Local Viewpoints

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U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, introduced a bill today to reauthorize and fund the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program for six years, permanently reauthorize and fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and permanently fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

Pearce Blasts President Obama's Clean Power Plan

Aug 3, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Washington, D.C. – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new, existing, modified and reconstructed power plants. Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement in response to the Administration’s Clean Power Plan:

Udall Votes To Protect Planned Parenthood Funding

Aug 3, 2015
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall voted against an effort to cut off life-saving health care services for women in New Mexico by de-funding Planned Parenthood. He issued the following statement:

"Planned Parenthood provides critical health care and preventive services, such as cancer screenings and tests, for women and men, many of whom do not have access to services elsewhere. I'm not going to allow this life-saving care to be cut off for thousands in New Mexico.

  Last week's column discussed the message sent the County Commission by the jury in Stewart v Dona Aña County. Rejecting testimony from HR Director Debra Weir and former county officials Sue Padilla and John Caldwell, the jury awarded $1.45 million to Stewart, whom Weir fired from her County position. Jurors were so appalled by the county officials' conduct that some hugged Stewart after the trial and thanked her for fighting. Stewart's lawyer stated in closing that Weir had to go.


Pearce: Short Term Highway Patch "Questionable"

Jul 29, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Surface Transportation Act (H.R. 3236) another short-term extension which also contained unrelated provisions involving the Veterans Choice program. Following his vote against the bundled bill, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement:



A jury has found Oscar Oropeza guilty of criminal sexual penetration in the first degree after a two-day trial led by Chief Deputy Mick Gutierrez and Senior Trial Attorney Rebecca Duffin.


Social Media Safety Tips From The Las Cruces Police Department

Jul 29, 2015

As the use of social media and social networking has grown, those who use such platforms have – knowingly or unknowingly – exposed themselves in ways that may potentially compromise their privacy, safety and security.


Over the years, the Las Cruces Police Department has received reports of stalking, harassment and cyber bullying via various social media sites.


The Las Cruces Police Department offers these tips when utilizing social media platforms:

Udall, Heinrich Call For Hearing On Need To Expand Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

Jul 28, 2015

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on their work to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to expand compensation for victims of radiation exposure in New Mexico as well as several Western states and Guam. Udall, Heinrich and Sens.

The U.S. Department of Education has recently awarded a five-year grant for $1,952,315 to the New Mexico State University TRiO Student Support Services Program. 

NMSU first received funding for this program in 1971. The goals of Student Support Services are to increase the retention and graduation rates of first generation students, low-income students and students with a disability. NMSU TRiO SSS participants receive a variety of academic success and social support services to assist with the transition to the university. The program supports 350 participants every year. 

Additional Sex-Crime Charges Levied Against Jailed Man

Jul 28, 2015
Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department

A Las Cruces man being held at the Doña Ana County Detention Center on charges of criminal sexual penetration of a minor will face additional charges filed this week by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives.

Anthony Bramblett, 39, was arrested June 11 by Las Cruces Police after an investigation found evidence suggesting he sexually abused a female family member, who was in elementary school at the time of the alleged incident. He was charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration.

Governor Susana Martinez Announces Statewide Vaccination Program

Jul 27, 2015
Office of the Governor

Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced a statewide vaccination program to help make it convenient for parents to get their children immunized before they head back to class. From Aug. 1 to 15, Got Shots? Protect Tots! program will offer clinics throughout the state at convenient hours and at little or no cost. The Governor made the announcement at a public health office in Albuquerque and reminded parents about the importance of vaccinating their children before the new school year.

Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino: We Need Wet Water, Not Paper Water

Jul 27, 2015
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino

  I’ve been a New Mexico state senator for eleven years.  When I first ran, it was because as a retired social worker my background in health planning, mental health care and children’s services seemed like a way to make a contribution in shaping state policies in those fields.  I quickly realized, however that most of the time I’d be voting on issues far removed from my fields of interest.

Steve Fischmann

  Columnist Walt Rubel recently wrote about missing an important presentation at a legislative committee hearing because it wasn’t listed on the agenda.  He correctly pointed out that similar last minute agenda changes would be illegal for a local city council or county commission.  “Just because state lawmakers wrote the open meetings act doesn’t mean they feel compelled to follow it” he observed.

New Mexico State Auditor Timothy Keller (D)

  ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Today, the Albuquerque Journal covered conspiracy theories from the Republican Party about State Auditor Tim Keller's track record of work for tribes in New Mexico. The Republican Party again attempted to distract the public from the legitimate investigation of Taxation and Revenue Secretary Padilla with misinformation and partisan attacks.

