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NMEW Hosts Ethics In New Mexico Event July 15

on June 26, 2019 - 8:17am
NMEW News:
 
New Mexico Ethics Watch (NMEW) will present Ethics in New Mexico: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, Where We’re Going, a multi-faceted event 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday July 15, at the UNM Continuing Education Center on University Blvd. NE in Albuquerque.
 
The event will feature former Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court Richard Bosson, former New Mexico State Sen.

Luján Initiative To Protect Chaco Canyon Passes House

on June 26, 2019 - 6:49am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
 
CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján’s initiative to secure a one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park was passed Tuesday by the U.S. House of Representatives.
 
Assistant Speaker Luján’s amendment was included in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations package that passed Tuesday – a critical move toward securing a permanent ban on oil and gas drilling in the greater Chaco region.
 
A one-year moratorium is an environmental victory for

New Mexico Commission On Access To Justice Launches ‘Think About This’ Campaign

on June 25, 2019 - 3:24pm

Courtesy/NMCAJ

NMCAJ News:

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Commission on Access to Justice has a message to the public: the lack of legal representation is causing serious injustice and suffering in civil cases.

All defendants in criminal cases are guaranteed a lawyer no matter what, but a lawyer is not guaranteed in civil cases and many people suffer serious consequences.

“People who can’t afford a lawyer in civil legal cases, or who can’t access legal resources, are losing their homes, losing their children, suffering from lack of benefits, suffering financial hardship because of large

Governor: Two New State Investment Council Members

on June 25, 2019 - 2:58pm

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced today the appointment of two new members of the State Investment Council effectively immediately.

The governor appointed  L. Michael Messina and Tracy Hartzler. The new members will replace Lynn Hoffman and Scott Smart, respectively.

“I want to thank Ms. Hoffman and Mr. Smart for their years of committed service to the council and recognize their contributions,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “I’m optimistic our two new appointees will provide the same steady and even-handed management of our state’s all-important investment funds.”

L.

Secretary Toulouse Oliver Releases Two Draft Rules On Runoff Elections; Announces Statewide Public Input

on June 25, 2019 - 2:48pm

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

From the Office of the Secretary of State:

All New Mexicans invited to provide public comment, participate in public hearings

SANTA FE – Today, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver released two draft rules concerning runoff elections and how ballot questions will appear on the ballot, and announced public hearings in three New Mexico cities to gather community input.

The two new rules were mandated by the passage of House Bill 407 during the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session.

“These rules will give clarity and guidance to

Udall, Heinrich Secure $30 Million In Reimbursement For Border Communities & Organizations Providing Humanitarian Relief To Asylum Seekers

on June 25, 2019 - 10:25am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced Wednesday that the Senate agreement on border humanitarian assistance includes $30 million in reimbursement funds for localities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in New Mexico and elsewhere that are providing much-needed humanitarian relief to asylum seekers.
 
In May, the full New Mexico delegation – Udall and Heinrich and U.S.

New Mexico Congressional Delegation Announces $2.5 Million To UNM To Research Chronic Kidney Disease Risk Factors Among Native Americans

on June 25, 2019 - 7:33am
 
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small announced Monday that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded approximately $2.5 million over five years to the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center to research chronic kidney disease risk factors among Native Americans in the southwestern United States.
 
The funding, which was championed by the New Mexico delegation, will enable UNM to conduct a study to identify risk factors associated with

CVNM Statement On NMOGA Methane Rule Proposal

on June 25, 2019 - 7:01am
CVNM News:
 
SANTA FE The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) released their proposal Monday for implementing a Methane Capture Rule.
 
The goal of a Methane Capture Rule is to reduce the significant amount of methane that is leaked, vented and flared in New Mexico. In response to NMOGA’s proposal, Conservation Voters New Mexico Political & Legislative Director Ben Shelton released the following statement:
 
“Despite the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association’s presentation as a collaborative partner in reducing methane pollution, the proposal rule they released today is equal to

State Surplus Offers Vehicles For Public Sale

on June 25, 2019 - 6:46am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE About three dozen motor vehicles will be available for purchase Thursday during the monthly public sale at the state surplus property warehouse in Santa Fe.
 
