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James To File Legislation For Tougher Child Abuse Laws

on January 14, 2015 - 11:03am

Rep. Conrad James

STATE News:

SANTA FE — Rep. Conrad James, R-Bernallio County announced today that he plans to file legislation that will toughen penalties for convicted child abusers and those whose abuse contributes to the death of a child. 

“We should always fight to protect our children and hold those who harm them accountable for their heinous actions,” James said. “When we toughen child abuse laws, especially abuse that kills a child, we send a strong message that harming our children will not be tolerated.”

Currently, those who intentionally beat a child to death face life in prison

Los Alamos Republican Party Meets Jan. 15

on January 14, 2015 - 9:46am

GOP News:

The Republican Party of Los Alamos County will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 15 at UNM-LA Room 610.

The public is welcome to attend a presentation by Mark Jones, Jody Benson and Iris Chung about a possible ban on single-use plastic bags in Los Alamos County. A business meeting will follow the presentation.

For more information, contact Robert Gibson at 505.662.3159.

Harrison: Fixing The Broken Campaign System

on January 14, 2015 - 8:06am
By VIKI HARRISON, Executive Director
Common Cause New Mexico

For the past six months, Common Cause New Mexico and the Foundation for Open Government have been traveling the state, talking to folks from Las Cruces to Farmington about the heavy price New Mexicans pay due to the influence of money in politics.

I was in Los Alamos recently talking about our legislative agenda – which is aimed directly at the role money plays in both campaigns and policy making.

While many of the biggest contributions made by donors to PACS and candidates are hidden from view – the effects of them are plain:

Municipal League Aims To Fix Food Tax For Good

on January 14, 2015 - 7:32am
By William F. Fulginiti,
Executive Director, New Mexico Municipal League

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Municipal League is backing efforts in the upcoming legislative session to reverse the painful consequences of a 2004 law that repealed taxes on retail food sales and medical services to reduce the tax burden of our state’s low-income residents.

The law did not help the disadvantaged, and it hurt the state by spurring a rush to increase other taxes meant to compensate cities and counties for the loss of revenue.

Luján Applauds Law To Help Prevent Veteran Suicides

on January 13, 2015 - 9:04am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District applauded the unanimous passage of legislation in the House last night to help prevent suicide among our nation's veterans. 

The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act expands access to mental health services and increases the capacity and efficiency of VA care to address the needs of veterans returning home from war.  The bill passed the House last Congress, but did not receive a final vote in the Senate before the end of last session.

Santa Fe Joins Independent Redistricting Movement

on January 13, 2015 - 8:16am

CCNM News:

In March 2014, the voters in Santa Fe passed a ballot measure to create an Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission, and last month the Santa Fe City Council established procedures for the Commission per the City Charter.

“Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) was thrilled to see the independent redistricting measure pass in Santa Fe, and enjoyed working hand-in-hand with the League of Women’s’ Voters of Santa Fe County on the ballot measure and subsequent Council meetings to ensure the procedures are fair, transparent and independent,” CCNM Executive Director Viki Harrison said.

Los Alamos High School Graduate Becomes First Woman President Of Croatia

on January 12, 2015 - 7:12pm

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

 

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

A Los Alamos High School graduate has been elected the first woman president of Croatia.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, 46, graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1986. 

"This is a wonderful story of success by one of our alumni to realize this great achievement - it speaks to her character to take on this kind of challenge," LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt said. "Mrs.

Governor Introduces Fiscal Year 2016 Budget

on January 12, 2015 - 6:24pm

Gov. Susana Martinez

STATE News:

  • Budget Targets Funding Toward Initiatives That Would Create Jobs, Reform Education and Increase Student Achievement, and Improve Child Well-Being

LAS CRUCES — Today, Gov. Susana Martinez announced her Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal, which targets funding toward initiatives designed to grow the State’s economy and improve the education and general well-being of New Mexico children.

According to the latest meeting of the consensus revenue forecast committee, projected revenues exceed this year’s spending – by roughly $141 million, and due to proper spending

Heinrich Opposes Keystone XL Pipeline

on January 11, 2015 - 9:47am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich delivers statement to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Video Screen Shot

U.S SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., voted Thursday against advancing legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline during a markup in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Heinrich, who also is a member of the Climate Action Task Force, is a lead proponent of reversing the effects of climate change and an advocate for developing homegrown energy resources. He cited that according to the U.S.

