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Governor Fills Pair Of Supreme Court Seats

on January 26, 2019 - 9:18am
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
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
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
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/ 
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/
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,

County Manager Harry Burgess Delivers Annual ‘State Of The County’ Address At Chamber Business Breakfast

on January 25, 2019 - 9:13am
County Manager Harry Burgess delivers his annual ‘State of the County’ address Thursday at UNM-LA. Photo by Bonnie J.Gordon/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess presented the annual “State of the County” address at the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast Thursday at UNM-Los Alamos.

His talk comes in conjunction with the release of the County’s 2018 Annual Report.

Burgess called 2018 “an eventful year”. Nervousness over the fate of gross receipts taxes from Los Alamos National Laboratory if

Gun Control Debate Restarts In NM Legislature

on January 25, 2019 - 8:53am
Shane Ferrari, sheriff of San Juan County, speaks Thursday in opposition of House Bill 8, which seeks to regulate firearm sales, during a hearing on the House floor at the state Capitol in Santa Fe. Photo Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

A long line of people wait to voice their opposition Thursday to House Bill 8, which seeks to regulate sales of firearms, during a hearing on the House floor at the state Capitol in Santa Fe. Photo by Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican
Adan Mendoza, sheriff of Santa Fe County, speaks Thursday as an expert in behalf of bill that seeks to regulate sales of

Heinrich Votes To End Government Shutdown

on January 25, 2019 - 8:53am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
WASHINGTON, D.C. Thursday, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted for a clean spending bill to reopen the government immediately.
The measure, which received bipartisan support, would reopen currently closed agencies and fund the federal government through Feb. 8. The proposal failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance in the Senate.
“New Mexicans are paying the price for the longest government shutdown in American history because President Trump refuses to stop holding our federal workers and basic government services

Governor Names Public Education Secretary

on January 25, 2019 - 8:51am
Karen Trujillo was chosen by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to lead the Public Education Department. Trujillo said she plans to coordinate with the heads of other state agencies serving children to find a way to provide community services for children at risk of failing in school. Photo by Olivia Harlow/The New Mexican
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday finally hired her secretary of public education, and both said they aren't afraid of the challenges ahead.
"I'm feeling not so much fear but excitement," said Karen Trujillo, a longtime

Legislative Roundup: Jan. 25, 2019

on January 25, 2019 - 8:51am
SFNM News:
Days left in the session: 50
State holiday: A bill that would designate the first Friday of April as Dennis Chávez and César Chávez Day cleared its first hurdle Thursday.
The House Local Government, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee unanimously supported the measure, House Bill 34. By creating the 11th state holiday, it would give state workers another day off.
The late Dennis Chávez was a U.S. senator from New Mexico, and the late César Chávez was an organizer of farmworkers, notably in California.

Legislation Would Eliminate Statute Of limitations On Prosecuting Child Sex Abuse Cases

on January 25, 2019 - 8:20am
SANTA FE Thursday, Senate Bill 55, a measure that would eliminate the statute of limitations for certain sexual crimes against children, passed unanimously in the Senate Public Affairs Committee.
It is often difficult for victims to come forward to report sex offenses, and can be made even worse when the perpetrator is an authority figure and the victim is a frightened, traumatized child. It is a well-known fact that some people do not report abuse as children because they were afraid of their abuser or ashamed of what happened to them at the time.

New Mexico Wildlife Federation Call On Members To Contact Lawmakers

on January 25, 2019 - 8:18am
NMWF News:
The New Mexico Wildlife Federation is calling on its members to contact their state lawmakers and urge them to save the state Game Protection Fund.
A provision in the pending general government appropriations bill, House Bill 2, calls for transferring $500,000 from the Game Protection Fund to support operations at State Parks. The House Appropriations and Finance Committee is set to consider the proposal at 1:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 25, in room 307 of the state Capitol in Santa Fe.
Federation President John Crenshaw and Federation Director Jesse Deubel testified to an

Luján Joins Colleagues To Launch PFAS Task Force

on January 24, 2019 - 10:01am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Wednesday, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) joined his colleagues to launch the bipartisan PFAS Task Force, with the goal of bringing PFAS clean-up to the forefront of the congressional agenda.
In November of 2018, Cannon Air Force Base informed the New Mexico State Government that water from several wells on and off the Cannon Air Force Base (AFB) had been contaminated with PFAS. These chemicals are found in foam used for firefighting and are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
“Because of this

Secretary Toulouse Oliver Provides Additional Sexual Harassment Training For New Mexico Lobbyists

on January 24, 2019 - 8:38am
Maggie Toulouse Oliver
SANTA FE New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver will provide an additional training this week for New Mexico lobbyists, which will cover lobbyist registration, reporting requirements, and sexual harassment.
After two successful lobbyist trainings ahead of the 2019 legislative session, this additional training will be provided from 1-4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25, in the New Mexico State Capitol Building, Room 315. (Please note the change of location from this year’s previous trainings.)
Beginning in 2018, Secretary Toulouse Oliver

Is There Anything Good About Polarization? You Betcha

on January 24, 2019 - 8:23am
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Texas populist Jim Hightower once famously said, “The only thing I see in the middle of the road is dead armadillos and a yellow stripe.”

