Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @  Comments included here represent the views of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of KRWG or New Mexico State University.

ACLU: Border Patrol Use Of Force Guidelines Fall Short

Mar 7, 2014

Las Cruces, NM—Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released two documents in relation to Border Patrol use-of-force policies. The first is a new directive from Chief Michael J. Fisher to U.S. Border Patrol agents intended to clarify existing guidelines governing the use of force, with particular emphasis on responding to rock throwing and vehicle assaults.

  Almost 215,000 New Mexico children have benefitted every year from improvements made in 2009 to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, according to a factsheet released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Unless Congress makes those changes permanent, they will expire in 2017 and 8,600 children will likely be thrust back into poverty.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich today applauded the news that President Obama incorporated into his Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal a plan based on a bill they cosponsored to reform federal wildfire policy. The change, which still must be approved by Congress, would fund major wildfires the same as other natural disasters and free up funding to prevent future fires. 

Jaguars Gain Protected Habitat In Southwest

Mar 4, 2014
Photo courtesy Flickr Commons/Eric Kilby

  In response to a lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today finalizedprotection for 764,207 acres, or 1,194 square miles, of habitat for endangered jaguars in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Think New Mexico Recognized Among Top Think Tanks

Mar 3, 2014

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania’s International Relations Program recently recognized Think New Mexico as one of the top think tanks in the world in its seventh annual “Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.” According to TTCSP, “the index has become the gold standard for think tanks around the world and is widely cited by governments, donors, journals and policymakers.”

Pearce: Agreement On Lesser Prairie Chicken Is Positive Development

Mar 3, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Friday quietly signed the Range-wide Oil and Gas Industry Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (CCAA), along with an accompanying environmental assessment. This agreement between FWS, WAFWA, and the five range states allows private landowners who develop oil and gas on their lands to voluntarily enroll into the CCAA.

Udall: Republicans Block "Crucial" Veterans Benefits Package

Feb 27, 2014

  Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall expressed deep disappointment after Republicans blocked a comprehensive bill to expand crucial health care, education and job-training benefits to thousands of veterans in New Mexico and across the nation.

ACLU Of New Mexico And ACLU Of Texas Announce New Border Campaign

Feb 27, 2014

  Las Cruces, N.M.—Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights and the ACLU of Texas launched the Revitalize Not Militarize “Raise Your Voice” campaign, which aims to document testimonies of how border militarization affects quality of life issues for community members in Southern New Mexico and Texas. 

Pearce: Restore Accountability In Washington

Feb 26, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce voted for H.R. 3865, the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014.  The bill adjusts IRS standards for making determinations on 501(c)(4) organizations, in order to better protect Americans from political discrimination.

Private securities lawsuits are a necessary tool in preventing fraud and protecting investors, according to a new report released today by Public Citizen’s Chamber Watch program. The report disproves misleading arguments made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund on March 5.

Bilingual Seal Legislation On Governor's Desk

Feb 25, 2014
Office of the Governor

  Students who are proficient in speaking and writing in more than one language will now be rewarded for their excellence when they graduate. House Bill 330 “Diploma Seal of Bilingualism,” sponsored by House Majority Leader, Rick Miera (D-Bernalillo-11), establishes a State Seal of Bilingualism-Biliteracy on New Mexico Diplomas of Excellence.  

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rules that allow herders to be paid far less than other agricultural workers and live in unsanitary conditions are illegal and should be invalidated, Public Citizen told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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


  Recently, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that gives Arizona businesses the right to refuse service to same-sex couples. This discriminatory piece of legislation, which is on its way to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, promotes social injustice in the guise of protecting religious freedom.

Progress Now: Failures In The New Mexico Legislature

Feb 20, 2014

  Going into the 2014 legislative session almost everyone agreed that we needed some big solutions to get New Mexico off the bottom of some of the worst lists for kids, workers and families.


But only half our legislators showed up to work.   All together, House Republicans were absent 528 times when votes were cast on the House floor alone.    Working families never had a chance. 


