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Udall Announces He Will Not Seek Re-election

on March 25, 2019 - 10:06am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)


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

  • “I see these next two years as an incredible opportunity … to help reverse the damage done to our planet, end the scourge of war, and to stop this president’s assault on our democracy and our communities.”


SANTA FE — Today, in a message to New Mexicans, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced that he will not seek re-election to a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2020. 


“I’m confident that we could run a strong campaign next year to earn a third term, because of all the work you and I have done together, along

Secretary Of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver Determines Petition To Overturn Background Check Law Does Not Meet Strict Legal Requirements

on March 25, 2019 - 8:43am

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

From the Office of the Secretary of State:

SANTA FE – After a thorough review, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver determined Thursday that the proposed petition referendum to overturn New Mexico’s background check law does not satisfy the necessary technical and legal requirements of New Mexico law.

On March 7, 2019, the Secretary of State’s Office received a letter from House Republican Floor Leader James Townsend and House Minority Whip Rod Montoya informing the Office of their desire to initiate a referendum petition to overturn the

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Presents Recovered Vietnam Service Medals To State Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon

on March 24, 2019 - 7:48am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich presents service medals Thursday to Vietnam veteran and New Mexico State Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon of Milan. Courtesy photo
FARMINGTON U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) presented service medals Thursday to Vietnam veteran and New Mexico State Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon of Milan.
“It is my honor to recognize a great New Mexican for his military and public service,” Heinrich said. “Representative Alcon spent over a year on the battlefield working to save the lives of his fellow soldiers.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján Attends Presentation Of Mortgage-Free Home To Wounded Army Veteran

on March 24, 2019 - 7:42am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
RIO RANCHO U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) spoke Wednesday during the presentation of a newly-renovated, mortgage-free home to injured veteran Army Spc. Jason Thompson.
He was joined by Erin Dominguez, U.S. Bank District Manager; Len McMorrow, Senior Vice President REO & Special Asset Servicing at U.S. Bank; Chiquita Martin, Assistant Vice President Customer Analytics (U.S. Army Veteran) at U.S. Bank; and Tom Kilgannon, President of Freedom Alliance.
The home – the second of its kind in New Mexico – is part of a

New Mexico Environment Department Seeks To Withdraw From 2015 Waters Of The U.S. Rule Lawsuit

on March 24, 2019 - 7:03am
NMED News:
SANTA FE — The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) filed a motion Thursday in Federal Court in North Dakota to withdraw from litigation challenging the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule.
NMED believes the positions taken in the 2015 lawsuit are inconsistent with its current position on the proposed rule issued by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in February, in which the EPA seeks to revise the definition of a “Water of the United States.”
“New Mexicans understand the value of water as a natural and cultural resource,” said Environment Department

New Mexico Delegation Announces Nearly $3 Million In HHS Funding To Fight Opioid Crisis

on March 23, 2019 - 9:49am
WASHINGTON, D.C. New Mexico’s congressional delegation announced Friday nearly $3 million in Health and Human Services (HHS) funding to fight the opioid crisis in New Mexico. The $2,770,397 in funding comes from grants released to states through the State Opioid Response Grant Program.
“Substance abuse knows no boundaries, and the opioid epidemic has left its tragic mark on all communities across New Mexico, including urban, rural, and Tribal areas,” Sen. Tom Udall said. “Federal funding is an important step in bolstering prevention efforts but in order to truly tackle

Luján Statement On Special Counsel Report

on March 23, 2019 - 9:19am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
NAMBE U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) issued the following statement on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report to Attorney General William Barr:
“The Special Counsel report must be immediately submitted to Congress. A declassified version of the report must also be made available to the public without delay.”

Governor Signs Landmark Energy Legislation

on March 22, 2019 - 4:27pm

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today signs the Energy Transition Act, landmark legislation that sets bold statewide renewable energy standards and establishes a pathway for a low-carbon energy transition away from coal while providing workforce training and transition assistance to affected communities. Courtesy photo

Surrounded by dozens of advocates and statewide leaders, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today signed Senate Bill 489. Courtesy photo


  • SB489 establishes New Mexico as a national leader in renewable transition efforts

SANTA FE – Surrounded by dozens of advocates and

Change In Grading Schools Dies In Legislature

on March 22, 2019 - 8:42am
Kevin Mccullough, a dual-language fifth-grade teacher at Sweeney Elementary School, gives a lesson March 13 about state finances. Students discussed how they'd spend an expected $1.1 billion budget surplus. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican
Two bills that would have created new guidelines for grading New Mexico's teachers stalled during the just-completed legislative session, but the state Public Education Department will continue to transition away from the evaluation system implemented by the administration of former Gov.

