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House Passes Legislation To Allow Sick-Day Transfers

on March 16, 2015 - 10:21am

Rep. Conrad James

STATE News:

  • State Workers Would Be Able To Donate Sick Leave To Colleagues In Medical Emergencies

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Saturday that would allow state workers to donate sick and annual leave to their colleagues in a medical emergency.

HB403, sponsored by Rep. Conrad James, passed by a unanimous 65-0 vote

“This legislation takes extra measures to protect our state workers,” James said. “I am proud that the House took these steps to help state employees in their hour of need.”

All sick-leave donations must remain within

Legislature Honors New Mexico Teacher Of The Year

on March 16, 2015 - 10:10am

Devin DeVargas and New Mexico Teacher of the Year Debra Minyard of White Rock with their certificates. Courtesy photo

 

By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Los Alamos

New Mexico Teacher of the Year, Debra Minyard of White Rock was recognized by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and the New Mexico Legislature Friday in Santa Fe.

Minyard is a teacher at Pojoaque Valley High School (PVHS). She was joined at Friday's event by her husband Joshua Minyard, neighbor Venita Chavez and PVHS Principal Michael "Skip" Hemperley and Assistant Principal Jennifer Baca.

Minyard was doubly honored as her student Devin

New Mexico Legislature Recognizes Los Alamos Daily Post Newspaper As 2014 Small Business Success

on March 15, 2015 - 1:00pm

Legislators recognize the Los Alamos Daily Post and other small businesses from across the state during a ceremony Monday morning at the State Capital. Photo by KayLinda Crawford/ladailypost.com

At center, Sen. Richard Martinez congratulates Los Alamos Daily Post Publisher Carol A. Clark Monday morning in the House Chambers. Photo by KayLinda Crawford/ladailypost.com

STAFF REPORT:

SANTA FE—The Los Alamos Daily Post Newspaper and other small businesses from across the state were recognized last Sunday at a reception at the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe and Monday during a special ceremony and

WIPP Begins Underground Decontamination Activities

on March 15, 2015 - 10:18am

The spraying machine has three articulating spray arms that allow it to apply the water mist at various angles and heights. Courtesy/WIPP

Yellow brattice cloth is suspended from the ceiling in this disposal room. It is rolled down to prevent air flow to the room. Brattice cloth also will serve as a barrier to decontaminate floors. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

Activities are underway in WIPP’s underground facility to address the radioactive contamination that remains as a result of the February 14, 2014 event.

House Passes Bill To Protect Pregnant Women

on March 15, 2015 - 9:46am

Rep. Terry McMillan

STATE News:

SANTA FE ― The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that will protect pregnant women in the workplace and exceed federal guidelines. 

Rep. Terry McMillan, R-Doña Ana, of Las Cruces is the sponsor. The bill (HB 409) passed by a bipartisan 63-3 vote.

“This legislation balances the need to protect pregnant women in the workplace as well as the economic needs of our local small businesses,” McMillan said. “Today, the House took a huge step forward to protect women in the workplace.”

The legislation requires employers to provide reasonable

Los Alamos Students Compete At Regional Science Fair

on March 15, 2015 - 9:15am
Older Regional Science & Engineering Fair participants. Courtesy photo
 
Younger Regional Science & Engineering Fair participants. Courtesy photo

LAPS News:

Los Alamos sent 69 projects and 74 students last weekend to compete in the regional North Eastern New Mexico Regional Science & Engineering Fair at New Mexico Highlands University.

Of the 69 project presented by Los Alamos students, 46 received awards.

For the third year in a row, Los Alamos High School junior Coleman Kendrick qualified for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair set for May 11-15 in Pittsburg, Pa.

House Passes Bill To Reduce Renewable Energy Standards

on March 15, 2015 - 8:09am
Rep. Larry R. Scott
STATE News:
SANTA FE  House Bill 445, “Reduce Renewable Portfolio Standards” sponsored by Rep. Rep. Larry R. Scott, D-Lea County has passed the House by a close vote of 33-32. Several Republicans voted against the measure.
HB 445 repeals part of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that requires New Mexico public utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020, as required in the Renewable Energy Act. This bill would eliminate a portion of that act, keeping the rate at the current 15 percent and preventing it from being increased.