Alternative Fuel Legislation Heads To Gov. Martinez

Feb 20, 2014

  Santa Fe, NM – House Bill 30 (HB 30) sponsored by Representative Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales (D-42-Taos) and Senator Tim Keller (D-17-Bernalillo) has cleared both chambers, after passing the Senate floor, and heads to the governor for signature. The legislation adjusts and equalizes tax rates among different fuel types, eliminates outdated obstacles to alternative fuel use and streamlines administrative processes.

New Mexico Senate Democrats Aim To Prevent Improper Foreclosures

Feb 17, 2014

  The New Mexico Senate has passed a memorial that calls for a creation of a task force to develop a set of recommendations to the legislature on how to avoid the issue of improper home foreclosures.

Keller: New Mexico Is Failing To Use Millions For Unmet Needs

Feb 17, 2014

  Santa Fe, NM – As the legislative session winds down and the final budget is crafted, I can’t help but reflect on one of the great tragedies of current state government. With every tax break, education program, special interest and critical line item being accounted for, it is easy to forget that our state government is awash in cash.

Legislation Passed To Address Kirtland Air Force Base Fuel Spill

Feb 15, 2014

The New Mexico Congressional delegation is being asked to fund and assemble an independent task force of experts to address the Kirtland Air Force Base bulk fuel spill cleanup—the largest toxic spill into a public water supply in U.S. history (Associated Press 2012).  House Consumer and Public Affairs Substitute for House Joint Memorial 13,sponsored by Rep.

New Mexico Democrats Ask For Expanded Investigation Of Casino Deal

Feb 15, 2014
Office of the Governor

  Santa Fe, NM – A group of 14 state legislators, prompted by information learned in the Senate Rules Committee (SRC) this week, sent a letter to the Attorney General (AG) on Thursday requesting that the office expand its investigation of the controversial lease award to The Downs Racetrack & Casino.

NM Senate Passes Bill On Corrections Sales

Feb 14, 2014

The New Mexico Senate has passed a proposal to allow inmates in state prisons to sell more advanced woodwork and furniture.

The Senate voted to approve the measure Thursday that would allow the state Department of Corrections to sell the inmate-made products.

Corrections spokeswoman Alex Tomlin says the proposal would give inmates the chance to sell items like beds and chairs up to $300 to other state agencies.

Tomlin says the inmates would make the items themselves and learn new job skills.

The proposal now moves to the House.

  (Santa Fe) There is a new twist to deterring an old problem. What to do with a corrupt government official who will not leave office?

“Throw them out of office immediately upon a felony conviction and turn over their campaign funds to the state,” that is a solution offered by State Senator Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque) in his SB 287- Removal from Public Office for Felonies. The bill passed Senate Corporations & Transportation Committee unanimously, it is headed to Senate Judiciary.

  Santa Fe – Federal lands in New Mexico could ultimately become state land if a study to explore that possibility proves feasible, and if a bill calling for that study passes the Senate.   A Senate Memorial sponsored by Senator Ron Griggs of Alamogordo calls for a cost-benefit study of the possibility of the State of New Mexico assuming management of certain federal lands within the State, and reducing payments to the feds.

Senator Lee Cotter

  Santa Fe  -  “They have paid enough, and enough is enough,” That is what Senator Lee S. Cotter says about 97 year olds and older who he wants exempted from having to pay New Mexico state income tax. 

We appreciate these elders have been paying for students’ education,  and for numerous other  government services for  many years, many years. They deserve a break, they deserve a benefit,” Senator Cotter said.

Senate Bill Would Limit Changes To New Mexico Graduation Requirements

Feb 12, 2014

  Today, Senate Bill 307 (SB307) , designed to assure that New Mexico students are given a clear idea of graduation requirements over their four years in high school, unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee. The bill will now be heading to the Senate Public Affairs Committee (SPAC).

  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.

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

Feb 7, 2014
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.

  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. 

Pearce: I Voted To Protect Access To Public Lands

Feb 6, 2014
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.

Bregman: Minimum Wage Hike Good For New Mexico

Feb 6, 2014
New Mexico Democratic Party Chair Sam Bregman

  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.

Morales Wants More Transparency In New Mexico Education

Feb 5, 2014
Senator Howie Morales

  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.