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Democrat Lawrence Rael Files Candidacy for Governor

on February 15, 2014 - 8:27am

Lawrence Rael officially files candidacy for Governor. Courtesy/Rael Campaign

ELECTION News:

Lawrence Rael has filed with the Secretary of State's Office to become a Democratic candidate for governor of New Mexico.

“Growing up in a tiny town in Northern New Mexico, in the kind of poverty too many of New Mexico's children are battling—few would have imagined that I would be here today,” Rael said. “Before I believed in myself, I was surrounded by a community that believed in me. That's why I believe we can be a global leader in renewable energy.

Senate Committee Votes Unanimously For Hospital Solvency Bill

on February 14, 2014 - 8:36am

Jerry Ortiz y Pino, chair of the Senate Public Affairs Committee

N.M. SENATE News:

SANTA FE – Wednesday, the Senate Public Affairs Committee, in a straight party line vote, passed a substitute bill for Senate Bills 314, 368 and 268, designed to allow counties to come up with funding solutions to cover Medicaid and Medicare cuts to hospitals statewide.

The compromise provides for counties to impose an excise tax of one-twelfth percent of gross receipts. A representative from the New Mexico Association of Counties said counties were in agreement with the proposal.

Bills Improving Transparency of Legislature Clear First Hurdle

on February 14, 2014 - 8:21am
Rep. Jeff Steinborn

LEGISLATIVE News:

Bills Would Require Webcasting of Interim Committees and Archiving of Session Webcasts

SANTA FE—Two pieces of legislation that would increase the accessibility and transparency of the New Mexico Legislature passed unanimously in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee last night. 

House Resolution 2 (HR2), sponsored by Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Doña Ana, would require that all webcasts of committee meetings and floor proceedings during the legislative session be archived.

Brewery District Memorial Passes Senate Floor

on February 14, 2014 - 7:58am

STATE News:

SANTA FE–Senate Memorial 81 (SM81), which officially calls to establish a brewery district in Albuquerque, has passed the senate floor.

Breweries named in the memorial are Nexus, La Cumbre, Left Turn Distillery and Il Vicino because of their close proximity to one another. An amendment, which added Left Turn Distillery to the memorial, was later implemented. Many of the brewers were in attendance at the floor debate.

Senators Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo and Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Bernalillo, co-sponsored the memorial, saying they’re both excited and happy to see that the brewery hub

New Mexico Congressional Delegation Supports Minimum Wage Increase

on February 14, 2014 - 7:50am

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced their enthusiastic support for increasing New Mexico’s minimum wage.

The New Mexico state legislature is currently debating a measure to raise the minimum wage and provide for annual inflation increases to strengthen the economy and help lift more families into the middle class. Udall, Heinrich, Luján and Lujan Grisham also support raising the federal minimum wage.

“Increasing the minimum wage ensures families have money to

NMFRW Hold 2014 Legislative Board Meeting

on February 13, 2014 - 10:09am

New Mexico Federation of Republican Women Past President Elaine Miller, left, and NMFRW 1st Vice President JoAnn Johnson preparing to enter the Governor's Mansion in Santa Fe Friday for tea and a visit with Gov. Susana Martinez. The NMFRW held its 2014 Legislative Board Meeting last weekend during which Miller and Johnson were introduced in the House of Representatives session Friday morning. Johnson, who is the Los Alamos County assessor, introduced Lt. Gov. John Sanchez at a special luncheon Saturday. Courtesy/NMFRW

Officials to Welcome California Company to Rio Rancho

on February 13, 2014 - 9:23am

Gov. Susana Martinez

 

STATE News:

 

SANTA FE—Gov. Susana Martinez will join economic development leaders at 1 p.m. today in welcoming a California manufacturer relocating to New Mexico - a move that will create up to 50 new, well-paying jobs in Rio Rancho.

 

The name of the company will be reveal this afternoon. The company cites New Mexico’s much-improved tax competitiveness, along with welcoming local and state governments, as among the reasons for its relocation to New Mexico.

Bill Limiting Changes to High School Graduation Requirements Passes Senate Education Committee

on February 13, 2014 - 8:03am

Sen. John Sapien

STATE News:

SANTA FE–Senate Bill 307 (SB307), designed to assure that New Mexico students are given a clear idea of graduation requirements over their four years in high school, unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee. The bill now heads to the Senate Public Affairs Committee.

This bill gives students and parents assurance that the state will not keep changing graduation requirements for students in the middle of their high school careers,” said Sen. John Sapien, D-Bernalillo and Sandoval, who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Dona Ana.

Sen.