Avoid Crowds ... Take Spring Hikes At Bandelier

on March 14, 2015 - 9:18am
Trails across the mesas at Bandelier National Monument, March, 2015. Courtesy/NPS
 
Trails across the mesas at Bandelier National Monument, March, 2015. Courtesy/NPS
 
BANDELIER News:
 
With spring breaks starting up all over the country, visitation at Bandelier National Monument is rising and often the limited parking in the lot at the Visitor Center is full at mid-day.
 
But spring is a good time to take the opportunity to explore some of the other park trails, especially those with trailheads outside of Frijoles Canyon. 
 
Some possibilities for other hikes include the 1.25 mile (one

Legislature Urged To Change Lottery Scholarship, Restore College Affordability Fund

on March 14, 2015 - 7:58am
VFC News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Making college more affordable for its low-income population would pay the state big dividends down the road.

Having a better educated workforce would help attract higher-paying jobs to the state, which would lead to more economic activity. In addition, boosting the educational level of the state’s adults would improve the educational outcomes of our children. Those are among the points made in a report just released by New Mexico Voices for Children.

“Education and money are inexorably linked,” said Veronica C.

VIDEO: Heinrich On Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act

on March 14, 2015 - 7:43am

SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.―U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, delivered a speech on the Senate floor last week on the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015.

Heinrich introduced the bill with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to enhance opportunities for hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The bill, which has growing bipartisan support, would reauthorize key conservation programs, improve access to public lands, and boost the outdoor recreation economy.

VIDEO: Senator

IRS Weekly Filing Statistics

on March 14, 2015 - 7:37am
IRS News:
PHOENIX  Americans have turned to IRS.gov nearly 200 million times so far this tax filing season where they can find answers on topics ranging from tax preparation to checking their refund status.
This is a 10 percent increase in comparison to the same time last year, according to IRS statistics released last week.
In addition to various interactive tools, IRS.gov is the gateway to many more resources and answers about many tax matters. Try Interactive Tax AssistantTax TopicsTax TrailsFrequently Asked Questions, and the IRS Tax Map.
Taxpayers can easily and quickly view

Supreme Court: Every Person Must Report Child Abuse

on March 14, 2015 - 7:32am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE―The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that every person – no matter their profession – has the duty to report child abuse, siding with Gov. Susana Martinez and House Republicans who have both led the fight to clarify the law in recent years.
 
“Today, the Supreme Court delivered a win for New Mexico’s children,” said Nate Gentry, R-Bernalillo, who carried two bills last year that would have clarified the law. “I thank Governor Martinez for leading the charge to change this law.

House Passes Legislation To Protect Children and Mothers From Rapists

on March 14, 2015 - 7:22am

STATE News:

SANTA FE ― The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would give women the option to terminate the parental rights of a biological father when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

Republican Rep. Conrad James and Democratic Rep. Georgene Louis sponsored the bill (HB 387), which passed by a unanimous 65-0 vote.

“A mother has every right to protect her child from a convicted rapist,” James said. “Passing this bill is the right thing to do for New Mexico’s children and mothers.”

Currently, someone who committed rape is entitled to child custody and parental

House Passes Garcia Richard's Civics Education Bill

on March 13, 2015 - 1:33pm

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

STATE News:

The New Mexico House passed Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard's House Bill 345 (62-1) Thursday.

The bill, originally proposed by former Rep. Vernon Kerr of Los Alamos, will give high school students the ability to earn dual credit for their participation in Boys' State and Girls' State programs in New Mexico. 

This bill was passed in 2013 by both chambers but pocket vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez.

“Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am to the amazing work Rep.

Senate Strikes Bipartisan Compromise On Driver’s Licenses For All New Mexico Residents

on March 13, 2015 - 8:57am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The Senate Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) passed Senate Bill 653, co-sponsored by Senators Stewart Ingle, R-Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea and Roosevelt and John Arthur Smith (D-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna and Sierra, to establish a two-tiered system for the issuance of driver’s licenses and ID cards in New Mexico.

The bill passed by a vote of 5-3.

Under the bill’s proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Code, the same licenses that would be given to United States (U.S.) citizens, may be applied for by non-U.S. citizens.

Senate Passes Bill To Reconcile State’s Accounts

on March 13, 2015 - 8:38am

Sen. George Munoz

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Senate Bill 543, which requires the State Treasurer’s Office and the Department of Finance (DFA) to balance the state budget, has unanimously passed the Senate floor.

Bill sponsor Sen. George Munoz, D-Cibola, McKinley and San Juan, said he was not surprised to see this bipartisan bill pass the Senate.

“We have a real serious problem: between $100 million to $175 million dollars have been unaccounted. It’s mind-boggling to me that we are the only state in the country that does not balance our state’s finances,” Munoz said.

