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2014 Legislative Veteran-Related Legislation Update

on January 27, 2014 - 8:53am


The New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services (NMDVS)  is providing an update on veteran related bills for the duration of the 2014 Legislative Session, which concludes at noon Feb. 20.

The update contains information about all introduced Bills/Memorials/Resolutions--and show their status in the legislative process.

The veteran related bills most likely to be introduced today:

  • Military Retiree PIT Deduction–allowing for military retirees who chose to make their home in New Mexico to take a 25 percent deduction of their tax liability on their military retiree pay.

More Than 1.6 Million Americans; 7,400 New Mexicans Have Lost Unemployment Insurance

on January 27, 2014 - 8:26am


SANTA FE - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District highlighted a new report on how many Americans have seen their unemployment insurance run out since Dec. 28, 2013.

The analysis by House Ways and Means Committee Democrats found that more than 1.6 million Americans, including 7,492 New Mexicans have lost these important benefits. Without Congressional action, on average, nearly 72,000 people are losing unemployment insurance every week.

"It was disappointing that once again Republicans recessed the House without addressing expiring unemployment insurance

Governor Announces Extradition of Fugitive Child Killer

on January 26, 2014 - 8:29am


SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez and District Attorney Matt Chandler announced that fugitive child killer Edward Salas has been extradited to New Mexico where he will spend life in prison, plus 56 years, for the murder of 10-year-old Carlos Perez in 2005.

After fleeing to Mexico more than five years ago, Salas was recently brought to New Mexico by U.S. Marshals and placed in the custody of the New Mexico Corrections Department.

“Eight years ago, Carlos Perez lay sleeping in his bed when he was shot and killed.

NMDOT Gears Up for Winter Weather

on January 24, 2014 - 7:09am

NMDOT snow removal equipment.


SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation is responding to the latest round of wintery weather that is moving across New Mexico. 

Crews are plowing, salting and cindering portions of Interstates 25 and 40 as well as several other roads in the areas of Mora, Las Vegas and Raton. Workers across the state are closely monitoring the weather and are ready to clear the roads should the need arise.

To get updated road and weather conditions across the state, visit the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s road conditions website,

Legislative Jobs Council Recommends New Legislation

on January 24, 2014 - 5:41am

The New Mexico State Capital/Courtesy


SANTA FE–With a blueprint in hand, the bipartisan Legislative Jobs Council has started the legislative process of creating jobs in New Mexico. A legislative package based on the recommendations of the Jobs Council has been drafted and is ready to be introduced in the House of Representatives.

The legislative package includes:

  • Appropriations to improve economic development efforts toward job creation which includes significantly more funding for the Economic Development Department and the State Tourism

Former ADA and Judge Announces Candidacy for New Mexico Attorney General

on January 23, 2014 - 5:59am

Susan Riedel


ALBUQUERQUE - Susan Riedel, former chief deputy district attorney in Las Cruces and retired Third Judicial District Court judge, announced her candidacy Wednesday for New Mexico Attorney General. Riedel pledged to utilize her more than 25 years of prosecutorial experience to fight for New Mexico:

“New Mexico deserves a strong prosecutor as attorney general,” Riedel said. “I will stand up and fight against those who would prey on the weak and try to take advantage of the public.  I will enforce the laws of New Mexico to ensure that dangerous criminals are put behind bars.

Jobs; Education Top State of the State Address

on January 22, 2014 - 8:32am

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez delivers her annual State of the State Address Tuesday afternoon in the House Chambers saying, "I believe our focus must be on two of the most pressing issues – jobs and education." PrintScreen photo/   


The New Mexico House of Representatives Chamber in Santa Fe is filled to capacity during Tuesday's opening of the 30-day Legislative Session. PrintScreen photo/




SANTA FE—The following is the prepared text of the State of the State Address delivered by Gov.

Governor to Deliver State of the State Address 1 p.m. Today

on January 21, 2014 - 9:03am



SANTA FE — New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will deliver the State of the State address tomorrow at approximately 1 p.m.

  •  When: Jan. 21, at approximately 1 p.m. (subject to legislative activity)
  • Where: New Mexico House of Representatives, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe

Note: The State of the State address will be streamed live online in cooperation with KNME at

Sen. Bill Soules to Outline Democratic Agenda during the Democratic Response to State of the State.

  • WHEN: Tuesday, Jan.

