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O’Neill Reintroducing Bill Protecting Homeless From Hate Crimes

on July 24, 2014 - 9:21am

Sen. Bill O’Neill

STATE News:

Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Bernalillo, is planning to once again introduce a bill that was unanimously endorsed by the bi-partisan Courts Corrections and Justice Committee in the 2013 regular legislative session that protects homeless individuals from being targeted for harm.

Senate Bill 124 from our 2013 session enjoyed strong bi-partisan support, and made it to the Senate Floor. But time ran out before it could be moved into the House for further consideration,” O’Neill said.

Luján Amendment to Examine New Broadcasting Markets Passes House

on July 24, 2014 - 8:33am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, highlighted the passage of legislation July 23 that included an amendment he offered as part of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) reauthorization. 

Luján's amendment explores how new broadcasting markets could be created if they are based upon the potential of current and future technologies instead of the limitations of aging broadcasting antennas.

Udall On Report That U.S. Military’s Burn Pits May Have Broken Federal Law

on July 23, 2014 - 10:27am

Open-Air Burn Pit, Feb. 14, 2014, at Shindand Airbase, with unused Afghan-operated incinerators in background. Courtesy/SIGAR

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall responded to a new report that the U.S. military’s use of open-air burn pits at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan may have violated federal law.

According to the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), made public today, most of the solid waste at Shindand Air Base was disposed of for years in open burn pits rather than incinerators.

Madelyn Creedon Confirmed as NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator

on July 23, 2014 - 10:07am

Madelyn Creedon

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON – Madelyn Creedon was confirmed by the Senate this morning as the Department of Energy’s (DOE) principal deputy administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

“Madelyn Creedon’s confirmation comes at a critical point for the National Nuclear Security Administration,” DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

Udall, Heinrich: New Leadership Needed at N.M. VA Medical Center

on July 23, 2014 - 6:49am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 21, as the acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary visits New Mexico, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urged the VA to move quickly to hire a qualified permanent director for New Mexico's VA hospital to help it immediately begin the work to regain the trust of veterans and address serious problems with scheduling, emergency response, care for rural veterans and other challenges.

Numerous vacancies at the VA, including the New Mexico VA Medical Center (VAMC) director, have made it extremely difficult to make

Luján Introduces Legislation to Promote Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

on July 20, 2014 - 9:12am

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 introduced legislation recently that will promote energy savings through increased efficiency standards and increased investments in renewable energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass. 

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act, introduced by Luján and Rep.

GOP Candidates Address the Issues at Thursday Event

on July 19, 2014 - 10:45am

Los Alamos County Council candidate James Chrobocinski addresses the audience at a public event to meet GOP candidates hosted Thursday by the Republican Party of Los Alamos at UNM-LA. From left, Council candidates Rick Reiss, Bill McKerley, John Bliss and Chrobocinski at th podium. Local GOP candidates include Geoff Rodgers, State Rep. District 43; Blair Redmond, Magistrate Judge; Alan Kirk, Municipal Judge; Abe Dispennette, County Assessor; Jaret MacDonald, Sheriff and County Council candidates John Bliss, James Chrobocinski, Bill McKerley and Rick Reiss. Photo by Carol A.
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UPDATE: Michelle Lujan Grisham Will NOT Appear On Meet The Press Sunday

on July 19, 2014 - 9:49am

NOTE: U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham will no longer be a guest on Meet the Press this Sunday, July 20 as originally announced.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

STATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01 will appear on Meet the Press this Sunday, July 20.

Rep. Lujan Grisham and other guests will discuss numerous issues facing Congress and the country, including immigration reform, foreign affairs, and the upcoming elections.

Meet the Press airs at 9 a.m. on KOB-TV Ch. 4.

UPDATE: Reception at New Democratic Headquarters and Campaign Kick-off is Private Event

on July 19, 2014 - 9:46am

NOTE: This event is not open to the public.