Other merchandise for sale to the public includes used furniture and electronics, as well as knives and other items surrendered to the federal Transportation Security Administration.
 
The warehouse of the Surplus Property Bureau is at 1990 Siringo Road. It will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.
 
The vehicles expected to be available for public sale include sedans, vans, SUVs and a

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Cosponsors Amendment To NDAA To Protect Elections From Foreign Interference

on June 24, 2019 - 6:26pm
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Services Committee, cosponsored an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to help protect our elections from foreign interference by requiring candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify law enforcement if offered illegal assistance by a foreign national.
 
The NDAA is being debated on the Senate floor.
 
“Protecting our elections from foreign

Governor Announces Ethics Commission Chair

on June 24, 2019 - 4:45pm
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

From the Office of the Governor:

SANTA FE Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced her sole nominee to the state Ethics Commission, who will serve as the commission’s chair, per state statute.
 
The Hon. William F. Lang is a well-respected jurist who worked in New Mexico law for nearly 40 years and continues to serve the community. He served three years as a Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Judge, including a stint as Chief Judge, before serving as a District Court Judge for fifteen years, including five years as Chief Judge.
 
Before his time in the

Udall, Heinrich Propose Amendments To Protect And Strengthen Nuclear Safety Board Oversight Mission In Major Defense Bill

on June 24, 2019 - 10:01am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have proposed three amendments to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a major defense policy bill, to protect and strengthen the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board’s (DNFSB) critical safety oversight mission at New Mexico’s Department of Energy (DOE) facilities.
 
The amendments filed by the senators to the NDAA would help ensure that the DNFSB continues to provide strong oversight to protect public health and safety, including the workers at New Mexico’s national security

Aging & Long-Term Services Secretary Appoints New State Long-Term Care Ombudsman

on June 24, 2019 - 9:21am
NMALTS News:
 
SANTA FE Aging & Long-Term Services Secretary Alice Liu McCoy has announced the appointment of Linnea Forsythe as New Mexico’s state long-term care ombudsman.
 
“A strong ombudsman program is critical to protecting the health, safety and rights of New Mexico’s most vulnerable population—residents of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other long-term care facilities,” said McCoy, announcing Forsythe’s appointment during Older Americans Month.
 
“This department is establishing a high bar for the quality of care provided by nursing homes and all long-term care

Luján Announces $400 Million For Women’s Health

on June 24, 2019 - 8:25am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
 
CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) has announced that the House will consider his effort to invest $400 million in the Title X family planning programs that support the health needs of women and families.
 
More than 190 House Democrats signed onto Luján’s push for the Title X funds, which have been systematically cut by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration. In New Mexico, there are 67 health care clinics that receive Title X funding.
 
Title X offers health care and support to women

Attorney General Hector Balderas Urges Congress To Take Action To Protect Integrity Of America’s Elections

on June 24, 2019 - 7:45am
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE — In expressing his “significant concern regarding the persistent threats to our election systems,” Attorney General Hector Balderas joined 21 attorneys general around the country to urge Congress to take action to protect the integrity of America’s elections.
 
In a letter addressed to key U.S.

Udall Statement On Reports That Iran Will Exceed Uranium Enrichment Limits From 2015 Nuclear Deal

on June 24, 2019 - 7:33am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after Iran announced it would exceed uranium enrichment levels previously agreed to under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
 
The news comes just over one year after the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the JCPOA and started its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, including the restarting of crippling economic sanctions that had been reversed in exchange for nuclear program

NWF: Migration Connectivity Legislation Would Help Wildlife Thrive In Modern Landscapes

on June 24, 2019 - 6:54am
NWF News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia recently lays out an innovative strategy to address the ongoing fragmentation of wildlife habitat from man-made barriers.
 
The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would create a national program for maintaining wildlife migrations, movements, and wildlife corridors to ensure that wildlife will face fewer struggles to reach food, water, shelter and breeding sites.
 
