Local Viewpoints

Local Viewpoints
2:46 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

New Mexico Educator And Parent Talk About State's Education Challenges

Santa Fe, NM – Today, Senate Democrats hosted two constituents at an education press conference in the State Capitol as part of their “Voices of New Mexico” press conference series. New Mexico educator Carol Singletary and public school parent Jessica Goodkind spoke about the issues they face with the new testing and evaluation policies set forward by the Public Education Department (PED).

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Local Viewpoints
12:30 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Senator Requests Funds For Stray and Maltreated Horses

Santa Fe, NM – Senator George Muñoz (D-4- Cibola, McKinley & San Juan) has introduced the Care & Humane Disposition of Equines Act, which would appropriate $500,000 to the New Mexico Livestock Board’s Horse Shelter Rescue Fund to support the feeding and humane care of horses in the Four Corners region of New Mexico. Sen. Muñoz says he has recognized that there is not enough state support to help care for abandoned and abused horses.

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Local Viewpoints
10:57 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Keller Wants A Public Vote On New Mexico Ethics Commission

Credit Senator Timothy Keller (D)

  After years of debate between the Governor’s office and the legislature, Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller (D-17-Bernalillo) has introduced Senate Joint Resolution 9 to  create an ethics committee through constitutional amendment.

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Local Viewpoints
3:46 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Sapien: Invest In New Mexico Youth

  “There are many projects that government can invest in, but very few have the real rate of return that investing in early childhood does.” – Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Prize Winner, Economics

For the first time, New Mexico ranks 50th in the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT national and state-by-state study to track the well-being of children in the United States. In 2011, 29 percent of our state’s children experienced poverty.

These are startling and sobering facts. Now more than ever, we need a firm and sustained funding commitment to the children of our state.

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Local Viewpoints
3:26 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Report: Capital Gains Deduction Ineffective And Unfair

Legislation enacted in 2003 that allows New Mexicans with capital gains income to deduct half of that income from their state taxes has failed as an economic development tool. Further, it makes the state’s overall tax system lean more heavily on low-income families and exemplifies the need for a more robust accounting of tax giveaways. Those are the conclusions of a report released today by New Mexico Voices for Children.

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Local Viewpoints
4:32 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Morales Co-Sponsors Gila River Legislation

  Santa Fe, NM – Senator Howie Morales (D-28-Catron, Grant & Socorro), Chair of the interim Economic and Rural Development Committee, announced his co-sponsorship today of two bills pre-filed by Senator Peter Wirth (D-25-Santa Fe), SB 89 and SB 90. The bills would protect taxpayers from a costly Gila River Diversion project while prioritizing conservation alternatives to secure Southwest New Mexico’s water supply.

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Local Viewpoints
3:26 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Senator Wants Transparency From New Mexico Supreme Court

In December, the Center for Public Transparency gave the New Mexico Supreme Court an “F” for transparency on a report card that scored high courts in all 50 states when it came to disclosing financial documents.

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Local Viewpoints
3:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

NM Senate Leader Requests Action From Governor On State Fair Commission

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

  Santa Fe, NM — This week, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo & Valencia) sent Governor Susana Martinez a request for an executive message on Senate Bill 2 (SB2).

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Local Viewpoints
1:39 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Legislative Finance Committee: Change Needed In New Mexico Water Funding

 Staffers with the Legislative Finance Committee will present a critical report to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursdayafternoon that identifies the need for the state to eliminate the lack of coordination and fragmentation that exists amongst the state’s numerous water programs.

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Local Viewpoints
5:34 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Spokesman Reacts To Statements About Rep. Steve Pearce's Comments In Book

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  The following statement was issued by Dan Hazelwood, a spokesman for Rep. Steve Pearce in regard to matters related to Pearce's book:

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Local Viewpoints
5:11 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

New Mexico Group Reacts To Attempt To Repeal Undocumented Immigrants' Licenses

Credit Office of the Governor

  The following is a statement from Somos Un Pueblo Unido regarding the Governor's fifth introduction of a proposal to take away driver's licenses from immigrants who live and work in New Mexico: 

 

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Local Viewpoints
5:09 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

New Mexico Senate Democrats React To State Of The State Address

Credit State Senator Bill Soules

  “We need someone who will lead and govern — not play politics!”

This resounding message given by Senator William Soules (D-32-Dona Ana) in the Democratic response to the governor’s State of the State speech set the stage for the start of the 30-day 2014 legislative session.

Sen. Soules countered the governor’s empty remarks and lack of record regarding education, economic development, employment, water, and her predictable and oft-repeated wedge issue of issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented iimmigrants.

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Local Viewpoints
8:47 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Senator: New Mexico Citizens Paying Too Much For GED Test

  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, Governor 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.

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Local Viewpoints
11:54 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Senators Release Statement On President's NSA Reforms

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  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:

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Local Viewpoints
8:09 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Border Trade Alliance Cheers Budget Deal

The Border Trade Alliance applauded Congress’ adoption of an omnibus budget agreement that includes language allowing border communities to dramatically improve the infrastructure and staffing levels at their ports of entry. The bill also funds an additional 2,000 Customs and Border Protection officers.