EPA Regional Administrator Tours Mining Areas With New Mexico Officials

Jul 24, 2015
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

(July 24, 2015)  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Ron Curry toured areas of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation where progress in cleaning up legacy contamination from uranium mines is being made. He was joined by Secretary Ryan Flynn of the New Mexico Environment Department and David Martin from the Energy, Mineral, and Natural Resources Department, and representatives from New Mexico congressional offices to discuss coordination of remediation activities using the Tronox settlement monies. About 69 percent of U.S. uranium ore comes from New Mexico. 

Plague Likely Cause Of Death Of Santa Fe County Woman

Jul 24, 2015

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDoH) is investigating a probable case of plague in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County who died of her illness. Confirmatory testing is being conducted at the NMDoH’sScientific Laboratory Division. This would be the first human case of plague in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will take place at the woman’s home to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, H.R. 3009, by a vote of 241-179.  Following his vote for passage, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement:


Deputies Arrest El Paso Fugitive

Jul 23, 2015
Dona Ana County's Sheriff

An El Paso man wanted on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was located and arrested Wednesday by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies.

   El Paso Police had obtained a warrant for Christopher Lee Millender, 36, and issued a bulletin to surrounding law-enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for him.

  Albuquerque – U.S. PIRG joined 11 other leading government reform organizations today to release a comprehensive policy agenda to curb the impact of big money and amplify the voices of everyday Americans in our democracy. Under the reform agenda, the Citizens United decision would be overturned, more candidates could rely on small donors instead of Super PACs and mega-donors to fund their campaigns, political donations and spending would become more transparent, and candidates would no longer be able to skirt contribution limits through coordination with outside groups.

Arson Guilty On All Counts

Jul 23, 2015
Third Judicial District Attorney

Jeremy Lukas Sanchez, 33, has been found guilty on charges of Aggravated Assault upon a Peace Officer (Deadly Weapon), Arson and Criminal Damage to Property. Including enhancements under the Habitual Offender Act, Mr. Sanchez is facing 30 years incarceration.


On May 15, 2014, Mr. Sanchez was arrested and taken into custody after a standoff with Las Cruces Police at the Motel 6 on La Posada Ln. 


Albuquerque, NM—Equality New Mexico (EQNM), Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM), ACLU of New Mexico (ACLU-NM), Southwest Women’s Law Center (SWLC), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applaud the introduction of the federal Equality Act, legislation introduced today in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Heinrich: Reauthorization For LWCF Included In Senate Energy Committee Package

Jul 23, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, applauded the inclusion of permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015. Authorization for LWCF, which was established in 1965, is set to expire on September 30.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, by a bipartisan vote of 275-150. This bill provides clarity and uniformity for the labeling of food products containing genetically engineered plants or ingredients (GMO’s), helping consumers make informed choices.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:


Democratic Chair: Change In New Mexico Food Stamp Rules Is A Bad Idea

Jul 23, 2015
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  In the nationally recognized Kids Count Data Book Report, just released, New Mexico is again near the bottom nationally when it comes to the economic well-being of our children. New Mexico ranked 49th for the second consecutive year and has ranked in the bottom five for most of the past decade.

GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued the following statement on the introduction of the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, public education, employment, housing, federal funding, jury service, legal protections and credit. The act was introduced today by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in the Senate and by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) in the House of Representatives.

Heinrich: New Mexico 49th Ranking For Child Well-Being Is Unacceptable

Jul 21, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement today after the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranked New Mexico as 49th in the nation for child well-being. The report ranked all 50 states on 16 indicators that fall into the categories of economic well-being, education, health, family, and community.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement as the United States and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic relations after 54 years: "The re-opening of the embassies in Havana and Washington marks a turning point in a relationship fraught with mistrust and Cold War antagonism.

  Many are saddened by the First Baptist Church's recent decision to close a daycare center so old that many parents taking their children there this year were taken to the same place during their own childhoods.  

   “We're devastated,” said parent Theresa Westbrock.  “It was a special place.”

   Many also express concern, mixed with anger and disgust, that the Church might have closed the center because of distaste for gay folks and fears that gay workers or gay parents might be forced on the center if it continued to accept federal funds.  

Haaland: President Obama Continues To Make History In Indian Country

Jul 17, 2015
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for 875 Native American youth, recently, when they were invited by the White House for the inaugural Tribal Youth Gathering in collaboration with United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) and the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. Young people representing 230 tribes from 42 states were welcomed by First Lady Michelle Obama, cabinet officials, the White House Council on Indian Affairs and non-federal partners.

Protest At Rep. Pearce's Las Cruces Office Over Gray Wolf Protection

Jul 15, 2015

  LAS CRUCES, N.M.— More than 100 people showed up today at U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce’s Las Cruces office to protest the New Mexico Republican’s sponsorship of a bill to strip protections away from Mexican gray wolves — and to show support for the lobo and the Endangered Species Act, which has saved the animals from extinction.