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Bill Passes House Committee To Protect Private Information Of New Mexicans, Create Clear And Strong Confidentiality Policy

on February 4, 2019 - 5:15pm

Rep. Miguel Garcia

HOUSE DEMOCRAT News:

SANTA FE – Today, the House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee passed a bill to protect the sensitive personal information of New Mexicans and create a clear and strong confidentiality policy.

House Bill 141, sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque), creates a clear standard for state employees when handling New Mexicans’ personal information.  

This private information includes social security number, tax payer identification number, sexual orientation, disability status, immigration status, national origin, religion,

Governor Picks Julie Jones For Corrections Secretary

on February 4, 2019 - 4:25pm
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announces former Florida prisons director Julie Jones as her pick for corrections secretary at a news conference Thursday at the state Capitol. Photo by Phaedra Haywood/The New Mexican
 
By PHAEDRA HAYWOOD
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has tapped former Florida prison system leader Julie Jones to run the New Mexico Department of Corrections, an agency plagued by short staffing and aging facilities that are quickly approaching capacity.
 
Lujan Grisham said during a news conference Thursday at the Capitol that Jones was seen as a

Police Shooting Involving Bosque Farms PD

on February 4, 2019 - 4:14pm
Samuel Jose Orona
 
NMSP News:
 
VALENCIA COUNTY Bosque Farms Police Department received a call Jan. 31 from a stolen vehicle victim.
 
The victim advised officers she was in the Peralta area traveling behind her stolen vehicle, which was a silver Kia Optima. As the victim followed her stolen vehicle, a suspect from within the stolen vehicle allegedly fired shots toward her.
 
Bosque Farms PD located the silver Kia Optima in Peralta, NM and a pursuit was initiated.

Secretary Of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver Applauds Passage Of Lobbyist Disclosure Bill By State Legislature

on February 4, 2019 - 8:46am
Maggie Toulouse Oliver
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE Wednesday, an important bill supported by Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver passed the floor of the New Mexico House of Representatives.
 
Senate Bill 191 will close a loophole in current lobbyist reporting by requiring lobbyists to report expenses under $100. SB 191 unanimously passed the Senate last week and passed the House today by a 68-1 vote. It now goes to Governor Lujan Grisham’s desk for her signature.
 
“I’m committed to providing more openness and accountability to the public and Senate Bill 191 is a simple but

Stewart Bill To Create Wildlife Corridors To Protect Animals, People Passes Committee

on February 4, 2019 - 8:43am
SENATE News:
 
Sen. Mimi Stewart’s bill to create wildlife corridors to protect animals and people on New Mexico roads Thursday passed the Senate Conservation Committee.
 
“Without carefully planned wildlife corridors, New Mexico roads are incredibly dangerous for animals and people alike,” Stewart said. “By using overpasses and underpasses, among other tools, we can keep animals off our roads and ensure drivers and their passengers get where they’re going safely.”
 
SB 228 authorizes the Department of Game and Fish and the Department of Transportation to work together to create a

Governor Declares American Indian Day, Meets With Tribal Leaders, Calls For Strengthened Relationships

on February 4, 2019 - 8:39am
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Courtesy photo
 
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Courtesy photo
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Friday emphasized her firm commitment to re-establishing productive, respectful government-to-government relationships between the state and New Mexico’s pueblos and tribes on American Indian Day at the state Capitol.
 
The governor met with dozens of tribal leaders from across the state at the Governor’s Mansion on Friday morning for breakfast in a culmination of several important meetings with tribal officials in recent weeks.
 
“We

Adrian Nieto Fails To Return To Reintegration Center

on February 4, 2019 - 8:36am

Adrian Nieto is on the lam

NMSP News:

ALBUQUERQUE – Around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called to the Albuquerque Boys Reintegration Center at 4000 Edith Blvd. to investigate Adrian Nieto.

Nieto, 17, of Albuquerque was on family visitation at his grandmother’s house, cut off his GPS ankle monitor and failed to return to the Reintegration Center.

Nieto is described as a Hispanic male, 5’7”, 132 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen leaving the area of the 200 block of 53rd St.

Heinrich Names Rebecca L. Avitia As State Director

on February 4, 2019 - 8:17am

Rebecca L. Avitia

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that Rebecca L. Avitia will serve as his state director.

A native New Mexican, Avitia has spent her career in service to her community, most recently as executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

“Throughout her career, Rebecca has been a strong advocate and leader committed to improving the lives of those in her community,” Heinrich said.

