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New Mexico Commissioner Of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard On ‘Raise The Rate’ Hearing

on February 18, 2019 - 5:14pm

Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard


SANTA FE – HB 398, the “Raise the Rate” Bill failed Friday in the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

Commissioner Stephanie Garcia released the following statement after the vote.

“It is a sad day when wealthy special interests win out to the detriment of our kid’s futures. The Land Office, with Rep.

House Committee Passes $462M Infusion For Education

on February 18, 2019 - 4:49pm
Courtesy image
The House Education Committee on Saturday unanimously advanced a bill that would appropriate $452 million in new public school funding in the coming fiscal year for at-risk students in New Mexico and millions more for small schools.
The action comes as lawmakers and the governors are drafting an overall state budget for fiscal year 2020 that includes a $400 million to $500 million infusion for education to help fulfill a state District Court ruling in a lawsuit that says New Mexico has shortchanged several groups of students

Luján, Schatz Reintroduce Legislation To Create Public Health Care Option

on February 18, 2019 - 3:43pm
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) reintroduced the State Public Option Act, bicameral legislation to create a Medicaid-based public health care option to strengthen the Affordable Care Act by providing Americans with a new high-quality, low-cost choice when purchasing health insurance.
“Democrats are hard at work developing solutions to strengthen the ACA, expand health coverage, and drive down health care costs for the American people,” Luján said.

Bill To Raise Minimum Wage Heads To Senate

on February 18, 2019 - 7:00am
SANTA FE Thursday, a bill to increase the minimum wage passed the House Floor. House Bill 31, as amended, sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), would increase the minimum wage in phases, remove the minimum wage exception for tipped workers, and provide an annual cost-of-living increase indexed to inflation beginning in 2022.
House Bill 31 includes an amendment to allow for the tipped credit for the next three years so workers, restaurant owners, and customers can adjust to the wage increase.
Raising the

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Secure Additional $50 Million To Keep Southwest Chief On Track

on February 18, 2019 - 6:58am
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján have announced that their bipartisan measure to provide an additional $50 million in federal funding to help maintain Amtrak train services along the established, long-distance passenger rail route of the Southwest Chief was signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill.
The Udall-Heinrich-Luján measure would provide resources for maintenance and safety improvements along the

Armstrong Bill To Support Firefighters With PTSD Passes House Health And Human Services Committee

on February 17, 2019 - 11:10am

The Roundhouse in Santa Fe. Photo by Carol A. Clark/



  • Bill declares PTSD a disease that may result from firefighter duties

HB 324, Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s legislation to establish Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a disease that—when diagnosed in a firefighter without previous health issues—can be presumed to have been caused by the firefighter’s service, Wednesday unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Committee.


“Yes, our firefighters are heroes, but they are also human,” Armstrong said.

MOWW Meeting Features Sig Hecker Tuesday Feb. 19

on February 17, 2019 - 10:56am

Dr. Sigfried Hecker

MOWW  News:

This month’s meeting of the Miitary Order of the World Wars is Tuesday, Feb. 19. Guest speaker Dr. Sigfried Hecker, with present “A conversation About Global Nuclear Issues”, during which he will briefly summarize nuclear issues around the globe and then take questions to elaborate on those issues of greatest interest to the attendees.

Dr. Hecker is a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He served as the fifth director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The meeting is at the Los Alamos Research Park in the 2nd floor conference room.

Legislative Roundup: Feb. 17

on February 17, 2019 - 10:15am
By The New Mexican:
Days left in session: 27
Helping kids read: The House Education Committee unanimously voted in favor of two initiatives designed to help children learn how to read.
House Bill 449 would appropriate over $4 million to the Northeast Regional Education Cooperative in Las Vegas, N.M., to create a five-year literary initiative involving tutors, professional development opportunities for educators, community reading events and free books to ensure children from prekindergarten to the 12th grade are reading at grade level.
House Bill 182 would expand the state's current reading

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall Recruits Summer Interns For His Office In Washington, D.C.

on February 17, 2019 - 6:54am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall invites New Mexico college students interested in gaining legislative or communications experience to apply forsummer internships in his Washington, D.C. office.
During the upcoming summer internship program, Udall's office in Washington, D.C., will host two five-week summer internship sessions: May 28 to June 28, and July 1 to Aug. 2. There also may be limited availability for students who prefer an internship for the full summer, May 28 to Aug.