DPLAC News:

The Democratic Party of Los Alamos County (DPLAC) has officially signed a lease for its campaign headquarters for this political season and plans to move in this weekend.

There is a reception at the new headquarters, 170 Central Park Square, next door to Quizno's, 5-6 p.m., July 25. The evening continues 6-7:30 p.m. with a County Campaign Kick-off event at Fuller Lodge in the patio and lawn area.

Attendance confirmations have been received from most local candidates, Stephanie Garcia Richard, Gary King, Deb Haaland, Maggie Toulouse Oliver

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ESGR Honors Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez

on July 19, 2014 - 7:45am

Sen. Michael Sanchez

ESGR News:

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez received the Seven Seals Award by the New Mexico Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) July 11.

New Mexico ESGR Chair Ray Battaglini said Sanchez was presented with the award for his continuing support of members of the National Guard and Reserve as well as his support of their employers.

Sanchez was given the award and honored at a luncheon held at the Belen National Guard Armory, which was sponsored by ESGR.

Heinrich Addresses Central American Refugee Crisis

on July 19, 2014 - 7:26am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., delivered a speech on the Senate floor July 16 on the current Central American refugee crisis. 

Last week, he joined U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on a tour of the temporary facility for undocumented parents and their children at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center campus in Artesia.

 Heinrich has long been a strong advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, and is a proponent of the president's emergency supplemental request to address the increase in child and adult

Udall Addresses Troubled N.M. VA Hospital

on July 18, 2014 - 11:28am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall meets with Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. Courtesy photo
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., met with the nominee to replace former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned in May in the wake of the veterans' scheduling scandal that has impacted the Albuquerque VA. Nominee Robert McDonald, a West Point graduate, is the former Procter & Gamble CEO.
 
Udall issued the following statement after their meeting:
 
"New Mexico's VA is experiencing a crisis of confidence.

Heinrich Video Addresses Wildfire Funding Reform

on July 18, 2014 - 10:14am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing July 15, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., continued to push to reform federal wildfire policy by funding major wildfires the same way as other natural disasters, while freeing up funding to prevent future fires.

The committee considered the Administration's wildfire preparedness and forest service 2015 fiscal year budget proposal, which includes a plan based on a bill Heinrich is co-sponsoring, which would treat the largest fires -- roughly 1 percent of annual

Luján Joins Effort to Limit Money in Politics

on July 17, 2014 - 8:57am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District announced July 15 that he has joined in an effort to limit money in politics by introducing an amendment to the United States Constitution.

The constitutional amendment would overturn Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC in an effort to reduce the growing influence of money in the political system. The constitutional amendment is the companion to the amendment introduced in the Senate by Sen.

Heinrich on Confirmation of Norman Bay to FERC

on July 17, 2014 - 7:48am

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the following statement after voting to confirm Norman C. Bay to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Bay was confirmed by a vote of 52 to 45. The president is expected to designate him to be chairman of FERC next year.

Heinrich spoke on the Senate floor in support of Bay's nomination:

"Norman Bay is an outstanding public servant with extensive experience to address our energy challenges in New Mexico and around the nation.

Udall Expresses Disappointment in GOP Filibuster Over Hobby Lobby Decision

on July 17, 2014 - 7:42am

Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., expressed disappointment Wednesday, after Republicans blocked debate on a bill to restore women's access to contraceptive health care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 split decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby.

The court ruled that closely held corporations may deny coverage for certain forms of birth control if members of the board object on religious grounds.

The filibuster of the Not My Boss's Business Act, which Udall cosponsored, prevented the Senate from considering a measure to restore the contraceptive

Over 100 People Gather in Los Alamos to Meet With U.S. Sen. Tom Udall Sunday

on July 14, 2014 - 1:27pm

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., spoke at a gathering of more than 100 people Sunday at the Los Alamos home of Marvel Harrison and Dr. Tom Csanadi. Courtesy photo

Gathered at Sunday's event from left, Jill Cooper Udall, Sen. Tom Udall, Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, Marvel Harrison and daughter Sopahn Kellogg and Dr. Tom Csanadi and son Alec. Courtesy photo

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall chats with Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero, left, and his wife Sandra Lucero during a gathering Sunday at the home of Marvel Harrison and Dr. Tom Csanadi. Courtesy photo

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Goes To Washington

on July 13, 2014 - 11:03am

State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard speaks with U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján at his office in Washington, D.C. Courtesy photo

STATE News:

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to meet with New Mexico's federal delegation and discuss LANL Funding and NNSA procurement policies.