ACI Approves 2015 Legislative Agenda

on January 11, 2015 - 7:35am

ACI News:
  • New Mexico Business Leaders Meet to Discuss Priorities, Goals

ALBUQUERQUE – More than 70 business leaders from throughout New Mexico convened Thursday at the semi-annual board and membership meeting of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI), the statewide business advocate. 

The group discussed the upcoming legislative session and voted on a detailed policy agenda that ACI will support during the upcoming legislative session. ACI’s President and CEO, Dr. Beverlee McClure, said she and ACI’s advocacy staff are ready to get to work. 

“Businesses join ACI

2015 Legislative Preview Reveals Tough Challenges

on January 10, 2015 - 4:49pm
From left, Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, Sen. Carlos Cisneros, Rep. Jim Smith and Common Cause NM Executive Director Viki Harrison at Thursday's Legislative Preview at Fuller Lodge. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard discusses the upcoming legislative session. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post

Looking at the upcoming legislative session, which begins Jan. 20, Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard described it as, “a brave new world for all of us.”

For the first time in 62 years, the Republican

School Board And UNM/LA Advisory Board Candidate Forum Wednesday At Fuller Lodge

on January 10, 2015 - 8:36am

LWVLA News:

The League of Women Voters of Los Alamos will hold a forum for Los Alamos Public Schools and UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board candidates in Fuller Lodge, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, (with refreshments at 6:30 p.m.). 

Members of the Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debate team will assist at the event as timekeepers and microphone facilitators.

School Board Candidates:

  • District 3: Nancy Ann Holmes, William Hargraves, Sheryl Nichols;
  • District 4: Andrea Cunningham, Michael Fassbender; and
  • District 5: Judy Bjarke-McKenzie, Jennifer McCumber.

All three LAPS districts are on the

Common Cause Official Discusses Campaign Financing, Ethics In Government At Thursday's Legislative Preview

on January 9, 2015 - 2:01pm

Common Cause New Mexico Executive Director Viki Harrison, right, discusses the issues at Thursday's Legislative Preview in Fuller Lodge. Listening from left, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, Sen. Carlos Cisneros and Rep. Jim Smith. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Community members turn out for Thursday's Legislative Preview in Fuller Lodge. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

STAFF REPORT

  • Editor's Note: Read the discussion by Sen. Carlos Cisneros, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and Rep. Jim Smith in Saturday's edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Education funding, voting

Udall Named Lead Democrat On Appropriations Subcommittee On Interior & Environment

on January 9, 2015 - 12:25pm

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced he will assume the role of the lead Democrat (ranking member) on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.

The U.S. Department of the Interior manages America's vast natural and cultural resources, and holds important jurisdiction in New Mexico through its leadership of the Bureaus of Land Management, Indian Affairs and Reclamation; the National Park Service; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

As ranking member, Udall will hold a key position to

Skandera Still Not Listening To Teachers Or Parents; Continues To Push Retention Despite Negative Effects

on January 8, 2015 - 2:01pm
By Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez
D-29-Bernalillo and Valencia Counties

SANTA FE – An op-ed by Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera in the Albuquerque Journal this week asks voters to support the Governor’s continued agenda to end social promotion in New Mexico schools.

Skandera tells us that social promotion is a “failed policy” and that when children cannot read at grade level, they should be held back.

Poll Workers Train For School Board Election

on January 8, 2015 - 11:17am

Elections Manager Gloria Maestas trains poll workers this morning on voting machines for the Feb. 3 School Board. Courtesy/LAC 

Poll workers from left, Fred Brueggeman, Bill McKerley, Erin Kennison and Collin Windle test the audio-visual ballot marking interface component on the ICE voting machine during today’s certification. Courtesy/LAC 

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos County (LAC) Clerk’s Office conducted poll worker training today for the Feb. 3 School Board Election.