Mesa Public Library Hosts Talk On Racism Thursday

on February 17, 2019 - 6:31am
Dr. Sherri Burr
Dr. Sherri Burr will give a talk entitled “Race and Racism in the New Millennium: The Economic Impact of Unconscious Bias,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, upstairs at Mesa Public Library.
Burr is the Regents Professor Emerita of UNM School of Law, and the author of several books. The talk is part of Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak series, and is supported by the New Mexico Humanities Council. The Humanities Council describes her talk as follows:
“As the domestic and international economy evolves, so too has the discriminatory impact of unconscious

Documentary On Assisted Death 6 p.m. Tuesday

on February 17, 2019 - 6:29am

New Mexico Senate Approves Bill Requiring Background Checks On All Gun Sales

on February 16, 2019 - 2:09pm
State Sen. Gabriel Ramos, D-Silver City, speaks Thursday in opposition of Senate Bill 8. Ramos was one of the four Democrats who voted against the bill, which would prohibit the sale of a firearm without conducting a federal instant background check. The Senate approved the measure. Photo by Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican
State Sens. Richard Martinez, D-Española and Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, sponsors of Senate Bill 8, speak together as Senate members deliberate on the bill. Senate Bill 8 would prohibit the sale of a firearm without conducting a federal instant background check.

Ringside Seat: Senate Leader Kills Own Bill In An Hour

on February 16, 2019 - 2:07pm
Senate President Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen
The whirlwind at the strangest place in New Mexico began at 7:25 a.m. Thursday.
Mary Kay Papen, the 86-year-old president pro tempore of the state Senate, arrived at her spacious office in the Capitol. Papen means it when she says she has an open-door policy.
So I buttonholed her to ask about a controversial bill she had introduced. The measure, Senate Bill 127, would prohibit out-of-state retailers from shipping alcohol to customers in New Mexico.
What led Papen to carry this bill,

New Mexico Families Celebrate Senate Committee Passage Of Medicaid Buy-In

on February 16, 2019 - 1:37pm
NMTH News:
SANTA FE — After testifying on Thursday before the Senate Public Affairs Committee, dozens of New Mexico families who have been working with the New Mexico Together for Healthcare campaign to support SB 405, The Medicaid Buy-in Act, celebrated the committee’s vote in favor of the bill.
The Medicaid Buy-in Act calls on the Human Services Department to create and implement by 2021 a program to allow New Mexicans not currently eligible for Medicaid, Medicare or Affordable Care Act subsidies to pay monthly premiums to “buy-in” to Medicaid.
Althea Yazzie of Twin Lakes  told

House Bill 321 Would Hike Vehicle Registration Fees

on February 16, 2019 - 1:30pm
New Mexico motorists would pay higher vehicle registration fees under a bill to help fund roads and buses.
House Bill 321, introduced by Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, Rep. Roberto "Bobby" Gonzales, D-Taos and Rep. Rudy Martinez, D-Bayard, would impose the extra fees effective July 1.
The hike would apply to all passenger vehicles, tractor trailers, road tractors and buses, but not trailers. For example, someone owning a vehicle weighing less than 2,000 pounds would pay an extra $27 a year over current fees.

NM Unions Distribute 3,750 Pounds Of Groceries To Families Recovering From Government Shutdown

on February 16, 2019 - 1:10pm

New Mexico Unions distribute 3,750 pounds of donated groceries today to families recovering from the government shutdown. Courtesy/NMFL

New Mexico union members distribute 3,750 pounds of donated groceries today to families recovering from the government shutdown. Courtesy/NMFL

New Mexico Unions News:

ALBUQUERQUE — More than 100 government workers received 3,750 pounds of donated groceries today from a pop-up food bank organized by the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans and the

Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler’s Bill Capping Predatory Payday Lending Passes House Labor Committee

on February 16, 2019 - 10:27am

Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler


SANTA FE – HB 386, Installment and Small-load Maximum Interest, sponsored by Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos, together with Rep. Susan Herrera and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero passed its first committee Friday.