AG Hector Balderas Releases NCAA Tournament Bracket; Picks Aggies To Upset #5 Auburn

on March 22, 2019 - 7:54am
 Attorney General Hector Balderas
AG News:
ALBUQUERQUE Attorney General Hector Balderas has released his 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket.
His March Madness picks include the 12th-seeded New Mexico State Aggies springing the upset on 5th-ranked Auburn in the Midwest Regional, and a Western Regional final that pits 4-seed Florida State against 7-seed Nevada.
Ultimately, AG Balderas has chosen a Tobacco Road showdown in the National Championship Game; pitting North Carolina against Duke for the fourth time this season. 

Scenes From BSMA Night With A Nerd

on March 22, 2019 - 6:48am

Community members gather March 14 at Fuller Lodge for the Bradbury Science Museum Association (BSMA) presentation of Night With A Nerd. Featured speaker Tim Koeth presented ‘The Physicists in the Basement of the High Castle’, an intriguing talk about the race between WW2 United States and Germany to build the world’s first atomic weapon and how the United States succeeded where others failed. for more information about the BSMA. Photo by KayLinda Crawford/

Community members at Fuller Lodge for the BSMA presentation of Night With A Nerd.

NM Could Join States That Renamed Columbus Day

on March 22, 2019 - 6:25am
Goodbye, Christopher Columbus.
New Mexico may observe Indigenous Peoples' Day instead.
The Senate voted 22-15 Friday, March 15 to send Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham a bill that would rename the holiday commemorating the Italian explorer.
The legislation comes as the holiday that took off in the late 19th century as a celebration of Italian-American heritage has in recent decades spurred debate over the real legacy of a man who represents the beginning of European colonialism in the Americas and how best to tell a fuller story of the

Balderas Urges CFPB To Protect New Mexico Consumers From Payday Lenders

on March 21, 2019 - 3:11pm
Attorney General Hector Balderas
AG News:
ALBUQUERQUE Attorney General Hector Balderas Tuesday urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take immediate action to protect consumers from abuses in payday lending, vehicle title lending, and other types of high-cost exploitative consumer lending, after a rule aimed at protecting borrowers from abusive lenders was delayed a second time.
“President Trump’s Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is failing to deliver on its promise to protect New Mexican consumers,” Balderas said.

Udall, Heinrich Introduce Bicameral MAR-A-LAGO Act To Require Disclosure Of Visitor Logs At White House, Trump Properties Where President Conducts Official Business

on March 21, 2019 - 2:01pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich reintroduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act, a bicameral bill that requires the publication of visitor logs to the White House or any other location where President Trump regularly conducts official business, including various Trump Organization properties that he frequents.
“No one should have greater access to or influence over the president or the administration just because they are wealthy, well-connected, or a regular at one of the

Council To Consider Water Rate Increase April 2

on March 21, 2019 - 1:32pm


The Los Alamos County Council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 in Council Chambers in the Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave., to consider adoption of a proposed ordinance to increase water rates by 6.25 percent.

The ordinance was approved by the Board of Public Utilities at the Feb. 20 public hearing. If Council adopts the ordinance, the new water rates take effect immediately.

Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) seeks to increase wholesale, non-potable and retail water rates to recover costs necessary to maintain reliable water services

NMVC: New Mexico Should Invest In Public Infrastructure To Build A Strong Economy

on March 21, 2019 - 12:55pm
NMVC News:
ALBUQUERQUE In New Mexico, as in most states across the nation, investment in public infrastructure remains at lower levels than it did in 2002, even as the economy has rebounded after the recession. That’s according to a new report released today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).
Lawmakers can fix this by prioritizing new and increased investments in transportation, public buildings, water treatment systems, and other forms of vital infrastructure in order to build a strong economy now and in the future.
“This report makes it clear that while the