Bill Would Improve Health Care for Rural Veterans

on February 12, 2014 - 9:06am

 

U.S. SENATE News:

Bill would improve access to care by expanding transportation options, recruiting and retaining doctors and prioritizing improvements at rural clinics

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., introduced a bill to address some of the biggest barriers to health care for veterans in rural communities.
 
More than six million veterans, including a third of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, live in rural communities. But as many as half of those veterans may be going without care from the VA.

Party Members, Candidates and Representatives Attend GOP Pre-Primary Convention

on February 12, 2014 - 8:28am
GOP County Party Chair Robert Gibson, right, and Vice Chair Bill McKerley who served as last month's Pre-Primary Convention Chairman. Courtesy photo
Longtime Los Alamos GOP leader Vernon Kerr, left, chats with 3rd Congressional District candidate Steve McFall. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover and Los Alamos Board of Education President Jim Hall. County Councilor Rick Reiss is at left. Courtesy photo

GOP News:

The Los Alamos Republican Party held its Pre-Primary Convention Jan. 30 and successfully carried out its business and goals.

Tuesday's House Highlights

on February 11, 2014 - 9:17pm

STATE News:

Highlights for Tuesday from the New Mexico House of Representatives:

On the Floor

     House Joint Memorial 4 as amended, New Mexico Family Caregiver Task Force, sponsored by Rep. Tomás Salazar (D-San Miguel, Santa Fe, Torrance-70) has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 48-0. HJM 4 requests that the Aging and Long-Term Services Department convene a New Mexico Family Caregiver Task Force to create a state plan for addressing the challenges faced by family caregivers.

     House Joint Memorial 9 Advanced Practice Nurse & Midwife Task Force, sponsored by Rep.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Revives DWI Bill

on February 11, 2014 - 11:14am

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

STATE News:

Today, State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard went before the House Transportation Committee and successful revived HB 10, the DWI reform bill that had stalled in that committee last week.

Garcia Richard highlighted the bill's focus on closing loopholes in existing law and giving judges the tools they need to deal with complicated cases. The bill passed out of the Transportation Committee on a 6-0 vote and now goes to the house Judiciary Committee.

Background

New Mexico has some of the strictest DWI laws in the nation and was one of the first states

SM81 Would Establish Albuquerque Brewery District

on February 11, 2014 - 8:42am

NM LEGISLATIVE News:

SANTA FE–State Sen. Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo and Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Bernalillo co-sponsored Senate Memorial 81 (SM81), which officially calls to establish a Brewery District in Albuquerque. Breweries named in the memorial are Nexus, La Cumbre and Il Vicino because of their close proximity to one another.

According to the New Mexico Brewers Guild (NMBG), there are more than two dozen established microbreweries across the state.

Sanchez: Give Credit Where Credit is Due on Education Reform

on February 11, 2014 - 6:51am
Give Credit Where Credit is Due on Education Reform
By Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Bernalillo & Valencia

Last year, high school graduation rates in New Mexico improved 10 percent over recent historic rates, from the low 60 percent range up to 70 percent.
 
For the second year in a row, Hispanic New Mexican students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes have the highest completion and graduation rates of all AP students in the country.

These are fantastic developments that are justly lauded, and which the current governor is rightly touting – for which she is incorrectly taking credit.
 

Los Alamos County Assessor's Office Officials Speak at Feb. 18 'Lunch with a Leader'

on February 10, 2014 - 9:29am

Los Alamos County Assessor JoAnn Johnson and Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez brief County Council members during a meeting in Council Chambers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

LWV News:

County Assessor JoAnn Johnson and Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez are the speakers at the League of Women Voters' monthly Lunch with a Leader.

The talk is 11:40 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Mesa Public Library and the public is invited to attend.

Johnson has lived in Los Alamos for 50 years. She was a stay at home mom until her children graduated from high school.

Omaree’s Law Introduced to Protect Children

on February 10, 2014 - 7:56am

The State Capitol in Santa Fe. Courtesy photo

Bill Requires CYFD to Take Custody of Children Showing Specific Injuries of Abuse

SANTA FE–House Bill 333, sponsored by Speaker W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia and co-sponsored by Rep. Emily Kane, D-Bernalillo, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba and Rep.

'Take Back Our Public Schools' March & Rally Feb. 15

on February 9, 2014 - 8:15am

EDUCATION News:

The entire New Mexico community is urged to stand with teachers and other education employees and students by participating in: Take Back Our Public Schools: NEA-NM & AFT NM Rally at the Round House.

