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ACI, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Introduce Legislation For New Mexico Business

on February 13, 2015 - 11:56am

Dr. Beverlee McClure


The New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI) partnered with Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-43, to introduce HB 130, a bill to strengthen the procurement process in New Mexico and modernize the state’s definition of small business.

ACI President and CEO Dr. Beverlee McClure praised Garcia Richard for working closely with ACI and ACI member businesses to develop this legislation. 

“Rep. Garcia Richard’s bill takes much-needed steps to strengthen our state’s procurement process,” McClure said.

ACI, Sen. Rue And Rep. Garcia Richard Introduce Transparency Bill

on February 13, 2015 - 11:49am

Sen. Sander Rue


SANTA FE – The New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI), New Mexico’s statewide chamber of commerce and pro-business advocacy group, applauded New Mexico Sen. Sander Rue, R-23, and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-43, for introducing a bipartisan proposal to enhance the state Sunshine Portal by requiring that additional information on state contracts be available publicly through the portal.

“Countless New Mexico businesses have approached ACI about strengthening the process by which the state handles procurement and contracts,” ACI President/CEO

Governor Declares YMCA Day In New Mexico

on February 13, 2015 - 11:37am
Espanola Y Teen Center representative Christian Cordova meets Lt. Gov. John Sanchez Thursday at the State Capitol. Courtesy/YMCA
YMCA representatives gather Thursday at the State Capitol to celebrate Y Day in New Mexico. Front row from left, YMCA of the USA Resource Director of Public Policy Judy Barrett Miller; YMCA of Central NM Board Chair Rob Maruca; YMCA Board Member David Foster; CEO Linda Daly of The Family YMCA. Back row, YMCA Board Member Dr. Warren Wilhelm; Los Alamos Board Chair Christine Sierk; YMCA CEO Zizi Fritz and Y-USA Government Relations and Policy Director Neil Denton.

Mandatory Flunking Bill Clears House Floor

on February 13, 2015 - 10:10am

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

SANTA FE House Bill 41, the controversial mandatory flunking bill passed the House Floor by a vote of 38-30.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos: “This particular piece of legislation is problematic for many reasons. Mandatory flunking is a sweeping measure that does not account for the individual circumstances of each student when they are faced with retention. As an educator, I prefer to work with parents and students individually when faced with this decision, and as a parent I believe it is a decision that is best made between parents and teachers

Letter to the Editor: Domenici Says Right-To-Work Bill Good For New Mexico

on February 13, 2015 - 9:15am
Retired U.S. Senator, R-N.M.

I am writing in response to those who oppose the proposed right to work legislation. While I respect those who oppose, they are flat out wrong on this issue. 

The truth is, passing right-to-work legislation would be good for New Mexico’s workers and our economy. But unfortunately, some politicians are trying to turn this into a partisan battle even though a majority of Americans support it.

It’s not hard to see why.

At the heart of this issue is the freedom of choice.

YDI Receives $1.5 Million For Early Head Start

on February 13, 2015 - 7:47am

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham


Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., has announced that Youth Development, Inc. was selected to receive $1.5 million in early childhood education funding that will provide opportunities for 80 young children to attend Early Head Start.

YDI earned the Early Head Start Expansion and Child Care Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The money will be used to train child care staff in the principles of Early Head Start services.

Heinrich Urges U.S. To Fund DHS, Support DREAMers

on February 12, 2015 - 8:41am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., delivered a speech on the Senate floor this week urging Senate Republicans to pass a clean appropriations bill to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The House-passed DHS funding bill includes a number of anti-immigrant provisions, including deporting DREAMers. Funding for DHS is set to expire Feb. 27.

"With threats emerging everyday both at home and abroad, casting doubt on future funding for the Department of Homeland Security is a terrible idea," Heinrich said.

Senators Sponsor Bills To Protect Young Athletes From Brain Injuries

on February 12, 2015 - 8:36am

Sen. Bill Soules


SANTA FE – Sen. Bill Soules, D-Dona Ana and Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Bernalillo & Valencia, recently introduced bills to protect young athletes who suffer concussions and brain injuries. Both bills would strengthen existing measures to protect young athletes by ensuring parents and coaches take the proper safety precautions for their children.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez

Soules’ bill would require brain injury training for student athletes.