NWS: Today’s High Near 48, Tonight’s Low Around 30

on February 4, 2019 - 7:56am

The National Weather Service forecasts today’s high near 48 with a 20 percent chance of rain showers after 11 a.m., and a low around 30 tonight with a 30 percent chance of less than half an inch of snow possible. Courtesy/NWS

Rep. Joseph Sanchez Bill To Help Families Of Missing Persons Passes House Floor Unanimously

on February 3, 2019 - 4:33pm
NMDP News:
 
SANTA FE Thursday, Rep. Joseph Sanchez’s (D-Alcalde) bill to help families of missing persons passed the House of Representatives unanimously.
 
House Bill 16 would require the New Mexico Department of Public Safety to share pertinent missing persons information with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, created by the United States Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice.
 
The “Mark Daniel Aguilar Information Sharing Requirement” would ensure a more thorough and connected process in helping to find missing persons.

SVC Applauds Heinrich And Udall Bill To Protect Border Communities, Wildlife, Environment

on February 3, 2019 - 3:29pm
SVC News:
 
The Southwest Environmental Center applauds New Mexico U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich for introducing legislation to protect our border communities, wildlife and environment from harmful border wall construction.
 
Statement from Executive Director Kevin Bixby:
 
We strongly support legislation introduced today by Senators Udall and Heinrich to protect our border communities, wildlife, public lands and environment from Trump’s harmful border wall.
 
The bill to rescind the outdated authority granted by Congress to the Secretary of Homeland Security in 2005 to

Minimum Wage Hike Advances Despite Restaurant Industry’s Fight

on February 3, 2019 - 3:28pm
Bill McCamley, secretary-designate of the Department of Workforce Solutions, speaks in favor of House Bill 31 during a committee hearing Friday. The legislation would raise the statewide minimum wage to $10 an hour in July and increase it annually up to $12 an hour in 2021. Photo by Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican
 
By ANDREW OXFORD
Democrats campaigned last year on a promise to raise New Mexico's minimum wage, which has remained at $7.50 an hour for a decade.
 
How high it will go, exactly, is a question that quickly has become wrapped in a battle waged by the

Healthcare Commission Bill Sounds Complicated, But Is Simple Way To Understand Care, Access

on February 3, 2019 - 3:22pm
Rep. Debbie Armstrong
 
STATE News:
 
Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s legislation to create a Healthcare Value & Access Commission and an All-Payers Database in New Mexico, which passed the House Health & Human Services Committee 5-2 Wednesday, may make the eyes of non-policy-wonks glaze over, but it implements a simple plan: To gather and analyze currently uncollected data on healthcare in New Mexico to improve healthcare policy.
 
“HB 88 creates meaningful, systemic change to the way we track and understand healthcare in New Mexico.

Governor Hails Bill To Lift Cap On Film Incentives

on February 3, 2019 - 3:15pm
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham touted the introduction Friday of Senate Bill 2, which would eliminate the cap on the film tax credit. Photo by Andrew Oxford/The New Mexican
 
Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe, introduced Senate Bill 2 on Friday. The legislation would eliminate the $50 million-a-year cap on the film tax credit. Photo Andrew Oxford/The New Mexican
 
By ANDREW OXFORD
Gov. Susana Martinez had a relationship with the film industry that could seem at times like something out of a shoot-em-up Western.
 
Now, her successor wants to be the new sheriff

Los Alamos County Finance Department Earns Continued Excellence Award

on February 3, 2019 - 8:08am

From left, Los Alamos County Deputy Manager Steve Lynne, Senior Budget Analyst Reese Chavarria-Quam, Budget and Performance Manager Karen Kendall and County Manager Harry Burgess hold up the New Mexico Counties Audit and Accountability Award for Continued Audit Excellence Tuesday at the regular County Council meeting. The state auditor's office developed the award program to recognize local government efforts and performance with respect to annual audits. To earn an award, governments need to have few or no audit findings.

Udall, Heinrich Work To Close Gender Wage Gap

on February 3, 2019 - 8:01am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. Thursday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by guaranteeing that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable.
 
The bill introduction comes 10 years after President Obama passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, marking an important step in the fight to end the gender wage gap.
 
“Pay discrimination against women violates the basic tenant of fairness that is at the foundation of our state and our country.

