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Governor Signing Legislation Today Banning Texting While Driving

on March 2, 2014 - 9:38am


Santa Fe—Gov. Susana Martinez will sign legislation prohibiting texting while driving in New Mexico. Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe and Rep. James Smith, R-Sandia Park, bans texting while operating a motor vehicle, except when summoning medical or other emergency help.


The Governor is scheduled to sign the bill at 2 p.m., today at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque.

Governor Signs Bill Protecting Parental Rights of Deployed Service Members

on March 2, 2014 - 7:38am

Gov. Susana Martinez




ALBUQUERQUE—Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law Saturday legislation that protects the parental rights of deployed service members.


SB 130, the Service Member Child Custody Act, ensures that child custody arrangements cannot be modified while a parent is deployed for military service. The increased deployment of service members in recent years has raised difficult child custody issues that profoundly affect both children’s welfare and service members’ ability to serve their country efficiently.


“With this new law, our deployed service

Senators: Assess Risk; Deploy Mobile Monitors to WIPP

on February 28, 2014 - 7:46am

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad. Courtesy/wikipedia


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday asking her to provide public health analysis and deploy mobile environmental monitoring units to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad.

The mobile monitors would conduct independent tests and help respond to questions that have arisen from the community about safety following the Feb. 14 radiation leak at WIPP.

“The health and safety of the

Jaret McDonald Announces Candidacy For Sheriff

on February 27, 2014 - 2:02pm
Jaret McDonald
Los Alamos Daily Post

Jaret McDonald has announced his candidacy for sheriff of Los Alamos County.

"I've always been interested in public office and keep up with local and national politics," McDonald told the Los Alamos Daily Post. "My goal has been that I want to go further than this in public service, but this is where I want to start ... I want to make a difference in my community."

McDonald, 42, has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for approximately 20 years as a contractor and employee and is now a superintendent in the construction


Secretary of State Dianna Duran Keynote Speaker At Los Alamos GOP Dinner

on February 27, 2014 - 10:49am

Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran

GOP News:

The Republican Party of Los Alamos will hold a fundraising dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 at the Research Center, 4200 W. Jemez Road. 

Secretary of State Dianna Duran will be the keynote speaker. Price is $50 per person. Checks should be made payable to Republican Party of Los Alamos and mailed to P.O. Box 832, Los Alamos. 

For more information, contact GOP Chair Robert Gibson at 505.662.3159.

About Secretary of State Dianna Duran:

New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna J.

Heinrich Votes to Advance Veterans Benefits Package

on February 26, 2014 - 7:37am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tuesday, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. voted to advance an omnibus veterans bill that includes key provisions he fought for on behalf of veterans and military families across New Mexico.

S.1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act, introduced by the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Senator Bernie Sanders, and cosponsored by Heinrich, passed by a vote of 99-0 today. clearing the way for a Senate debate on the bill.

The omnibus veterans bill includes

Councilor Rick Reiss Launches Election Campaign

on February 25, 2014 - 8:15pm

Councilor Rick Reiss

Los Alamos Daily Post

Rick Reiss has announced his candidacy to retain his seat on the Los Alamos County Council. Reiss was appointed to the Council in September 2012 to fill an unexpired term.

"I want to continue serving as a County Councilor because I am really enjoying it," Reiss told the Los Alamos Daily Post. "I have a conservative perspective and enjoy working on the many projects and programs we provide the community."

He explained that it has taken the better part of a year to fully appreciate the breadth of the effort of serving as a


New Mexico House Majority Leader Rick Miera To Retire Dec. 31

on February 22, 2014 - 8:46am

House Majority Floor Leader Rick Miera

SANTA FE—House Majority Floor Leader Rick Miera has announced he will not seek reelection as the New Mexico State Rep. in Dist. 11 (the downtown corridor of Albuquerque) - a position he has held for the last 24 years.  

Miera says the decision was a difficult one since he has dedicated so much of his life to the legislative process, especially involving the issues of educational equity, juvenile justice and health care access issues. However, he feels the time is right to pass the torch.

“I have made a difficult decision to step down from State

Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge Funding Clears Senate

on February 21, 2014 - 8:50am
Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge. Courtesy/USFWS


SANTA FE–Senate Memorial 36 sponsored by Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Bernalillo, cleared the Senate.

