Local Viewpoints

Local Viewpoints
12:13 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Udall Leads Effort To Keep Dark Money Out Of Elections

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  With the Senate debating amendments to this year’s proposed budget resolution, Republicans voted against an amendment offered by Sens.

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Local Viewpoints
12:08 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Heinrich Pushes Bill To Prevent Public Lands From Being Sold

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced an amendment to the Senate's budget resolution that would protect America's parks and public lands, including national forests, wildlife refuges, and conservation lands, from being sold off as a deficit reduction tactic. The amendment is cosponsored by U.S.

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Local Viewpoints
11:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

NMPIRG: President's Plan Does Not Adequately Address The Antibiotic Threat

Today the National Task Force for Combatting Resistant Bacteria released a five-year action plan to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.  While the plan takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

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Local Viewpoints
2:41 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Stratton: Civil Asset Forfeiture Bill Worth Signing

For those New Mexicans who believe in bipartisan government, reaching across the aisle and the political spectrum--there is good news. The New Mexico legislature has just unanimously passed HB 560, without a single dissenting vote in either house. HB 560 revises the procedure involved in the forfeiting of citizens’ assets by government agencies, a practice referred to as “asset forfeiture.”  

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Local Viewpoints
5:56 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Recapping The New Mexico Legislative Session

  During the past two months, New Mexicans from every corner of the state sent 6,258 emails through Think New Mexico's website, and legislators listened. As a result, when the 2015 legislative session wrapped up on Saturday, Think New Mexico had successfully achieved 4 of the 5 goals we worked toward during the session:
Health Care Transparency Passed

As we reported to you on Friday, the bill to create a public website with health care cost and quality information has reached the Governor's desk and we are optimistic that she will sign it. 

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Local Viewpoints
4:54 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Hansen: Let's Get The Real Story About The PARCC Test In New Mexico

  I was both reassured and somewhat disturbed to read Secretary of Education Hannah Skandera’s recent guest column on the PARCC test.  On one hand, she soothingly explained what a boon this multi-million dollar corporately-produced assessment will be for our schools.  On the other hand, so much of what she said was just plain wrong.

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Local Viewpoints
4:54 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Heinrich Blasts Republican Plan To Gut The Affordable Care Act

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) highlighted the need to continue making health care coverage available for families across New Mexico through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and opposes efforts by Republicans to dismantle the law in the budget resolution.

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Local Viewpoints
10:26 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Goodman: What Can We Do About A Tragedy In Mexico?

  Bianca is a farmer and a mother. Her son Jorge is a carefree young man, full of laughter. He plays his guitar and sings to her – when he's not fixing a neighbor's recalcitrant computer. He loves children, and attends a small teachers' college.

But he has disappeared.

Estanislao grows corn and beans and trades in food. Today, wearing a bright red cap reading, “Union Pacific – Building America,” he could be some NMSU student's visiting uncle.

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Local Viewpoints
4:12 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Senate Democrats Blast House Committee Move to Blow Up Capital Outlay Projects

Senate Chairman John Arthur Smith (D-35- Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna & Sierra).

  Santa Fe, NM – Without any warning, the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee today took action – with no historical precedent – to strip $80 million worth of infrastructure projects from the capital outlay bill earlier approved by bipartisan consensus in the New Mexico Senate.  The House Committee’s action on Senate Bill 159 (SB

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Local Viewpoints
4:47 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Rodríguez: Gun Proliferation Bills Pass Texas Senate

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  AUSTIN – Senator José Rodríguez issued the following statement regarding Senate Bill 17, the "open carry" bill that passed the full Senate yesterday, and Senate Bill 11, the "campus carry" bill, which passed today:

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Local Viewpoints
3:18 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

McSorley: Hemp Industrialization Equals Jobs for New Mexico

  Santa Fe, NM – I am pleased that my bill, Senate Bill 94 (SB 94), designed to help New Mexico lay the foundation for hemp industrialization, has passed the Senate and the first committee in the House of Representatives.

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Local Viewpoints
3:12 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Report: Minority Families In New Mexico, U.S. Falling Behind

  ALBUQUERQUE— A sharp racial/ethnic divide has emerged within the world of low-income working families, posing a critical equity and economic challenge to New Mexico and the nation, a new study concludes.