Justice Department Awards $5.7 Million To Support Native American Crime Victims In Seven States

on March 21, 2019 - 12:53pm
DOJ News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Office of Justice Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime today awarded more than $5.7 million to support crime victims in Native American communities in seven states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Washington and Wisconsin.
The group of 10 awards is the second in a series of grants being made by OVC to American Indian and Alaska Native communities. OVC has now awarded more than $9 million of up to $100 million to support tribal victim service programs.
The awards—17 in total so far—will fund critical crime victim services, such

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich To Introduce Legislation To Establish Bandelier National Park And Preserve

on March 21, 2019 - 10:42am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Bandelier National Monument his intent to introduce legislation to establish the Bandelier National Park and Preserve. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Los Alamos County Councilor David Izraelevitz, left, and Council Chair Sara Scott with Sen. Martin Heinrich Wednesday at the Bandelier press conference to express the Los Alamos community's endorsement of the proposed legislation. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Tribal leaders, wildlife advocates, and northern New Mexico

Letter To The Editor: Disappointed In HB 51 Vote

on March 20, 2019 - 1:00pm
By Barbara Calef, co-president, LWVLA
By Rebecca Shankland, co-president, LWVLA

The League of Women Voters of New Mexico has written the following news release, which we wish to share with the community.

The League of Women Voters is deeply disappointed that the New Mexico Senate voted against HB 51, which would have repealed the outdated law making abortion a crime. New Mexico women deserve to know that a full range of healthcare will remain available to them even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The League believes that in a pluralistic society such as ours the individual’s right to make

New Mexico Land Office: March Lease Sales Generate Nearly $5 Million … State Lands Are Open For Business

on March 20, 2019 - 10:28am


SANTA FE – The State Land Office held its monthly online oil and gas lease sales, raising $4.9 million for New Mexico schools, hospitals and colleges.

Twenty-four tracts of land were offered, 22 of which were closed for bid. Closed bids included 4,285 acres in Chaves, Lea and Eddy counties. The aggregate bid amounted to an average per-acre price of $1,444.56.

“With each monthly lease sale since I took office, we continue to uphold our constitutional obligation to fund our schools, hospitals, and colleges.

Lawmakers Back Secret Lottery

on March 20, 2019 - 9:48am
One of the worst decisions states ever made was to take over gambling businesses.
Mobsters used to run the numbers games. In big cities, heads of crime syndicates called this form of gambling "the policy racket."
And they were the policy kings. Organized crime made millions off the masses that gambled nickels and dimes on the slender chance of winning a jackpot.
We still have plenty of criminals, organized or not. But state governments long ago took over the numbers games.

New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón And Team OSA Launch 2019 Audit Rule Roadshow

on March 19, 2019 - 5:01pm

New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón


New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón and members of Team OSA will hit the road beginning Wednesday, March 19 for its annual, statewide Audit Rule Roadshow.

Each year the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) embarks on a statewide tour to provide training to governmental agency employees and independent public accountant (IPA) firm representatives to provide training on significant and critical updates to the Audit Rule. This year, Auditor Colón and Team OSA will visit six cities across the state: Las Vegas, Las Cruces, Portales, Farmington,

N.M. Delegation Urges Department Of Defense To Consider New Mexico For Space Development Agency

on March 19, 2019 - 8:48am

New Mexico Delegation News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small urged Department of Defense Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan to consider New Mexico as a host for co-locating the Space Development Agency headquarters and to fully utilize the state’s existing core research and development space assets.

Shanahan recently noted that the DoD must make changes to its research, development, and acquisition processes to protect U.S. vital interests in space.

Ringside Seat: Cigar Shop Fired Up By Lower Tax Rate

on March 19, 2019 - 7:13am
What a reversal of fortune.
Just three months ago, the owners of Primo Cigar Shop faced the possibility of a 76 percent state tobacco tax on their products. They now pay a tax of 25 percent upfront, an amount they say makes it impossible to compete with cigar retailers on the internet.
Tripling the state tax would have turned off Primo's lights and closed its doors, said Jack Sweeney, who 10 years ago founded the business.
But bizarre turnabouts can occur in the blur of New Mexico's 60-day legislative session.
One of the more

Land Commissioner SGR To Speak At NNMPW

on March 19, 2019 - 5:51am