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Council Appoints Katrina Schmidt To Fill Open Seat

on January 30, 2019 - 12:26pm
Applicants for the open seat on Los Alamos County Council answer questions during the regular meeting Tuesday night in Council Chambers. Questions ranged from the applicants' leadership experience to what they believe are key priorities for the County. Council voted 4-2 to appoint Katrina Schmidt to fill the seat left vacant by Christine Chandler now serving as Dist. 43 State Representative. Councilor James Robinson and Council Vice Chair Pete Sheehey voted for John Bliss while Council Chair Sara Scott and Councilors Antonio Maggiore, David Izraelevitz and Randall Ryti voted for Schmidt.

EMERGE Graduates Honored Including Land Commissioner SGR And Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler

on January 30, 2019 - 9:14am
New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard is honored as an EMERGE graduate Tuesday at Casa España in Santa Fe along with House Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler and 16 other state legislators. EMERGE is an organization with branches across the nation that recruits and trains Democratic women to hone their skills to win elections. EMERGE who won their races in 2018 include Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, Los Alamos County Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Allen and Los Alamos County Council Chair Sara Scott. Courtesy photo

Gov. Lujan Grisham Signs Executive Order Committing New Mexico To Essential Climate Change Action

on January 29, 2019 - 3:14pm

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

From the Office of the Governor:

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday formally ordered that New Mexico will join the U.S. Climate Alliance, fully embracing the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, aligning New Mexico with the U.S. governors and states that have committed to a climate-conscious future and moves to protect people, natural resources and cultural heritage.

Governor On Passing Of Rep. Henry ‘Kiki’ Saavedra

on January 29, 2019 - 1:04pm
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Monday expressed her sadness at the passing of  former state Rep. Henry “Kiki” Saavedra:
 
“I was incredibly saddened today to hear of  former Representative Saavedra’s passing. I had the good fortune to work with and learn from him for many years and knew him to be deeply devoted to his community. As a veteran, a city employee, and a legislator, he lived his life in service.
 
“He was a treasured leader in the state House, looked up to by new legislators of both parties as a welcoming teacher, and he

State Lottery Scholarship Under Siege Again

on January 29, 2019 - 7:52am
By MILAN SIMONICH
New Mexico college students should beware of trickery at the state Capitol.
 
A proposal that seems innocuous at first glance would undermine the state scholarship program that serves them well.
 
I call your attention to Senate Bill 283. It's the latest attempt to fatten the income of vendors for the state lottery at the expense of New Mexico's students. The title of this legislation by Democratic Sens. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque and John Arthur Smith of Deming is as deceptive as any I've seen.
 
It reads: "Limit lottery operational

Panel Adds Time Frame To Aid-In-Dying Bill

on January 29, 2019 - 7:47am
By ANDREW OXFORD
A legislative committee decided Monday that medical professionals would have to determine a patient has no more than six months to live before prescribing drugs that would help the patient end his or her own life.
 
By tweaking the bill to give it a time frame, lawmakers who support the measure hope to add New Mexico to a short list of states that permit medical assistance in dying.
 
Critics had raised concerns about exactly which patients would qualify under House Bill 90. It was originally written to allow medical aid in dying for patients

Sen. Mimi Stewart Appointed To National Conference Of State Legislatures National Education Committee

on January 28, 2019 - 9:49am

Majority Whip Mimi Stewart

 

STATE News:

 

Sen. Mimi Stewart has been appointed to serve as a national vice-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Education Committee.

The Committee is one of 10 national committees that deal with both state and state-federal issues. The jurisdictions of the standing committees are similar to those of committees in state legislatures.

“NCSL has benefitted from Sen. Stewart’s expertise over her more than 20 years as a legislator,” NCSL’s executive director Bill Pound said. “Sen.

Rep. Lente’s Bill To Improve Native American Student Success Passes House For Third Consecutive Year

on January 28, 2019 - 8:55am
NMDP News:
 
SANTA FE Rep. Derrick Lente’s (D-Sandia Pueblo) bill that would improve Native American student success passed the House Wednesday with unanimous support.
 
HB 250 requires a needs assessment to determine the services public school districts must provide Native American students to close the opportunity gap and improve graduation rates and college preparedness.  
 
“With the recent decision on the Yazzie/Martinez cases, New Mexico is in dire need for bold, smart investments in our public schools and most vulnerable students.

