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.

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:

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.”

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.

NM Legislative Finance Committee Announces Priorities

Jan 3, 2014

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.

  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:

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.

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:

Group Says "Flat Tax" Proposal Would Harm New Mexico

Dec 17, 2013

  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.

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.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement on U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon’s ruling that the NSA’s metadata collection program is likely unconstitutional:

 Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), both members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, introduced a bipartisan bill that would require the first major overhaul of the government information technology (IT) procurement process in over a decade.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall responded to the D.C. District Court ruling regarding the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance program.

Courtesy: NMFO

  Seven senior religious leaders representing 137 congregations throughout southern New Mexico presented New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich with a thank you letter today applauding their proposed legislation to protect the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks region.  This letter included signatures by the heads of communion from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Rocky Mountain Synod, the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, the New Mexico Conference of the United Methodist Chu

New Mexico Bishops Speak Out Against Assisted Suicide

Dec 13, 2013

The Bishops of New Mexico strongly oppose any possibility of the authorization of assisted suicide by the state. The emerging debate surrounding physician-assisted suicide forces all the members of society to pause. Our laws are meant to protect life. The Catholic Church teaches that we are stewards of life and in heeding God’s command “Thou shall not kill” (Ex 20:13) we recognize that we cannot dispose of life.


U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) today made the following statements in response to a provision included in the compromise language of the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), released yesterday.

Courtesy: NMFO

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich introduced The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act. The Act would designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. 

The proposal would establish a new national monument that would be managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and would include eight new wilderness areas.

Senator Udall says having a National Monument would help bring tourism dollars to Southern New Mexico along with creating new job opportunities, while protecting outdoor recreation activities in the region.

Late Tuesday evening, budget conferees announced that a deal had been made on a federal budget, which includes a provision that would reduce the states’ share of mineral royalty payments from 50 percent (required under the Mineral Leasing Act) to 48 percent. This will cost New Mexico $95.5 million over the next ten years.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

    Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall praised the confirmation of Patricia Millett to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She is the first nominee to be confirmed by the Senate since changing its rules to prohibit filibusters of executive branch and judicial nominees, other than those to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  Over the last few years our state has seen a massive push from the governor’s administration to drive education improvements through an increase in testing in our schools. In isolation, this might seem like results-minded reform, but in conjunction with the testing efforts already in place, the resulting “over-testing” is taking the learning right out of our schools.

Sanchez: Good Policy And Hypocricy Are Mutally Exclusive

Dec 6, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  This letter is in response to the Albuquerque Journal’s editorial published on December 3, 2013 entitled “Good policy, law not mutually exclusive.”

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Tom Udall welcomed the president's "Presidential Memorandum," challenging federal agencies to nearly triple their renewable energy consumption to 20 percent by 2020. Udall, who has led the effort to set a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), requiring utilities to generate 25 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025, issued the following statement: "The United States should lead the world in clean energy jobs, innovation and in efforts to fight global warming. A national RES is critical to get us there.

Fischmann: Stop "Legal Loan Sharking"

Dec 3, 2013
Steve Fischmann

  Nobody does a better job of stomping on the poor in New Mexico than predatory storefront lenders.  Under the guise of helping low income folks survive short term financial emergencies, they load outrageously expensive debt on those who can least afford it and help perpetuate the cycle of poverty.  The most common victims are single moms, the elderly and former military personnel.

Immigrant Families Challenge Pearce At Book Signing

Nov 26, 2013
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  On Tuesday, over 100 immigrant workers gathered with their families outside the Lea County Museum for a mock Thanksgiving dinner to protest Congressman Steve Pearce's refusal to support immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Pearce, who was in town promoting his new book, "Just Fly the Plane, Stupid," was confronted by protestors holding signs that said "We picked your food," "We milked the cows," and "We are as American as your family."


Heinrich: End The NSA Dragnet

Nov 26, 2013
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico


Santa Fe, NM — Governor Martinez’s attempt to withhold capital outlay appropriations approved by the Legislature is unconstitutional, according to an Attorney General (AG) opinion issued late Friday.   Earlier this summer, 12 Senate Democrats requested an opinion from the AG questioning the constitutionality of an Executive Order issued by Governor Martinez.

Keller Urges Governor To Reconsider Standardized Testing

Nov 25, 2013

Santa Fe, NM —Tim Keller, Senate Majority Whip (D-17- Bernalillo), says he is urging Governor Susana Martinez to place education reform as a topic for consideration during this upcoming legislative session.   Specifically, he would like the Governor to reconsider her policies on standardized testing, which now take priority over curriculum. Additionally, 50 percent of teacher evaluations are now based on how well students do on standardized tests.

  Las Cruces, NM:  Bishop Oscar Cantú has been elected by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace.  Bishop Cantú, a committee member, was elected to the chairman position in a 126-110 vote.

Las Cruces, NM — A radio spot by New Mexico Competes supports Governor Martinez’s failed plan to retain third graders.  The voiceover states that third graders who are not reading proficiently are 4-times more likely to drop out.  This research is based on a report called “Double Jeopardy,” which was  put out by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In the study being reported, 16 percent of those who were not reading proficiently at third grade did not graduate on time while 4 percent of those who were reading proficiently didn’t graduate.

Pearce Supports Energy Legislation

Nov 21, 2013

This week, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce voted with Republicans and Democrats on three key energy bills: HR 1965, the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act; HR 2728, the Protecting States Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act; and HR 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act. All three bills are a part of the House’s strategy to responsibly develop our domestic resources in a responsible manner.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement after the Senate voted 52-48 to change its rules and end filibusters on presidential executive and judicial nominations, except to the U.S. Supreme Court. Udall has led the effort to reform the Senate’s rules since he was elected in 2009. His argument throughout has been that a permanent change in the Senate rules – including by requiring a talking filibuster – is the only way to ensure the Senate will work for the American people again.