The legislation seeks to complete the final phase of funding for the Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge located along the Rio Grande River in the southern portion of Bernalillo County. Eighty acres remain to be purchased to complete the project, and the legislation will ask the federal government to make this purchase.

“This legislation is going to protect this land forever,” Padilla said.

Alternative Fuel Legislation Goes to Gov.

on February 21, 2014 - 8:45am

Rep. Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales


SANTA FE–House Bill 30 sponsored by Rep. Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales, D-Taos and Sen. Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo, cleared both chambers after passing the Senate floor Thursday and heads to the governor for signature.

The legislation adjusts and equalizes tax rates among different fuel types, eliminates outdated obstacles to alternative fuel use and streamlines administrative processes. House Bill 30 has the endorsement of the Legislative Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommittee.

The alternative fuel industry has been seeking and HB 30

'Stop Fracking' Say 25 Health Professionals

on February 21, 2014 - 8:35am

ENM News:

ALBUQUERQUE–Environment New Mexico delivered a letter from 25 doctors, nurses and other health professionals in New Mexico Thursday to President Obama asserting that fracking should be stopped, given the overwhelming threats to public health.

Environment New Mexico’s federal arm, Environment America, and its other state affiliates delivered similar letters to decision-makers from more than 1,000 health professionals nationwide.

The letters, which include signers from all 50 states, come as public awareness of the health and environmental impacts of fracking is on the rise.

House Amends Lottery Scholarship Bill

on February 21, 2014 - 8:09am

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez


SANTA FE–Senate Bill 347 (SB 347) has been amended by the House, which calls for across-the-board Lottery Scholarship funding cuts to all New Mexico students.

Bill sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Bernalillo and Valencia, has concurred with the amendment in order to avoid death of the bill, but said he was not happy with the changes.

“Although I do not agree with the amendments, in the end it is all about the students and had I not decided to concur, more students would have been hurt,” Sanchez said.

Bill Helping New Mexico Companies Remain Competitive Passes Senate

on February 21, 2014 - 7:45am

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard


SANTA FE–Legislation that would promote fair competition and transparency for New Mexico resident businesses and contractors has passed the Senate. It would help New Mexico companies compete with out-of-state contractors. 

House Joint Memorial 11CS sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe, requests the General Services Department (GSD) to develop guidance and secure training on bids and requests for proposals (RFP) for chief procurement officers of state agencies and local public bodies. 


Apprenticeship Assistance Bill Heads to Gov.

on February 21, 2014 - 7:39am

House Majority Leader Rick Miera


SANTA FE–House Bill 182 (Move Apprenticeship Assistance Program), sponsored by House Majority Leader Rick Miera, D-Bernalillo, has been passed by the Sente and sent to the Governor. The bill moves the program from the Public Education Department to the Workforce Solutions Department, which currently administers the program. 

The bill will streamline certain administration functions affecting apprenticeship in New Mexico by placing the apprenticeship program with the agency that has been designated by the U.S. Department of Labor. 


Letter to the Editor: Urge Gov. to Sign SB 169

on February 21, 2014 - 7:32am
Los Alamos
Urge the Governor to Sign SB 169

Senate Bill SB 169 would allow the school districts of New Mexico to give one half unit of credit toward graduation for completing a ”summer civics course” as an elective  as is seen in current state law for similar courses.

New Mexico Boys’ State and Girls’ State could be qualified, as it has been formerly on contract with the Public Education Department to provide the course content and material.

Eastern New Mexico University already grants three college credit hours for the course.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Speaks Out About Minimum Wage and Early Education Bills

on February 20, 2014 - 8:40am

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba counties, issued the following statement this morning regarding the Minimum Wage and Early Education Bills voted down by House GOP members Wednesday evening.

"As a representative of a swing district, I have had to cross the aisle on numerous occasions these last two years and go against my party to support key pieces of legislation that our district would benefit from.

Lawmakers Pass $23 Million for Job Creation

on February 20, 2014 - 7:39am


SANTA FE–Members of the House and Senate made a significant down payment on a plan to create 160,000 jobs in New Mexico over the next 10 years. The House passed a budget, which includes more than $23 million in appropriations for economic development and work training programs that will bolster the state's job numbers. 