‘Tesla Bill’ Offers NM Motorists New Choice

on January 27, 2019 - 12:40pm
Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino
 
By Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino
Sponsor of Senate Bill 243
 
The sale and service of vehicles is not a very exciting topic but it is an important one.
 
Many motorists have bought a car from a dealership. There are more than 110 new-car dealerships in New Mexico that employ some 7,000 people. Some dealerships have occupied the corners of your towns for decades, and while there has been a consolidation in car dealerships resulting in out-of-state ownerships, many will continue to thrive for decades to come.
 
I have introduced Senate Bill 243, Motor Vehicle

New Mexico Ethics Watch Releases List Of Elements Necessary For Strong Ethics Commission

on January 27, 2019 - 9:05am
NMEW News:
 
New Mexico Ethics Watch (NMEW), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting ethics in governance and public life, has released its Essential Elements for an Independent Ethics Commission.
 
The document highlights and explains the following nine elements necessary for a strong, effective, nonpartisan ethics commission:
  • Independence;
  • Jurisdiction;
  • Transparency;
  • Open Meetings;
  • Funding;
  • Evidence Standard;
  • Subpoena Power;
  • Enforcement; and
  • Commission Quorum.
 
In November of 2018, three quarters of those New Mexicans who voted on the issue approved the constitutional amendment

Legislation Expanding Access For Developmentally Disabled Passes First Committee

on January 27, 2019 - 7:55am
NMDP News:
 
SANTA FE Wednesday, a bill sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque) and co-sponsored by Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque) passed the House Health and Human Services Committee.
 
House Bill 68 addresses the chronic problem of long waitlists for the developmental disabilities waiver services in New Mexico.
 
“This bill is so important for New Mexico families who have a family member with a developmental disability. It is unthinkable and unbelievable that families are waiting 13 years for services they desperately need and for which they qualify.

Report Fuels Debate On Access To Higher Education

on January 26, 2019 - 10:02pm

A group of students walk towards the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican File Photo

Students pass by the duck pond at the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque in October. Gabriela Campos/New Mexican file photo
 
By CYNTHIA MILLER
 
A new report on the economic effects of escalating costs to attend New Mexico colleges and universities calls for more financial assistance for low-income students and recommends an income cap on eligibility for the state's flagship student aid

Balderas Announces $120 Million Settlement With Johnson & Johnson Subsidiary Over Marketing Practices

on January 26, 2019 - 1:11pm
Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Tuesday that he and 45 other Attorneys General reached a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and DePuy to resolve allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices, the ASR XL and the Pinnacle Ultamet.
 
Depuy claimed the devices were much more reliable than they actually were. Contrary to DePuy’s claims of reliability, these hip implants were found to fail at rates more than eight times higher than rates advertised.
 
“Doctors and patients

Armstrong Bill To Keep Guns Out Of Hands Of Domestic Violence Offenders Passes Committee

on January 26, 2019 - 12:41pm
STATE News:
 
Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s bill to keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders, HB 87, passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee Thursday night by a vote of 3-2.
 
“When a gun is present in a situation of domestic violence, it is five times more likely that a woman will be killed,” Armstrong said. “HB 87 is a common-sense way to reduce gun violence in New Mexico.”
 
Armstrong’s bill will make it a misdemeanor for anyone convicted of domestic violence, or under a restraining order, to possess a firearm.

House Committee Passes ‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Bill

on January 26, 2019 - 12:40pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE The House Health and Human Services Committee passed the bill Friday to add consent language to the state’s sexual education curriculum.
 
House Bill 133, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would require public schools and public post-secondary educational institutions to adopt policies and procedures addressing affirmative consent and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
 
According to the 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk & Resilience Survey of New Mexico high school students, 8 percent reported

Four ‘Common-Sense’ Gun Measures To Prevent Violence Pass House Consumer & Public Affairs

on January 26, 2019 - 12:14pm
NMDP News:
 
SANTA FE Four  “common-sense” gun violence prevention bills passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.
 
Representatives and New Mexicans from across the state shared personal stories of gun violence to highlight the importance of the bills.
 
The package of bills are as follows:
  • House Bill 8, Sponsored by Rep. Debra M. Sariñana (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque); The “Background Check for Firearms Act” would require background checks when conducting sales of a firearm.
  • House Bill 40, Sponsored by Rep.