“Americans overwhelmingly want to see wildlife thrive on our cherished public lands, but more than one third of

State Pays Down $100 Million In Film Credit Backlog

on June 23, 2019 - 8:16am
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE By the end of last week, the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department had paid out nearly $100 million in backlogged film credits for about 100 film and television shows produced in the state over the past several years that were allowed to build up by the prior state administration.
 
Another $95 million is available to be paid out over the coming fiscal year to productions that have completed filming as part of the new administration’s efforts to clear the backlog and ensure sound footing for the film and television industry in the state into the future.
 

Udall, Van Hollen Reintroduce EMPOWER Act To Modernize Presidential Campaign Financing System

on June 23, 2019 - 5:57am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) reintroduced legislation Thursday to reduce the influence of money in presidential elections by empowering candidates who decline support from wealthy special interests.
 
With mega-donors exerting increasing influence on elections and increasing public disgust for out-of-control special interest electioneering, S.1917, the Empowering Mass Participation to Offset the Wealthy's Electoral Role (EMPOWER) Act would modernize the presidential public financing system to help publicly funded

DOI: $40.2 Million To New Mexico For Vital Services Including $92,880 For Los Alamos County

on June 22, 2019 - 12:18pm
DOI News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced that 32 local governments in New Mexico including Los Alamos County are receiving a total of $40.2 million under the 2019 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, demonstrating the Trump Administration’s commitment to local communities.
 
“Payments in lieu of taxes are made to local governments to help offset their inability to tax federal property,” Secretary Bernhardt said. “These payments are one example of the United States striving to be a good neighbor to local communities.

Julia Baker Announces Run For School Board

on June 22, 2019 - 9:13am

Julia Baker intends to run for school board. Photo by Stephanie Jagielski Photography

COMMUNITY News:

Julia Baker has announced her intention to run for Los Alamos School Board in the 4th District, which includes the North Mesa and Barranca neighborhoods.

Baker and her family have lived in Los Alamos for 13 years. Having benefited from the hard work and volunteerism of others in the community, she said she feels that now is a good time to give back and that her skills can best be used on the school board.

Baker has a degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University and taught

Udall Leads Hearing On Five Bills, Questions Administration’s Commitment To Improving Public Safety In Native Communities

on June 22, 2019 - 8:59am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, joined committee chairman John Hoeven to convene a legislative hearing Wednesday on five public safety bills, including two Udall-led bills – S. 290, the Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act (NYTOPA), and S. 1853, the Bridging Agency Data Gaps and Ensuring Safety (BADGES) for Native Communities Act.
 
“Today, we have an opportunity to take action and make good on our promises to improve public safety in Indian Country.

Christine Bernstein Running For LAPS School Board

on June 21, 2019 - 8:25am
By CHRISTINE BERNSTEIN
Candidate For Los Alamos School Board
 
My name is Christine Bernstein and I am running for LAPS School Board.
 
When people ask me why I am running for School Board, I provide reasons that inspire long conversations I enjoy having and will continue to have with members of this community. I am running for LAPS school board because I want to be a voice for teachers, students and parents. I want to be a voice for all.
 
In my 23 years as a teacher, I have wondered why others are making decisions about my job who do not know nor do the work of a teacher.

House Natural Resources Committee Votes For Full Dedicated Funding Of Land & Water Conservation Fund

on June 21, 2019 - 8:24am
LWCF News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. The House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday voted to advance legislation to provide full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
 
The bill (H.R.3195), the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act, is a House companion to S. 1081 and was introduced by Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
 
Passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr.

Letter To The Editor: Misuse Of Kids Count Report

on June 21, 2019 - 7:31am
By PAUL J. GESSING
President
Rio Grande Foundation
 
The Rio Grande Foundation supports free market policies. New Mexico Voices for Children is on the left of the political spectrum and usually support more government.
 
There are vast areas of disagreement but I believe that in the end New Mexicans across the political spectrum ALL want New Mexico’s children to do better.
 
That’s why it is so disappointing that Voices for Children is seemingly using the annual “Kids Count” report it publishes with the support of the Annie E.

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