Hispanics and African-Americans, who will continue to emerge as a larger segment of the workforce, will remain under-prepared and underpaid unless lawmakers in New Mexico are willing to pursue policies that would improve conditions. 

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Local Viewpoints
9:11 am
Tue March 17, 2015

ACI: Let's Move Forward With Bipartisan Procurement Proposal

  Santa Fe: Last Thursday, Senate Bill 537, the transparency bill which the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry helped to draft, passed the Senate on a unanimous 39-0 bipartisan vote.  But with less than a week remaining in the 2015 legislative session, this broadly supported bill has yet to be heard in its first House committee. 

 

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Local Viewpoints
10:01 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Rodriguez: Anti-Immigrant Bill Is Bad For Texas

Credit SEN. JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ

  AUSTIN – Senate Bill 185, which was heard in the Senate Subcommittee on Border Security today, would outlaw so-called “sanctuary cities” — a term that has not been defined — by prohibiting Texas governmental entities from passing laws to restrict police from asking about immigration status.

The bill affects cities, counties, special districts, and districts attorneys. It exempts school districts and hospital districts, but includes peace officers employed or commissioned by school districts and hospital districts.

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Local Viewpoints
4:47 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Goodman: Deception In Efforts To Recall Las Cruces City Councilors

  Recently I visited with eighteen voters who'd signed the recall petition against Olga Pedroza.

   Each voter asked to take his or her name off the petition.  All but one described election fraud, whether or not s/he used that term.

   The lies varied. 

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Local Viewpoints
11:28 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Greg Lennes: Recall Campaign Is A "Curse To Our Community"

  It is time to slam the door in the faces of the recall gang and their canvassers, who are paid $11 per hour to spread lies and misinformation in our community!  Let's stop this corruption of our political process.  Illinois Tea Party agitator and campaign leader Jeffrey Isbell,  Pam Wolfe, who is Field Coordinator for the Americans for Prosperity New Mexico and trainer of the canvassers and their  wealthy supporters are undermining our community. It is disgraceful. They have no evidence against the City Councilors in the recall.

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Local Viewpoints
5:17 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

NMFOG: Sunshine Lights the Way for Good Government

  Elected officials and candidates love to proclaim themselves to be "pro-open government."  That's a little like being "pro-education" or "pro-family."  The sentiment is nice, and sounds great in a speech, but can mean little in reality.

 

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Local Viewpoints
3:44 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Senate Democrats Proud to Defeat Matt Chandler’s UNM Regents Appointment

Credit Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – Senate Democrats today defeated the controversial nomination of Matt Chandler to the University of New Mexico (UNM) Board of Regents by Governor Susana Martinez by a vote of 23 to 17.  Senators pointed to the strong opposition expressed by many UNM students and faculty, and numerous attorneys from Curry County where Chandler served as District Attorney, as key factors in rejecting the appointment. Chandler’s high-profile record of divisive, unfair partisanship also ruled him out from being getting the Senate’s appointment to the Board of Regents.

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Local Viewpoints
12:19 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Texas State Lawmakers Introduce Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

AUSTIN – Texas state lawmakers introduced legislation Friday that would allow patients with cancer, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. 

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Local Viewpoints
12:16 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Campos: All New Mexicans Receive Dividends from Judiciary Investments

  Properly funding government requires a delicate balancing act to meet the public’s needs. We in the Legislature are allocating more than $6 billion in taxpayer money to ensure New Mexicans receive critical services. A majority of those dollars go to educate our children and provide health care for the needy.

Often overshadowed in the budget debate are the courts and their core mission of delivering fair and timely justice for individuals and businesses.

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Local Viewpoints
5:40 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Tribal Gaming Constitutional Amendments Filed to Level the Playing Field Among Texas Tribes

Credit <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280">Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

  (Austin, TX) – Today, Senator Jose Rodríguez  (D-El Paso) and State Representative Senfronia Thompson (D- Houston) filed SJR 51 and HJR 129, respectively, proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing  gaming on tribal lands belonging to the Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (also known as the Tigua Indian Tribe).