Jobs Council Extended for Second Year

on January 21, 2014 - 7:20am



SANTA FE - The Legislative Council has voted to extend the ground-breaking work of the Legislative Jobs Council for a second year.

During the interim, the bipartisan group of Legislators and private industry representatives tackled the immense and complex challenge of creating economic base jobs in New Mexico. The work of the Legislative Jobs Council is the most thorough and inclusive job creation planning in state history. 

Based on this work, specific legislation will be introduced during the 2014 legislative session with the hopes of creating jobs in the next

Traffic Advisory: I-25 Southbound Lane Closure East of Waldo Canyon Tuesday

on January 20, 2014 - 5:59pm


SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Transportation will have a lane closure on the I-25 south bound lanes East of Waldo Canyon this Tuesday. The contractor will be completing maintenance rehabilitation work on I-25 from MM 168 (East of Waldo Canyon) to MM 170 (La Cienega Exit.)

The lane closure will be in effect 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Speed limits will be reduced from 75 MPH to 55 MPH during the lane closure. This work is anticipated to be completed by Jan. 21.

NMDOT urges motorists to proceed through the area with caution, watch for workers, observe traffic control signing, and

NM Kids Count Data Book Release Tuesday

on January 20, 2014 - 9:18am


  • Youth to Call on Lawmakers to Address State’s 50th Ranking in Child Well-Being

ALBUQUERQUE—This year’s New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book, which is set for release on the first day of the legislative session, will address the state’s fall to 50th in the nation in child well-being. A new section in the annual report tracks the status, over time, of the 16 indicators used in the national KIDS COUNT Data Book, in which New Mexico was ranked dead last in 2013. This new section also ranks New Mexico counties on the indicators.

The NM KIDS COUNT Data Book will be released as part of

Letter to the Editor: Privatization at the Expense of New Mexico Education

on January 20, 2014 - 9:09am
D-9-Bernalillo and Sandoval

In March 2013, the Legislature adopted an amendment to allow a fair bidding process for high school equivalency tests to be administered throughout the state. Although it passed both chambers unanimously, Gov. Martinez later pocket vetoed it. Coincidently, on that very same day, in fact, the Public Education Department (PED) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which requires that PED will exclusively contract with Pearson PLC to administer GED tests.

In a July Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) meeting, PED staff testified

PBS Live Streaming Gov's State of the State Address

on January 19, 2014 - 9:38am
Governor Susana Martinez

PBS News:

New Mexico PBS (KNME) Ch.5.1 is broadcasting live video of the 2014 New Mexico State of the State Address at 1 p.m. Tuesday (time is approximate) on Ch.5.1, as well as live streaming the speech and the follow-up panel discussion. Viewers can watch the Governor’s address again, in its entirety, at 10 p.m. on Ch.5.1.

Log in to watch and join the conversation.

2014 New Mexico State of the State Address:

The Roundtable Panel Discussion immediately following the Governor’s speech with Moderator Gene

Senators Respond to President's Directive on Surveillance Reform

on January 17, 2014 - 12:11pm


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, reacted to today's speech by President Obama outlining his directive on reforming surveillance powers. The senators have been advocates for reining in overbroad surveillance powers and protecting Americans' privacy.

They issued the following statement:

“After the long push to rein in overbroad surveillance powers, we are very pleased that the President announced his intent to end the bulk collection of Americans’

Former Taos County Housing Authority Chief and Husband Headed to Prison

on January 17, 2014 - 6:05am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—A federal judge Thursday sentenced the former executive director of the Taos County Housing Authority (TCHA) and her husband to prison terms for conspiring to steal federal funds.

The couple also was ordered jointly to pay $786,014.04 in restitution. Carmella Martinez, 42, of Arroyo Seco was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, and her husband Paul G. Martinez, 44, was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment. Each will serve a two-year term of supervised probation when released from custody.

The sentences were announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C.

Udall Secures Support for Critical PILT Funding

on January 17, 2014 - 5:46am
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Tom Udall won a commitment from a powerful Senate committee chairwoman Thursday to work with him to find reliable funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, a critical source of revenue for local governments throughout New Mexico and the rural West. 
Udall secured her support after making his case for the program in a speech on the Senate floor. PILT funding expired at the end of last year, and Udall and others are fighting to find full funding.

