Local Viewpoints

Local Viewpoints
3:49 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

New Mexico Senate Democrats Confident Voters Would Increase Minimum Wage If Given The Chance

  Julia Castro, owner of Café Castro in Santa Fe, said she pays all of her employees more than the minimum wage because it improves their quality of life and morale, and leads to less turnover at her business, which can ultimately cost more in the long run. Castro spoke in favor of raising the statewide minimum wage during a press conference on Tuesday in the Capitol.

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Local Viewpoints
2:18 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Rodriguez: AG's Remarks On The Border Uninformed And Divisive

Credit Senator José Rodríguez

  Senator José Rodríguez responded to Attorney General Greg Abbott’s remarks about border communities and his policy proposal to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on “border security.” Abbott, a candidate for Governor, compared border communities to Third-World countries when he unveiled the proposal while speaking in Dallas this week.

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Local Viewpoints
9:00 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Report: Americans Largely Agree On Ideas For Social Security Reform

  When a representative sample of Americans were given information about the projected insolvency of Social Security and presented options for dealing with it, overwhelming majoritiesincluding three in four Republicans and Democrats—favored taking steps that would eliminate most of the Social Security shortfall and a modest majority favored steps that would eliminate it entirely, through a combination of raising revenues and trimming benefits. 

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Local Viewpoints
1:15 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Pearce: I Voted To Protect Access To Public Lands

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce voted for H.R. 2954, the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act.  The bill is a package of ten public lands bills that protect public land access and streamline federal regulations.

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Local Viewpoints
11:10 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Bregman: Minimum Wage Hike Good For New Mexico

  In last week’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he would take action and help workers across the country earn a living wage.

President Obama’s executive action will make a real difference for New Mexicans and for thousands of others across the country who work hard every day to support their families.

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Local Viewpoints
3:56 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Morales Wants More Transparency In New Mexico Education

  Senator Howie Morales (D-28-Catron, Grant & Socorro) introduced Senate Memorial 61, requesting that the Legislative Education Study Committee examine the costs, benefits, disadvantages, and efficacy of New Mexico’s participation in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Partnership for Assessment Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). A report is then to be provided to the Legislature no later than November 1, 2014.

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Local Viewpoints
3:13 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Senate Democrats: Let Voters Decide The Fate Of 300% Interest Loans

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

 

 

 

  Small, high-cost loans are trapping New Mexicans every year at average interest rates of over 300%. These loans, such as payday, car title, and high-cost installment loans, are not a quick financial fix – instead, they quickly mire families in debt, leading to other financial harms such as bankruptcy.  Most New Mexico families end up paying more in interest than they originally borrowed.

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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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