Trujillo Unveils Plans To Improve Public Education

on February 3, 2019 - 7:06am
New Mexico Public Education Secretary-designate Karen Trujillo, shown at the Capitol last week during a news conference announcing her appointment by the governor, on Friday outlined some of her priorities for the department, including bolstering teacher ranks and building better collaboration with other agencies that serve children. Photo by Olivia Harlow/The New Mexican
 
By ROBERT NOTT
Growing up surrounded by a mother and sisters who were teachers, Karen Trujillo decided to rebel.
 
“No,” she said to herself as a child, rejecting the idea she should become an

NCRTD Earns Third Distinguished Budget Presentation Award From Government Finance Officers Association

on February 3, 2019 - 7:06am
RTD News:
 
For the third consecutive year, the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its Fiscal Year 2019 budget from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.
 
According to a statement by the GFOA, “The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.

NWS: Today’s High Near 48, Tonight’s Low Around 28

on February 3, 2019 - 6:46am

The National Weather Service forecasts today’s high near 48 with a 40 percent chance of showers and tonight’s low around 28. Courtesy/NWS

Navajo Code Talker Museum Bill Passes Committee

on February 2, 2019 - 12:50pm
State Sen. John Pinto, 94, says he is one of about just eight Navajo Code Talkers who are still alive. Courtesy photo
 
By ROBERT NOTT
They spoke a language most people -- including many in their own nation -- could not understand.
 
They befuddled their Japanese enemies who tried to make sense of the strange code. And when World War II ended, they knew they had played a part in keeping the world free.
 
"We helped win the war," said Sen. John Pinto, 94, one of the few Navajo Code Talkers who's still alive.
 
His voice choked with emotion and sadness when he

NM State Police Release DWI Public Service Video For Super Bowl Weekend ... Don’t Drink And Drive

on February 2, 2019 - 12:41pm
NMSP News:
 
As you prepare to celebrate the Big Game this weekend with friends and families, the New Mexico State Police would like to remind drivers not to drink and drive.
 
Click here to view the New Mexico State Police DWI Public Service Announcement.
 
We are bringing awareness to these events in an effort to reduce alcohol related fatalities through continued media attention and intensive advertising. These checkpoints are helping to change society's attitude about drinking and driving.
 
Hundreds of lives could be saved each year if every driver had the courage to make the

Los Alamos County Officials Day At The Roundhouse ... Senate Finance Committee Passes ‘Lab Tax Bill’

on February 2, 2019 - 7:35am
Los Alamos County Councilor David Izraelevitz, Councilor Chair Sara Scott, County Manager Harry Burgess and Councilor Vice Chair Pete Sheehey at the Roundhouse. Photo by Morrie Pongratz
 
Councilors Sara Scott and David Izraelevitz smiling at the 'Do Pass' recommendation from the Senate Finance Committee. Photo by Morrie Pongratz
 
A Day at The Roundhouse
By MORRIE PONGRATZ
Los Alamos
 
Jan. 31, four of us from Los Alamos traveled to Santa Fe to support Senate Bill 11 (SB11), the bill to not allow 501C(3) exemptions from New Mexico Gross Receipts Taxes for National Labs.
 
I was

Romero Tables Own Privacy Bill Amid Sharp Criticisms

on February 2, 2019 - 7:26am
Rep. Andrea Romero
 
By ROBERT NOTT
Freshman state Rep. Andrea Romero introduced a bill that proposed to fine private companies if they did not remove "damaging" or "excessive" information about people from their websites.
 
Romero withdrew her legislation less than 24 hours later after she was pilloried by critics who said she wanted to undermine the First Amendment and use state government to police disputes in the private sector.
 
Romero, D-Santa Fe, on Friday asked the speaker of the House of Representatives to table her proposal before it could be heard

Legislative Roundup: Feb. 2

on February 2, 2019 - 7:19am
SFNM News:
 
Days left in session: 42
 
Free Sundays: The new secretary of the Department of Cultural Affairs says her staff is revisiting the previous administration's decision to curtail free admission to the state's museums.
 
"I do believe the citizens of New Mexico should have free access to their cultural institutions on a more regular basis," Debra Garcia y Griego told the Senate Rules Committee on Friday.
 
State-run museums such as the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Palace of the Governors used to offer free admission to New Mexico residents each Sunday.

NWS: Today’s High Near 48, Tonight’s Low Around 31

on February 2, 2019 - 7:09am

The National Weather Service forecasts today’s high near 48 with mostly sunny skies and tonight’s low around 31. Courtesy/NWS

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