Bill To Fund Domestic Violence Services Advances

on January 26, 2019 - 12:12pm
NMDP News:
 
SANTA FE A bill to fund domestic violence services in New Mexico advanced through the House Health and Human Services Committee.
 
House Bill 62, sponsored by Rep. Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque) and Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque), would make an appropriation of $2 million to the Children, Youth and Families Department to fund services related to domestic violence.
 
“Every day that we don’t fully fund domestic violence services is another day that survivors are left in danger,” Rep. Christine Trujillo said.

CCNM 2019 Poll Reveals Appetite For Reform

on January 26, 2019 - 10:36am
CCNM News:
 
Common Cause New Mexico has rolled out the results from its annual poll, which revealed an increasing appetite for institutional and procedural changes in the NM legislature.
 
The telephone poll of 450 registered voters, randomly selected by Research and Polling Inc. for the December 2018 survey, asked voters about a wide variety of campaign finance and transparency issues. In addition, there were some broader questions included the pool, which had a margin of error of 4.6 percent.
 
According to the results of the poll, 36 percent of those surveyed believed New Mexico was headed

Governor Fills Pair Of Supreme Court Seats

on January 26, 2019 - 9:18am
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Friday made two appointments to the state Supreme Court, closing the vacancies left by former Justices Charles Daniels and Petra Maes, who retired.
 
The governor announced C. Shannon Bacon and David K. Thomson, formerly of the Second Judicial District and First Judicial District, respectively.
 
“Justices Bacon and Thomson are eminently qualified jurists who have earned the broad respect of their peers, accrued decades of extensive and varied experience, and demonstrated a consistent fidelity to

Udall, Senate Democrats Introduce Bill To Protect Essential Federal And Tribal Programs From Future Budget Uncertainty

on January 26, 2019 - 8:14am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. Friday U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, along with U.S.

Heinrich To NM Legislature: Don’t Wait, Legislative Session Represents Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity

on January 26, 2019 - 7:37am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
SANTA FE U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) Friday addressed a joint session of the New Mexico Legislature.
 
Heinrich began his remarks by highlighting the devastating impact President Trump's shutdown is having on families and communities in New Mexico.
 
“The longest shutdown in American history continues to have a devastating impact for families and in our communities all across New Mexico. I’m grateful for how much the State has done to have the back of those affected by this shutdown.

RSF Urges China To Release Australian Blogger

on January 26, 2019 - 2:26am
China is dataining writer and blogger Yang Hengjun under a system that allows torture and other forms of mistreatment. Courtesy photo
 
RSF News:
 
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on China for the immediate release of Yang Hengjun, a China-born Australian blogger and writer, who was arrested last weekend and is now charged for “endangering national security.”
 
China-born Yang Hengjun, 53, a prominent writer, blogger and political commentator with an Australian citizenship, disappeared Jan. 18 during a trip with his family to the southeastern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

County Council Works To Identify Key Priorities

on January 25, 2019 - 3:21pm
Los Alamos County Council Chair Sara Scott participates in the strategic planning session Tuesday in Council Chambers. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com 
 
County officials from left, Karen Kendall, Denise Cassel, Julie Habiger, Philo Shelton and Council Vice Chair Pete Sheehey at the strategic planning session. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post

What should Los Alamos County Council focus on? Councilors tackled this question during a strategic planning session Tuesday in Council Chambers.

During the

Heinrich Statement On Reopening Government

on January 25, 2019 - 3:10pm

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement in response to President Trump's announcement on the deal to reopen the government:

“I am pleased that President Trump has taken this important step to end his prolonged, costly, and unnecessary shutdown.

“For over a month, he thrust our country into the longest government shutdown in history, using federal workers and contractors as bargaining chips, and leaving long lasting damage to our communities.

“Now we must ensure

House Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler Co-sponsors Transparency, Healthcare And Education Bills

on January 25, 2019 - 10:44am

Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler on the House floor at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. Courtesy photo

From the Office of Rep. Christine Chandler:

SANTA FE – House Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler has co-sponsored several important bills this legislative session.

Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (SD-15) and Rep. Chandler’s bill (SB 11) closing the so-called lobbying “loophole” has successful passed out of committee and onto the Senate. The bill is similar to Sen. Ivey-Soto’s bill from the 2018 session that was vetoed by the former governor. 

According to the Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver,

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