New Mexico House In Bipartisan Vote Passes Bill To End Failed Policy Of Social Promotion

on February 11, 2015 - 8:10pm

Rep. Monica Youngblood


  • Republicans Highlight President Bill Clinton’s Call To End Social Promotion

SANTA FE—Legislation that would end the failed policy of social promotion cleared the House floor today by a bipartisan vote of 38-30.

Social promotion passes kids onto the next grade even when they cannot read. On the House floor, Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Bernalillo, pointed out that Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both favor ending social promotion.

“Improving our schools and helping struggling students learn continues to be one of our top priorities,” said

Congressional Delegation: Right-to-Work Legislation Has Consequences For New Mexico Working Families

on February 11, 2015 - 2:39pm


U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following against right-to-work legislation in the legislature:

As the national economy shows signs of real improvement, New Mexico's recovery has been challenging and slow. Working families want to know when we will see more jobs, higher salaries and access to quality education at every level. The state legislature has an opportunity to put New Mexico in a position to provide that economic security and rebuild the middle class.

Legislation Filed To Protect Working Women

on February 11, 2015 - 12:58pm

Rep. Terry McMillan


SANTA FE – Rep. Terry McMillan, R-Doña Ana County announced today that he has filed legislation that will protect pregnant women in the workplace and ensure that New Mexico meets federal guidelines. The legislation makes employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, such as more flexibility with their schedules, shorter hours or leave time.

“We can do a better job protecting pregnant women in the workplace,” McMillan said. “This bill is commonsense and will bring us in line with federal standards.”

The legislation mirrors language from

Legislation To Expand State’s Voyeurism Law Clears Safety And Civil Affairs Committee Vote

on February 11, 2015 - 10:23am

Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage


  • Bi-partisan Vote Passes Committee - Bill Heads To House Floor

SANTA FE – Legislation that would crack down on sexual predators attempting to secretly view or record a person’s intimate areas has passed the House Safety And Civil Affairs Committee with a bi-partisan vote.

The legislation sponsored by Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage, R-San Juan County, is headed to the House floor for a vote. Current law fails to bring justice to predators who, despite their best effort to view or record the victim, fail to do so.

“We have the right to our privacy

USDA Announces Funding For Renewable Energy Projects

on February 11, 2015 - 7:33am

Geothermal heating and cooling equipment being installed by the Central Valley Electric Cooperative in Artesia. The equipment was partially paid for by the REAP program. Courtesy/USDA

USDA News:

  • REAP Program Reduces Energy Costs for 47 Ag Producers and Small Rural Businesses in NM Since 2009

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that rural agricultural producers and small business owners can now apply for resources to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

These efforts help farmers, ranchers and other small

Sierra Club Hosts Citizen Lobby Training Wednesday

on February 10, 2015 - 8:36am

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter (SCRGC) will offer lobbying trainings 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday during its Lands, Water and Wildlife Day at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.  

Citizens who would like to learn how to make their voice heard at the New Mexico Legislature can join the free trainings at the Sierra Club table near the Rotunda and trainers will help them identify their own legislators and the best ways to find and speak to them at the Roundhouse.

For training times and other details, RSVP to Diane Reese at

Lands, Water and Wildlife Lobby Day at the

Governor Proclaims Feb. 11 '2-1-1 Day'

on February 10, 2015 - 7:48am


Gov. Susana Martinez has officially proclaimed Feb. 11 as “2-1-1 Day” in recognition of the free, confidential, easy to use service that connects callers to essential services in their area.  

Self Help, Inc. operates the 2-1-1 information and referral line for Los Alamos as well as Taos, Mora, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and San Miguel.

With approximately 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. plus scores of government agencies, finding help can be confusing and intimidating.

New Mexico Corrections Department Receives Secretary Of State Award For Service Excellence

on February 10, 2015 - 7:33am

NMCD Secretary Gregg Marcantel

NMCD News:

The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) has been honored as the second agency in the United States to receive the service excellence award from the State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The New York Police Department is the only other agency to receive the award.

Secretary of State John Kerry

Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield presented the award to NMCD Secretary Gregg Marcantel at a ceremony Monday in Long Beach, Calif.