The march and rally begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes at the Rotunda in the Capitol. It’s time for all voices to be heard. If you’re not marching, meet at the Roundhouse about 2 p.m. Direct lobbying with legislators after the rally is encouraged. Register for the event so the coordinators can prepare appropriately - click here.

All are

House Budget Stalls on 34 to 34 Tie

on February 8, 2014 - 9:31am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – After a lively three-and-a-half hour debate on the House floor, the substitute for House Appropriations and Finance Committee House Bills 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 did not pass.

The substitute appropriations bill totaling $6.174 billion, prioritizes education with $2.7 billion for public education a spending increase of $150 million or 5.8 percent; and an increase in higher education up to $42 million, or 5.3 percent.

An amendment was proposed by Minority Leader Don Bratton that also failed on a 34-34 vote.

The bill was placed back on the Speaker’s table for future

Resolution Filed Requiring Advanced Education for County Treasurers

on February 8, 2014 - 8:23am

STATE News:

SANTA FE–State Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Bernalillo, has introduced Senate Joint Resolution 19, requiring that county treasurers in New Mexico have increased educational qualifications, as well as continuing to receive related education throughout their tenure.

“The reality is that the job of county treasurers has gotten more complicated since 1912 when New Mexico became a state–they manage hundreds of millions of dollars by investing public dollars, in sometimes complex investment instruments,” Candelaria said.

This comes on the heels of a decision that the recall election of the

Los Alamos AP Students and Staff Honored at State Capitol

on February 6, 2014 - 6:08pm

Los Alamos Public Schools students and staff honored Tuesday on the floor of the Senate at the State Capitol. Photo by John McHale/LAPS

Los Alamos Public Schools students and staff honored Tuesday at the State Capitol Rotunda. Photo by John McHale/LAPS

Gov. Susana Martinez congratulates Los Alamos students for their hard work in the classroom. Photo by John McHale/LAPS

By Dr. Gene Schmidt, Superintendent
Los Alamos Public Schools

Los Alamos Public Schools students and staff were honored at the State Capitol Rotunda and on the floor of the State Senate Tuesday, Feb.

Los Alamos Municipal Judge Alan Kirk Seeks Fifth Term

on February 6, 2014 - 3:25pm

Judge Alan Kirk. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Judge Alan S. Kirk told the Los Alamos Daily Post this morning that he will seek a fifth term as Municipal Judge of Los Alamos County.

"I want to continue providing services to the community through the professional staff of the court that we have developed," Kirk said. "This includes community service programs, probation programs and our extremely successful teen court program."

Kirk moved to Los Alamos in 1958 and graduated from Los Alamos High School and Eastern New Mexico University.

Udall Submits 7,515 Petition Signatures for Re-election

on February 6, 2014 - 7:53am
Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. Senate News:

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall officially filed for re-election Wednesday, submitting 7,515 petition signatures collected by volunteers from across New Mexico, in order to appear on the ballot in November. Udall gathered signatures from every county in New Mexico, demonstrating broad-based support.

“We’ve seen an outpouring of support from people across our state, and in every county. They know there’s a lot at stake in this election and that we’re focused on what matters - fighting in the U.S.

Vincent Chiravalle Enters House Dist. 43 Race

on February 5, 2014 - 1:34pm

Vincent P. Chiravalle

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Former Los Alamos County Councilor Vincent P. Chiravalle told the Los Alamos Daily Post that he has entered the race for the New Mexico House of Representatives District 43.

"As a state representative I would apply a common-sense conservative approach that reflects core Republican principles and puts state government on the side of our citizens," Chiravalle said. "I would work to create a more efficient state government, one that promotes private enterprise, supports our public schools, and protects life."

He is a native of New

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Rep. Garcia Richard Focuses on Education

on February 5, 2014 - 11:48am
Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, at podium, honors Los Alamos AP teachers and students Tuesday at the Roundhouse. Sen. Richard Martinez, fourth from left, and LAPS Board of Education President Jim Hall, far right, participated in the event. Courtesy photo
 
Los Alamos AP teachers and students, shown here with education officials and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, were honored Tuesday at the Roundhouse. Courtesy photo
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE - Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba, is a well-known advocate for schools, students and teachers.

Sen. Linda Lopez Introduces Bill to Halt Implementation of Common Core State Standard

on February 5, 2014 - 8:54am

STATE News:

Lack of Public Participation, Inadequate Fiscal Impact and For-Profit Educational Industrial Complex Pressures Cited

SANTA FE – Sen. Linda M. Lopez, D-Bernalillo introduced Senate Bill 296 that, if enacted, would halt the state’s implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) until an in-depth fiscal analysis and broad public outreach is accomplished.

The bill also withdraws New Mexico from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) testing consortium.

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