Poll workers are entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out state mandated election procedures such as opening

Heinrich Cosponsors Bill To Ensure Married Same-Sex Couples Are Treated Equally Under Federal Law

on January 8, 2015 - 8:25am

U.S. SENATE News:
  • “Guaranteeing equal protection under the law is right and just."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., cosponsored S. 29, the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill to ensure all legally-married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law.

The bill seeks to fully implement the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.

"All couples who have solidified their life-long commitment to each other through marriage deserve the same rights and responsibilities regardless of where they live," Heinrich said.

Luján Statement At Start Of 114th Congress

on January 8, 2015 - 7:44am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

Washington, D.C. - Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement Tuesday after being sworn in as a member of the 114th Congress.

"As we start the new Congress it is a tremendous honor to serve the people of New Mexico and to have the opportunity to again represent our great state. In New Mexico we are a family, and to solve the challenges we face we need to work together, from every level of government to the private sector.

Heinrich Cosponsors Net Neutrality Legislation

on January 8, 2015 - 7:35am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

  • The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would protect consumers, prevent a two-tiered Internet system

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., is cosponsoring net neutrality legislation that would help prevent the creation of a two-tiered Internet system by requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban so-called "paid prioritization" agreements between a broadband provider and a content provider. 

Introduction of the legislation, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, comes as the FCC prepares to

Udall Offers Senate Rules Reform Proposal

on January 8, 2015 - 6:56am

Sen.Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen.Tom Udall, D-N.M., delivered a speech Tuesday on the Senate floor on a proposal he offered with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., to increase transparency, restore accountability and foster debate in the Senate by reforming the Senate's often-abused rules.

The centerpiece of their proposal requires a "talking filibuster," meaning senators wishing to block legislation would have to do so by speaking on the Senate floor.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall Sworn In For Second Term

on January 7, 2015 - 6:13pm

Vice President Joe Biden administers the oath of office to U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico Tuesday on the floor of the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C., as his wife Jill Cooper Udall  holds the Bible. Courtesy photo

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At just after noon Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall was sworn in for his second term in the U.S. Senate. He issued the following statement: 

“Public service is a true honor, and I’m humbled to be able to work on behalf of New Mexicans for another term in the U.S. Senate.

Meet School Board Candidate William (Bill) Hargraves

on January 7, 2015 - 3:12pm
William (Bill) Hargraves
 
I am William (Bill) Hargraves, a candidate for the Los Alamos School Board from the Aspen District. The election is Feb. 3. Take a few minutes during that day to vote - I encourage you.
 
First, an introduction - I have two daughters now in Los Alamos High School, a senior and a sophomore. They started kindergarten at Mountain Elementary, moved to Aspen Elementary when school district lines were redrawn, then Los Alamos Middle School, now the high school.

Regional Coalition Of LANL Communities Meets Jan. 16

on January 7, 2015 - 10:59am

RCLC News:

The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is set to meet 9-11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 16 at the City of Santa Fe Council Chambers, 200 Lincoln Ave.

For its first meeting of 2015, the Regional Coalition will revisit the Strategic Plan and set goals for 2015. 

Pursuant to New Mexico Open Meetings Act Section 10-15-1 (H) Subsection (2) limited personnel matters by the public body, a closed session will be held following the regular business meeting pertaining to executive director interviews.

Along The Way: Mary Libby Campbell Making A Difference In Harding County

on January 7, 2015 - 10:49am
Along the way in his travels across New Mexico, USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner met Mary Libby Campbell, a rancher whom he describes as a very concerned citizen of Harding County. Courtesy photo 
 
Along the Way, Mary Libby Campbell Making a Difference in Harding County
 
By TERRY BRUNNER, State Director
USDA Rural Development

This is Terry Brunner, and I’m the State Director for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture reporting to you on some of the people I see “Along the way” making a difference in rural New Mexico.

Driving on the western edge of

Heinrich, Barrasso Introduce Bill To Speed Up American LNG Exports

on January 7, 2015 - 10:17am

U.S. Senate News:

WASHINGTON, DC - Tuesday,  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., joined U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to introduce the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act.

The bipartisan legislation will speed up the approval process for exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States. It specifically requires the Secretary of Energy to make a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days after the environmental review document for the project is published.

"Natural gas has significant environmental

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