N.M. Delegation Announces Federal Drought Assistance

on January 17, 2014 - 5:37am


WASHINGTON Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that 27 counties in New Mexico will qualify for emergency loan assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) due to losses caused by the ongoing drought. A full list of counties is included below.

The designation makes producers, farmers and ranchers in these counties eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans, provided eligibility requirements are met.

Luján Votes for Government Funding Package that Rolls Back Sequester Cuts

on January 16, 2014 - 7:42am


Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District voted Wednesday for the omnibus appropriations bill that funds the government for fiscal year 2014. As a result of the budget deal that was passed in December (see here), the appropriations bill rolls back the sequester cuts that have negatively impacted New Mexico.

"For too long Congress has had to legislate from one crisis to the next as House Republicans shutdown the government and used the appropriations process to make extreme demands," Luján said.

Student Shoots Two Classmates at Roswell School

on January 14, 2014 - 5:30pm

Staff Report

A 12-year-old boy shot a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy at about 7:30 a.m. today at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell. The injured students were airlifted to a Lubbock, Texas hospital.

News reports indicate that the girl has been upgraded to serious condition but the boy, who was shot in the face, remains critical.

At a press conference this afternoon, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kasseta said the seventh grader opened fire with a shotgun on a group of students in the gymnasium before school started.

Design the Mudd Volleyball Pig

on January 14, 2014 - 7:53am

CTHF News:

ALBUQUERQUE—One of Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation’s (CTHF’s) largest fundraisers, Mudd Volleyball, is celebrating its 20th year in 2014. In honor of the event, CTHF is hosting a “Design the Pig” contest to redesign its mascot, the Mudd Volleyball pig.

Entries will be accepted though Friday, Jan. 31. The winning entry will be chosen and announced Feb. 10.

“The Mudd Volleyball pig mascot has taken on many forms in the past 20 years, but has continued to represent the same goal each year – to raise essential funding for Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, which directly benefits


Upcoming Santa Fe National Forest Prescribed Burns

on January 12, 2014 - 10:32am

Prescribed burn illustration. Courtesy photo

SFNF News:

SANTA FE—Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to conduct several prescribed fires across the forest over the next few weeks to reduce hazardous fuels, provide community protection, and restore forest health.

The start dates and duration of the burns are subject to change depending on favorable conditions. Through hand ignition firefighters will burn slash piles and conduct broadcast burns (burning surface fuels in a mosaic pattern.) Smoke may be visible intermittently through the coming weeks.

Gallinas Watershed

New Mexico Receives $1.6 Million for Road Repairs

on January 11, 2014 - 9:17am


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham have announced that the New Mexico Department of Transportation will receive a $1.6 million grant for repair and reconstruction of roads around the state damaged in last year’s floods.

The grant funds will be used to restore major highways and roads on federal lands that were damaged by the severe flooding in September. The record-breaking rain and storms caused damage in about two-thirds of the state.

 In October, at the urging of the

LANL Foundation CEO to Lead Statewide Organization

on January 11, 2014 - 8:58am

Susan Herrera


Susan Herrera, CEO of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, has been elected chair of the Board of the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers.

The Association serves foundations and private philanthropists throughout New Mexico. It hosted a conference “Finding Common Ground: Joining Together to Improve New Mexico” late last year at Tamaya Resort for grantmakers and nonprofits. The conference was partially funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Herrera has served as CEO of the LANL Foundation since 2008 and, in this capacity, manages a

Udall Pushes to Undo Cut to Military Retirees' COLA

on January 10, 2014 - 7:34am


  • Amendment filed to unemployment insurance legislation would protect benefits, close corporate tax loophole


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is supporting an amendment to emergency unemployment legislation to protect military retirees from changes to cost of living adjustments (COLA) that were included in a bipartisan budget agreement.


The amendment mirrors legislation Udall helped introduce in December, the Military Retirement Restoration Act, which would reverse the 1 percent reduction in the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for working-age military

NMDOH Reports First Flu Death of Season

on January 10, 2014 - 7:27am


SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reported Thursday that it has confirmed the state’s first flu death for the 2013-2014 season.

The death reported was a 76-year-old Santa Fe County woman.

“Please remember that the best way to protect yourself and the elderly from the flu is to get vaccinated,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “As flu activity increases in New Mexico, it’s important for anyone who has not yet been vaccinated against the flu to contact their healthcare provider or pharmacist about getting a flu shot.”