Most of the appropriations were based on the job creation blueprint developed in the interim by the Legislative Jobs Council, chaired by Speaker of the House W.

House Legislative Session Highlights

on February 20, 2014 - 6:55am


House Highlights

On the Floor

House Joint Resolution 15 Navajo Nation Gaming Compact Approval, carried by Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 36-30. HJR 15 approves the Gaming Compact negotiated by the Navajo Nation and the governor of New Mexico, which allows for five casinos that can be operated 24 hours a day based on specific parameters.

Budget Heads to the Governor

on February 20, 2014 - 6:41am

N.M. HOUSE News:

SANTA FE  The House of Representatives has passed the budget. The House passed the Senate Finance Committee substitute SB 313 on a 58 to 8 vote. It now heads to the Governor. 

SB 331 prioritizes education with increased spending in public education spending. SB 331 is a reflection of HB 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

“This entire legislative session, Democrats have outlined our education priorities,” said Speaker of the House W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia.

Omaree's Law Passes House, Heads To Senate

on February 20, 2014 - 6:31am
Rep. W. Ken Martinez

N.M. HOUSE News:

SANTA FE—Omaree’s Law, House Bill 333, sponsored by House Speaker W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia, was passed on the floor of the House on a 52 to 11 vote and now heads to the Senate.
House Bill 333, sponsored by Martinez and co-sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Rep. Emily Kane, D-Bernalillo, and Rep.

Senate Passes $6.19 Billion Budget Package

on February 20, 2014 - 6:28am


SANTA FE—A substitute bill for the General Appropriations Act (SB 313), which proposes a $6.19 billion budget package, was heard and passed unanimously on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The substitute bill was presented to the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) last Sunday with an amended proposal of $17.5 million appropriated to the Department of Education for the administration’s education reforms. Education reform was the primary issue that led to a budget stalemate in the House.

In addition, the Senate adopted measures that are intended to deal with the Lottery Scholarship

Navajo Gaming Compact Passes House

on February 20, 2014 - 6:22am
Rep. James Madalena


SANTA FE—The House of Representatives has approved a new gaming compact with the Navajo Nation by a majority vote of 36-30. It would allow the Navajo Nation to operate up to five gaming facilities, the most of any New Mexico tribe or pueblo. 

“Congratulations to the Navajo Nation on House action to move House Joint Resolution 15 forward to the Senate,” said Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan, who carried the legislation.

Legislation Establishes Disabilty Oversight Council

on February 20, 2014 - 6:10am
Sen. Tim Keller


SANTA FE—Senate Joint Memorial 5 (SJM5), sponsored by Sen. Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo, and Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Bernalillo, has cleared both the Senate and the House chambers. The legislation requests that the New Mexico Legislative Council establish a Medicaid Disability Services Oversight Council.

“New Mexicans living with disabilities are in some of the most vulnerable circumstances, yet have the least say in key decisions.

House Republicans Vote Against Teacher Pay Raises

on February 20, 2014 - 6:05am
Rep. Mimi Stewart

N.M. HOUSE News:

SANTA FE—House Republicans voted to kill a House Education Committee report on House Bill 391 with a 30 to 33 vote.

House Bill 391 is a sub for House Bill 67, sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Bernalillo, chair of the House Education Committee, which would increase the current salary minimums for teachers over the next five years to $40,000 for Level I, $50,000 for Level II and $60,000 for Level III.

HB 67 was re-introduced in the form of HB 391 over the weekend to increase salary levels to mirror the original HB 67. Republican House Education committee

House Passes Memorial Requesting Major League Soccer Team in Albuquerque

on February 19, 2014 - 8:25am
Rep. "Moe" Maestas


  • House Memorial 93 Passes House Floor Unanimously

SANTA FE—House Memorial 93, sponsored by Majority Whip Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Bernalillo, calls on Gov. Susana Martinez, Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry and the Bernalillo County Commission to conduct a dialogue on the possibilities of building a soccer specific stadium and bringing a Major League soccer team to New Mexico. HM 93 passed the house.

Maestas introduced HM 93 to begin the conversation here in New Mexico.