The bill caps so-called “payday” lending at 36 percent; currently payday lenders can charge up to 175 percent interest. After the House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs committee, the bill will move onto House Judiciary.

Several organizations have been actively working to pass a 36 percent cap for several years in

LAPS School Board Meeting Wrap-up For Feb. 12

on February 16, 2019 - 9:05am
New Mexico's House Education Committee meeting recently at the State Capitol building. Photo by Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus
LAPS News:
The Los Alamos Public School’s Board met for a regular school board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12; here are the highlights of what was discussed.
To begin, the board recognized the Los Alamos High School science department staff for winning the 2019 New Mexico Excellence in STEM Award.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission Awards Secretary Of State Toulouse Oliver ‘Outstanding Innovations’

on February 15, 2019 - 3:56pm

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on the floor of the House of Representatives during opening day of the session Jan. 15 in Santa Fe. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


  • Blind and Visually Impaired Absentee Ballot System Recognized

SANTA FE – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has received the 2018 “Clearie” Award for Outstanding Innovations in Elections by the U.S.

Indiscriminate Traps Harm Endangered Mexican Wolves

on February 15, 2019 - 9:47am
WEG News:
SANTA FE — As a bill to ban recreational and commercial trapping works its way through the New Mexico legislature, indiscriminate trapping is proving an enormous impediment for endangered Mexican gray wolves’ already uphill battle toward recovery.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports that, since Nov. 2018, five lobos have fallen victim to traps in New Mexico. One of the wolves, female 1565 died in veterinary care. Another, male 1669 lost a leg. Male 1556 was treated and released but was later observed limping. Two other wolves were captured and released without injury.

Balderas Signs Multi-State Letter Urging FTC To Protect New Mexicans From Identity Theft

on February 15, 2019 - 8:55am
Attorney General Hector Balderas
AG News:
ALBUQUERQUE Attorney General Hector Balderas and a coalition of 31 Attorneys General sent a letter Wednesday to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging the commission to maintain and strengthen its Identity Theft Rules, which were originally adopted in November 2007.
The letter cites the proliferation of identity theft in many states, and the growth in technology since the rules were adopted.
“Banks in our state have a responsibility to protect New Mexican consumers when they see signs of fraud,” Balderas said. “These banks will

Pro-Life Lobby Day/Prayer Vigil At Roundhouse Feb. 18

on February 15, 2019 - 8:37am

Fifty Local High School Students Advocate For Gun Control Legislation At Roundhouse In Santa Fe

on February 15, 2019 - 8:32am
Students make a statement Wednesday at the Roundhouse. Courtesy photo
Students gather Wednesday at the Roundhouse with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, front row, third from right. Courtesy photo
Remembering Parkland: With names of school shooting victims on their shirts and red roses in their hands, about 50 local high school students advocated for gun control legislation Wednesday at the Roundhouse, the eve of the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
After staging a die-in, in which they lay in silence over

GOP Senator’s Bill Calls For State-Run Pot Shops

on February 15, 2019 - 8:28am
A Republican state senator on Thursday introduced a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana but, unlike a Democratic House bill, would have the state operate retail marijuana stores.
Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque said in a phone interview Thursday that, considering the number of western states that have adopted laws treating marijuana more like alcohol, legalization in New Mexico is inevitable.
"It's a just matter of how we want to do it," he said. "We should do it in a smart way."
Moores said his proposal would take steps to

Udall & McCain’s 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act Clears Senate

on February 15, 2019 - 7:48am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall:

  • Legislation championed by Udall and the late Senator John McCain would engage young people, veterans, Native communities in conservation service projects

WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced Tuesday that the Senate has passed the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act of 2019 (21CSC), legislation he championed with the late Sen.