State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and U.S. Sen. Tom Udall in Washington, D.C. Courtesy photo

In her meetings with Senators Tom Udall and Martin Henrich and Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Michelle Lujan Grisham and Steve Pierce, Garcia Richard stressed the region’s concerns that the NNSA

Udall: Campaign Finance Reform Momentum Builds With Panel Vote on Constitutional Amendment

on July 13, 2014 - 7:54am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., welcomed the Senate Judiciary Committee's approval of his proposed constitutional amendment to restore power to regulate campaign finance to the people.

Udall’s amendment would clarify in the Constitution that money does not equal speech, effectively reversing U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which have unraveled campaign finance regulations and handed undue influence over elections to corporations and wealthy donors.

Following the July 10 committee vote, Udall's amendment is expected to be considered by the full Senate later this

N.M. Delegation Expresses Serious Concerns With VA's Handling of Veteran's Death

on July 13, 2014 - 7:39am

STATE News:

Thursday, all five members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation sent a letter to the acting director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to express their serious concerns about the New Mexico VA’s handling of the recent tragic death of a veteran at its Medical Center in Albuquerque, as well as its lack of transparency in response to requests for information from the public and their offices.

In the letter, the lawmakers said the lack of transparency is not only eroding the public’s faith in the VA, it is inhibiting their ability to conduct congressional oversight

Meet Local Republican Candidates July 17

on July 12, 2014 - 11:14am

GOP News:

The Republican Party of Los Alamos invites the public to meet local Republican candidates during a gathering at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17 at UNM-LA, Room 608.

Local GOP candidates include Geoff Rodgers, State Rep. District 43; Blair Redmond, Magistrate Judge; Alan Kirk, Municipal Judge; Abe Dispennette, County Assessor; Jaret MacDonald, Sheriff and County Council candidates John Bliss, James Chrobocinski, Bill McKerley and Rick Reiss.

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State Receiving $500,000 Through LWCF

on July 11, 2014 - 9:02am

STATE News:

U.S. Senators Tom Udall D-N.M., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., have announced more than $500,000 in funding for the state of New Mexico through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The designated resources will help fund outdoor recreation and conservation projects as part of a $43 million investment in all 50 states, the territories and the District of Columbia.

"New Mexico is blessed with precious lands that are a part of our culture and way of life," Luján said.

'New Mexico True' Proves Powerful Tourism Tool

on July 11, 2014 - 8:32am

STATE News:

Gov. Susana Martinez lauded members of the tourism industry for the role they have played in delivering a second straight year of record-breaking tourism growth by putting their support and money behind community-specific “New Mexico True” messages.

“It is gratifying to see so many New Mexico communities working together to create a unified message about our wonderful state,” Martinez said.

Lujan Grisham Advocates For Federal Labs

on July 10, 2014 - 9:13am

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01, spoke on the floor of the House today to advocate for policy changes needed to support the work of federal laboratories like Sandia National Labs.

Her speech was delivered during debate on the House’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill:

“I thank my colleague for yielding time, and I commend her and the Chairman for their efforts to put together a bipartisan bill and bring it to the floor. But I do have a couple of concerns with the bill that I would like to address today.

“First, it

Luján Calls for Environmental Cleanup Funding at LANL

on July 10, 2014 - 7:47am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M.-03, spoke on the House floor July 9 in an exchange with the chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

Luján encouraged appropriate funding for environmental cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory and to restore operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The exchange occurred during debate on the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. Below are their remarks. 

Lujan: "Mr.

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