and 6,000 words later, Tripp Stelnicki closed his laptop and braced himself to meet his sister’s fiancé in Ireland.

Since then, Stelnicki said, the document has run the gantlet, viewed and honed by the governor’s chief of staff, John Bingaman, senior adviser Dominic Gabello and the governor


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54th Annual Legislative Session Begins Noon Today

Legislative Roundup:

The New Mexican

Days remaining in session: 30

In the beginning: The 54th annual legislative session begins at noon today at the state Capitol on the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Old Santa Fe Trail.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is scheduled to give her State of the State address outlining her initiatives on the floor of the House of Representatives, though that event generally occurs later in the afternoon.

Musical political chairs: The Senate’s Committee on Committees meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Room 326 to discuss assignments. Members will choose a successor for Sen.


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AGU: Air Pollution From Oil And Gas Production Sites Visible From Space

OMI NO2 map and NOx emission estimates.(a) Absolute changes in OMI tropospheric NO2VCDs between 2007 and 2018 for the continental U.S. Green boxes denote major U.S. oil and gas production regions. The insets show the NO2 VCD change between 2007 and 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively, over the Permian basin. (b) 2015 FOG NOx emission estimates for the areas outlined in (a) ©2019 American Geophysical Union. Courtesy photo

AGU News:

Oil and gas production has doubled in some parts of the United States in the last two years, and scientists can use satellites to see impacts of that trend: a significant


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NM Supreme Court Rules Injured Tribal Casino Worker Cannot Seek Benefits Through State Workers’ Comp

NMSC News:

SANTA FE — The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that tribal sovereignty precludes an Isleta Pueblo casino employee injured on the job from bringing a claim against the Pueblo or its insurer under the state workers’ compensation program.

In a unanimous opinion, the state’s highest court reversed a decision by the Court of Appeals to allow Gloria Mendoza to proceed with a claim for benefits filed with the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration (WCA).

Ms. Mendoza injured her knee while pushing chairs at the casino Aug. 24, 2015. The Pueblo’s third-party workers’ compensation


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New Mexico Congressional Delegation Makes Requests Regarding PFAS And Plan For Next Steps

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper requesting that the Department of Defense’s (DoD) release a plan for next steps to ensure New Mexican communities and dairy farms in close proximity to Cannon Air Force Base receive access to a clean water supply and a reimbursement of incurred filtration expenses.

The delegation also requested DoD work on plans to purchase


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New Mexico Delegation Recognizes Sandia National Laboratories Contributions To State Economy, Jobs

NM CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), commended findings from a 2019 economic-impact analysis released Wednesday, which found that Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is responsible for creating 1,100 new jobs while contributing $509 million to New Mexico businesses and $96.6 million in state gross receipt tax revenue.

The Economic Impact Report also found that SNL contributes $784 million to small


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Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Announces Early Endorsements For Environmental Champions

SIERRA CLUB News:

ALBUQUERQUE — The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club Friday issued its early 2020 endorsements of incumbent legislators who are leading environmental champions, including Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos.

“The candidates on this list have sponsored critical environmental legislation and have outstanding voting records over the last three years on pro-environment bills. They have proven they are committed to protecting our climate, water, land and wildlife here in New Mexico,” said Richard Barish, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter political chair. 

“Because


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New Mexico Ethics Watch Releases Comprehensive Lobbying Report On Tales Of Film, Firearms And Fumes

NMEW News:

New Mexico Ethics Watch (NMEW), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting ethics in governance and public life, has released its report, Lobbyists and Their Outsized Influence in New Mexico: Tales of Film, Firearms and Fumes.

The report takes a fresh look at lobbying and the New Mexico Legislature, examining monies spent and tactics used to influence votes regarding legislation on cannabis, firearms, film and tobacco-related products. 

Using data from the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Information System (CFIS), the report paints a picture of the lengths to which lobbyists


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