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Local Viewpoints
10:43 am
Wed March 11, 2015

New Mexico Senate Democrats: Anti-Worker Bills Defeated

Credit Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino

  Santa Fe, NM – Anti-worker legislation yesterday 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 Governor Susana Martinez and corporate special interests including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Koch brother network of right-wing organizations.

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Local Viewpoints
4:59 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

State Senate Passes Bill To Protect Behavioral Health Industry And Clients From Further Damage

Credit Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

  Santa Fe, NM –  Today, 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-38-Dona Ana). Known as a tireless advocate for behavioral health issues, Sen. Papen has been especially vocal following the debacle of 2013 in which most of the state’s behavioral health providers were accused of Medicaid fraud and forced out of business without due process by the Department of Health.

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Local Viewpoints
12:30 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Pat Hynes: The Beauty Of Life

  Sometimes you have to be alone to reflect on the beauty of life. Where winter is only a rumor in our world here in the desert, it is for us to enjoy this time of year. Let’s be grateful that so many of us have traded in snow shovels for sun screen.  When we are in dawn’s light, I have a long walk to pick up my Sun News. This walk is my time to look up, reflect, and to not trip. It is like I am part of the heavens that early in the morning, some of us are more delirious than others before we fully wake up.  How unique humans are in the universe.

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Local Viewpoints
12:19 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Defending The BHI Critique Of EPA Rules

Gabe Elsner, an anti-fossil-fuel activist, recently published an Op-Ed on KRWG’s web site criticizing a finding by the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) that the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean power rules would inflict substantial harm on the New Mexico economy by driving up electric rates.  He claims that BHI’s work lacks credibility because it is bought and paid for by fossil-fuel interests.  My purpose here is to respond to this criticism which Elsner and his co-authors usually make when we release our s

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Local Viewpoints
9:01 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Hearing On Texas “Sanctuary Cities” Legislation Delayed

 

   AUSTIN – Today, state Sen. José Rodríguez, Chair of the Senate Hispanic Caucus (SHC), and state Sen. Sylvia R. Garcia, Vice Chair of the SHC, used a Senate rule to postpone the Senate Subcommittee on Border Security hearing on SB 185, the “sanctuary cities” bill, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. The notice for the hearing was published mid-day Friday, which gave potential witnesses insufficient time to make arrangements to testify at the hearing.

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Local Viewpoints
2:38 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

Goodman: House Republican Tried To Destroy One Of New Mexico's Best Laws

Credit Rep. Larry Larranaga

  Republican State Rep. Larry Larranaga is trying to destroy one of New Mexico's best laws.   The Whistleblower Protection Act protects public employees who speak up regarding crimes and malfeasance by other public officials.

   The law protects individual rights, encourages honesty and efficiency in government, and saves us money by allowing public employees expose waste and misconduct.  If you have a good-faith belief you've seen such conduct, you can speak up without fear of retaliation.  I like that.

   Larranaga doesn't.

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Local Viewpoints
2:48 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

Sanchez: "Right To Work" Mailer "A Smokescreen" For Failed Policies

Credit Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – Senate Democrats are hearing from voters who have received misleading mail sent by an organization, ‘Jobs for All New Mexicans’, claiming that so-called right-to-work legislation will improve New Mexico’s failing economy. Gov.

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Local Viewpoints
9:04 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Democrats Consider "Right To Work" Bill After What They Call A GOP "Washington-Style Stunt"

Credit Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – Over the protests of Republican members, a so-called right-to-work bill, House Bill 75 (HB 75), today was referred to Senate committees by the Democratic majority in accordance with the chamber’s standard procedure.  Republican senators introduced an unusual motion to circumvent the normal process by which bills are sent to committee.

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Local Viewpoints
8:26 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Report: Latino Voices MIssing In Sunday News Talk Shows

WASHINGTON - A report released Wednesday by Media Matters for America (MMFA) found that Latino voices are underrepresented in Sunday news talk shows.

 

Despite making up 17 percent of the U.S. population, Latinos made up only seven percent of guests on English-language Sunday shows, the study found. The report also revealed the limited range of topics Latino guests are invited to discuss on the shows, with 46 percent speaking about immigration issues.

 

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