“This award praises NMCD for the work of our training academy to mentor and train fellow

Bill Cracking Down On Corrupt Public Officials Passes House Floor Unanimously

on February 10, 2015 - 6:31am

Majority Floor Leader Nate Gentry


 SANTA FE – Legislation that will crack down on corrupt government officials by toughening penalties passed the House floor Monday by a unanimous vote.

The legislation, sponsored by Majority Floor Leader Nate Gentry, can add as much as one additional year of jail time for government officials and government employees convicted of felony corruption offenses.

“We need to send a clear message: Government corruption will not be tolerated,” Gentry said.

Senators Murkowski, Heinrich Introduce Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act

on February 10, 2015 - 5:48am

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski


  • Bill Aims To Enhance Opportunities For Hunters, Anglers, Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., have introduced the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

Access to public lands is the number one issue for America's sportsmen and women.

Representative Files Legislation To Allow Adjunct Teachers To Teach In New Mexico

on February 9, 2015 - 2:33pm

Rep. Conrad James


SANTA FE – Rep. Conrad James announced today that he has filed legislation that will allow industry professionals to teach part time in the classroom without having to go back to college to receive their teaching degree.

This will allow experts in their respective fields to share their knowledge with students.

“Every classroom deserves a good teacher,” James said. “With this bill, not only will we be able to recruit more teachers – we can bring industry experts into the classroom where they can pass on their wealth of knowledge and experience directly to the

Udall And Heinrich To Visit Los Alamos To Celebrate Passage Of Manhattan Project National Historical Park

on February 9, 2015 - 11:20am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


The community is invited to join Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Martin Heinrich 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Mesa Public Library upstairs rotunda for a special reception and chance to thank them for all of the work they did to ensure passage of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

U.S. Sen.Martin Heinrich

At 3:30 p.m., the senators will participate in a short program to talk about the importance of the park and its importance to Los Alamos.

Letter to the Editor: HB 41 Will Hurt Kids And Educators

on February 8, 2015 - 11:58am
Los Alamos

It's time to do your research and be heard.

Below is an email that I sent to Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. If you agree with my stand on this very important issue, now is the time to contact our New Mexico Legislators and let them know how you feel.

Hello Rep. Garcia Richard,

I, as a tax-payer and mother of three children, two of whom are out of the public school system (thank God), must voice my opinion regarding the upcoming proposal of HB41.

Have you read this ridiculous proposal? If not, here is the Bill in it's entirety.

Hanna Skandera is an embarrassment

Bill To Improve Lobbyist Disclosure Goes To House Committee Monday

on February 8, 2015 - 10:23am

Rep. Jeff Steinborn


Rep. Jeff Steinborn’s, D-Doña Ana, HB 155 will be heard 1:30 p.m. Monday by the House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee in Room 315 at the Roundhouse. The bill will improve the process by which lobbyists and their employers disclose their spending, the issues on which they are lobbying, and their campaign contributions.

In 2013, there were approximately six lobbyists for every one of New Mexico’s 112 legislators.

Governor Discusses Graduation Rates, Truancy And Dropout Prevention Efforts

on February 8, 2015 - 9:45am

Gov. Susana Martinez


  • Class of 2014 Graduation Rate Was 68.5 percent

Santa Fe — The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) has announced that the graduation rate for the Class of 2014 was 68.5 percent.

This statewide rate represents a small drop from the 2013 rate of 70 percent, but remains 5.5 percentage points higher than the graduation rate from four years ago.

“Teachers tell me all the time that we know which students are most at-risk of dropping out, so we need to do more to get them the help and attention they need to keep them in the classroom.

March And Rally For Public Education Feb. 16

on February 8, 2015 - 9:18am

Transparency Bills Aim At Dark Money

on February 8, 2015 - 7:30am



Rep. Jim Smith, R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe and Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, introduced HB 278 and SB 384 to adapt the state’s campaign reporting act to new trends in state and national campaigns including the formation of independent groups whose donors often are anonymous.

The bills also will bring New Mexico’s election code into compliance with recent court decisions. Smith said that the influence of independent expenditures, often called “dark money,” is growing dramatically and is drowning out the voices of everyday New Mexicans.

“Everyone deserves