Joking aside, American politics has tended to view centrist politics as the rational norm to which we should strive. I’d like to explore another view.

Remember way back to my first few columns? I introduced Uncle Steve, the zealot for ideas with which we don’t agree. Uncle Steve was an example of how not to talk to political opponents, but his fervor wasn’t really the problem.

National Popular Vote Measure Clears First Hurdle

on January 24, 2019 - 7:05am
State Rep. Georgene Louis, who grew up in Acoma Pueblo, said she and other Native Americans often were told, "Your vote doesn't matter."
She believes a lot of people in America feel that way, she said Wednesday to other members of the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee, particularly during presidential elections when the Electoral College trumps the popular vote.
That's why Louis, an Albuquerque Democrat, said she joined fellow Democrats on the committee to vote 6-3 in favor of a bill to elect the U.S.

New Mexico Legislative Roundup: Jan. 22

on January 23, 2019 - 11:38am
Ruthy Watson, director of the Center for Advocacy Resources Education and Support at New Mexico Highlands University, delivers the keynote speech Monday during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance at the State Capitol. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican

Christine Johnson with the Santa Fe Branch of the NAACP leads the crowd in singing 'We Shall Overcome' Monday during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance at the State Capitol. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican
SFNM News:
Days left in the session: 53
Lottery tuition bill: The Senate Education

Renewable Energy Could Replace Economic Loss From Closure Of San Juan Generating Station

on January 23, 2019 - 7:22am
NMVC News:
ALBUQUERQUE — The impending closure of the San Juan coal-fired power plant and mine does not have to signal economic doom for the small town of Waterflow, NM, where the plant is located.
The site is an excellent candidate to be redeveloped for green energy production. That’s one of the conclusions from a new report by economist Kelly O’Donnell, Ph.D.
The closure will result in the loss of 450 jobs as well as millions of dollars in property tax revenue that’s relied upon by the county of San Juan and area schools.
The addition of a 450 megawatt solar photovoltaic

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Of New Mexico Leads Reintroduction Of Bill To Protect Dreamer Data

on January 23, 2019 - 7:18am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) leads a group of Senate Democrats in reintroducing the Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act of 2019, a bill to safeguard the private information—such as addresses and telephone numbers—of the young immigrants known as Dreamers to ensure they are not targeted by the Trump Administration for deportation.
President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017, impacting nearly 1 million Dreamers across the nation, including more than 7,000

Governor Appoints Stephanie Schardin Clarke To Lead Tax Agency, Lynn Trujillo Department Of Indian Affairs

on January 23, 2019 - 7:13am
Santa Fe County Finance Director Stephanie Schardin Clarke was appointed Tuesday as the new Cabinet secretary-designate of the state Taxation and Revenue Department. Photo by Olivia Harlow/The New Mexican
Lynn Trujillo was appointed Tuesday as the new Cabinet secretary-designate of the state Department of Indian Affairs. Photo by Olivia Harlow/The New Mexican

Democrats Split On Charter School Cap In New Mexico

on January 23, 2019 - 6:58am
Wilhelmina Yazzie of Gallup, one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit asserting that the state unconstitutionally underfunds its public education system, speaks during a Transform Education New Mexico press conference at the state Capitol Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican
Wilhelmina Yazzie of Gallup, one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit asserting that the state unconstitutionally underfunds its public education system, speaks during a Transform Education New Mexico press conference at the state Capitol Monday, Jan.

Become An Expert In New Mexico Legislative Process

on January 23, 2019 - 6:53am
By Conservation Voters New Mexico:
How do we change the things that aren’t working in our state?
During the 2019 New Mexico legislative session you will be hearing a lot about the opportunities for change, and it’s important to know that each piece of legislation has the potential to completely change the way we live.
A piece of legislation can be written by anyone, and after it is sponsored and introduced by a legislator, it passes through a gauntlet of procedures, votes and systems that are important to understand.

Democrat Bills Aim To Boost State’s Minimum Wage

on January 23, 2019 - 6:53am
Jennifer Marquez steams milk at the Plaza Cafe on Tuesday afternoon, when the New Mexico House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee was discussing House Bill 31, which would increase the state's minimum wage and eliminate the lower minimum wage for tipped workers. The committee advanced the measure. Photo by Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican
How high will the statewide minimum wage go?
Or will it go at all?
For many business owners, that is a key looming question during the 60-day legislative session.
The minimum wage in New