Largest Storm In Decade Boosts New Mexico Ski Resorts

on March 13, 2015 - 7:56am

NMTD News:

The largest storm in a decade blanketed the northern part of New Mexico during the past two weeks, dropping more than six feet of new snow on New Mexico’s ski resorts.

The New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) is hopeful that the record-setting snowfall will lead to record number spring break visitors to the state’s ski resorts.

“We are excited about the timing of this late season snow to encourage those who have been on-the-fence about picking a Spring Break vacation spot,” NMTD Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham said.

House Passes Legislation To Streamline Regulations For Ride-Sharing Services

on March 13, 2015 - 7:50am

Rep. Monica Youngblood

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday to regulate ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft in New Mexico. HB 272, sponsored by Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque, passed by a bipartisan 56-8 vote.  

The ridesharing services, which were introduced in Albuquerque and Santa Fe over the past year, have expanded safe, reliable transportation options for New Mexicans.

“Ride-sharing services provide a safe ride home,” Youngblood said.

State Senate Passes Bill To Protect Behavioral Health Industry And Clients

on March 13, 2015 - 7:36am

Senate Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen

N.M. LEGISLATURE News:

SANTA FE – Thursday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 55 (SB 55) to clarify the definition of Medicaid fraud, and mandate that due process is given to health providers who are accused of Medicaid fraud.

The bill is sponsored by Senate Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen, D-Dona Ana.

Chief Deputy Clerk Adrianna Ortiz Recognized

on March 12, 2015 - 8:48am

Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover, left, presents Chief Deputy Clerk Adrianna Ortiz with an award during the March 3 County Council meeting. Ortiz served as treasurer and secretary of the Clerks Affiliate and was recognized by her peers for her service to the organization. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Senate Bill Redirecting Non-Medicaid Funds To High-Priority Zones Passes Senate Committee

on March 12, 2015 - 7:59am

Senate Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen

 

STATE News:

SANTA FE –  A committee substitute for Senate Bill 566 (SB 566), which aims to create behavioral health “investment zones” in the state and to prioritize those zones for behavioral health services not covered by Medicaid, has passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee (SPAC).

The bill is co-sponsored by Senate Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen, D-Doña Ana and Sen. George Munoz, D-Cibola, McKinley and San Juan.

According to the bill, the Interagency Behavioral Health Purchasing Collaborative, consisting of several state agencies, will create the

House Passes Legislation To Crack Down On Truancy

on March 11, 2015 - 7:20pm

Sen. Craig Brandt

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation today intended to crack down on truancy and keep teenagers in the classroom by taking away their driver’s licenses if they  habitually ditch class.

If the bill becomes law, a student who misses 10 or more classes will lose their driver’s license or learner’s permit. HB 117, which is sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Hall, R-Bernalillo, and Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Sandoval passed the House floor by a 36-32 vote.

“It is so important that our kids stay in school,” Hall said.

NMPED Congratulates LAHS Special Education Team

on March 11, 2015 - 3:38pm

LAPS Coordinator of Students Services Karla Crane, Special Education contact person Carol Moore and Special Education teachers Shannon Dopke, Stephanie Meyer and Lori Elton gather for a celebration with Superintendent Gene Schmidt this morning at Starbucks. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

The New Mexico Public Education Department sent a letter congratulating the Los Alamos High School Special Education Department on achieving 100 percent compliance with paperwork and protocols for students transitioning from high school to college and/or the work world.

In order to be compliant, Individualized

'Right-To-Work' Bills Defeated

on March 11, 2015 - 10:09am

Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino

By NM Senate Democrats:

“... it is unacceptable that women are making 78 cents to the dollar for men who are doing the same work.” –Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino

SANTA FE – Anti-worker legislation Tuesday was defeated by a majority of members of the Senate Public Affairs Committee. Members said the so-called “right-to-work” bills would hurt working people and shrink New Mexico’s middle class.

Two bills, each entitled Employee Preference Act, failed to pass the committee by a vote of 5-3. The bills were pushed by Gov.

IRS Seeks New Mexico Volunteers For Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

on March 11, 2015 - 9:04am

IRS News:

PHOENIX – The Internal Revenue Service seeks civic-minded New Mexicans to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies major taxpayer concerns and makes recommendations for improving IRS service.

The TAP provides a forum for taxpayers to raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement. The TAP reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, IRS Commissioner and National Taxpayer Advocate.

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