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Local Viewpoints
3:21 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Legislators Probe Racino Allegations In New Mexico

  With more inside information coming to light concerning the hurried awarding of the lucrative racing and casino lease at Expo New Mexico, Senator Linda M. Lopez (D- 11- Bernalillo), chairperson of the state Senate Rules Committee, believes the current and former State Fair commissioners who oversaw the process should be publicly questioned by the Legislature.

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Local Viewpoints
1:25 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Pearce Votes For Health Exchange Disclosure Bill

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce voted for H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act.  The bill would require extensive new public reporting from the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding healthcare.gov and the healthcare exchanges.   

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Local Viewpoints
12:52 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Protection Sought For Rare Animals In New Mexico, Texas, And Arizona

Arizona Toad found in the Southwest.
Credit National Park Service

  The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today seeking Endangered Species Act protection for seven Southwest amphibians and reptiles.

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Local Viewpoints
12:49 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Bill Introduced Regarding Proposed Gila Water Diversion

  Santa Fe, NM – Senator Peter Wirth (D-25-Santa Fe), Chair of the Senate Conservation Committee, introduced two bills today that will guide how the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) can expend funds under the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004.   Senate Bill 90 specifically requires beneficiaries to secure and guarantee all funding necessary to construct a large-scale diversion and pipeline on the Gila River before the ISC can notify the Secretary of the Interior of its intent to begin construction.

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Local Viewpoints
3:05 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Public Citizen: Trade Deal Would Kill American Jobs

Thursday’s hearing on the long-delayed legislation to establish Fast Track authority for President Barack Obama’s priority Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement could be a donnybrook, Public Citizen said today.Five Finance Committee Democrats announced opposition when it was introduced last Thursday.

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Local Viewpoints
12:57 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

National Hispanic Media Coalition: Support The Hate Crimes Reporting Act Of 2014

Today, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, joined by numerous co-sponsors, introduced the Hate Crimes Reporting Act of 2014 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Act directs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to prepare an update to its 1993 report, "The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes." The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has advocated for an update to this report as a critical component of its campaign against hate speech in the media for many years.

 

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Local Viewpoints
8:30 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Heinrich: Emergency Unemployment Insurance Should Be Restored

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

   U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after Senate Republicans refused to advance S.1845, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, a bill that would extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program that expired for nearly 6,000 New Mexican job-seekers on December 28, 2013:

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Local Viewpoints
3:11 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Senate Democratic Leader To File Bill To Prioritize New Mexico Water Projects

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

  Santa Fe –Currently, there are seven different agencies that distribute money for water projects across the state. According to a report from the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) dated November 21, 2013, “a lack of coordination and fragmentation exists between those funding programs” and “… few share resources or coordinate funding to maximize financing.”

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Local Viewpoints
2:54 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

National Right To Life Committee: New Mexico Assisted Suicide Court Ruling Endangers The Vulnerable

WASHINGTON – Last night, Judge Nan G. Nash of the Second District Court in Albuquerque struck the decades-old New Mexico law which protected that state’s citizens from assisted suicide, claiming that killing a terminally ill patient with that person’s consent is a fundamental right under the state constitution.

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Local Viewpoints
2:37 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

NM Legislative Finance Committee Announces Priorities

Today, the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) held a press conference to present the budget recommendations for the 2014 Legislative Session. Spending calls for $6.15 billion from the general fund, which is $253.5 million more than is expected to be spent in the current fiscal year.

LFC Chairman, Representative Luciano Valera (D- 48- Santa Fe) opened the press conference, providing a rundown of the priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Job creation, education, public employee retention and healthcare were at the core of the list.

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Local Viewpoints
10:49 am
Thu December 19, 2013

White House Touts Benefits Of Affordable Care Act In New Mexico

  In New Mexico, the benefits of the health care law are real, and the repeal plan pushed by Republicans in Congress would undermine or eliminate them across the board, reversing critical consumer protections and driving up costs for millions of Americans. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, in New Mexico:

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Local Viewpoints
9:00 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Pearce Urges New Mexicans To Comment On Lesser Prairie Chicken Issue

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce applauded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for opening the public comment period for the Range-Wide Lesser Prairie Chicken Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances. The comment period ends January 17, 2014, and a listing decision is due by March 30, 2014.

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Local Viewpoints
12:19 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Heinrich Agrees With Ruling On NSA Program

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) issued the following statement regarding a decision by Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granting the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction to block the gathering of their telephone data because a program that collects Americans telephone records in bulk is likely unconstitutional:

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Local Viewpoints
12:18 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Group Says "Flat Tax" Proposal Would Harm New Mexico

  New Mexico’s state and local tax system is already unfair—with the lowest-income New Mexicans paying a rate double that of the highest income earners. A so-called ‘Flat Tax’ or consumption bill, such as the one introduced in the 2013 legislative session by Rep. Tom Taylor (HB-369) and Sen. William Sharer (SB-368), would make the tax system even more regressive. That’s according to a report by New Mexico Voices for Children.

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Local Viewpoints
12:16 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Udall Promotes Grant Program For Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

   Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill that would give Hispanic-serving colleges and universities increased access to a grant program designed to encourage more students to pursue historic and cultural preservation.

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