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.  Submissions must adhere to these guidelines.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

   Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined a bipartisan coalition of his colleagues in voting 59-38 for an extension of emergency unemployment insurance that may help up to an estimated 14,000 New Mexicans pay for basic needs while they look for work. Emergency unemployment insurance expired on Dec. 28. The Senate bill includes a five month retroactive extension, and will provide benefits for the long-term unemployed through May 31.

Lara Calls On Pearce To Reject The Republican Budget

Apr 1, 2014

  Today, Washington Republicans rolled out a budget proposal that would have damaging effects on New Mexico’s seniors, students and middle-class families. The budget would raise taxes on middle-class New Mexico families in order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, give tax breaks to corporations that ship New Mexico jobs overseas, and cut Pell Grants for New Mexico’s low-income students.

As national demographics change, white children are expected to be in the minority by 2018. New Mexico is well ahead of the national curve on that measure, with the second-largest share of racial/ethnic minority children in the 50 states (74 percent). The negative effects of centuries of discriminatory policies and practices are still felt by racial and ethnic minorities. For children, these impacts include barriers to opportunity that lead to health disparities, and achievement gaps in educational attainment and later economic well-being.

Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

  The recent shooting of a homeless and mentally ill camper by the Albuquerque police is a reminder of the failure of the state’s behavioral health system, which leaves the fate of our most vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbors largely in the hands of law enforcement and the penal system. Because of the lack of appropriate resources in our communities, jails and prisons now function as our state’s primary psychiatric facilities. Depending on the study, estimates of the percentage of prisoners with severe psychiatric disorders range from 7 percent to 16 percent nationally.

Pearce: Disappointed In Protection For Lesser Prairie Chicken

Mar 28, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced their decision to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce responded with the following statement:

LAS CRUCES, NM—Today the U.N. Human Rights Committee demanded improved reporting and effective investigations of excessive use-of-force cases by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a review of the nation’s human rights obligations under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Heinrich: President Heeds Call To Rein In The NSA

Mar 27, 2014
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement on President Obama's proposal to rein in the N.S.A.'s bulk phone records collection program: 

Gallegos Named NMSU Distinguished Social Work Alumna Of The Year

Mar 25, 2014

  New Mexico State Representative Doreen Gallegos (D-Doña Ana-52), has received  the "Distinguished Social Work Alumna of the Year" Award from New Mexico State University.  The New Mexico State University School of Social Work recognized Rep. Gallegos for her dedicated service and efforts in the field of social work. Gallegos received her Bachelors degree and her Master's degree in Social Work from NMSU. 


"I am deeply touched to receive this recognition" Gallegos said.  "I appreciate the hard work every Social Worker does everyday and am humbled for this award."


Cervantes Reacts To Veto Of Water Project Bill

Mar 24, 2014

  Senate Bill 112 passed both chambers with strong bipartisan support, but was vetoed by Governor Martinez. This legislation authorized water projects around the state to be funded by the Water Trust Board, and from the Water Projects Fund. The Senate passed the legislation 36-2 and the House 54-8. The legislation would have also allowed minority and majority leadership of the Legislature to appoint additional members to the Trust Board. Currently almost all appointments are made by the Governor.

  Santa Fe, NM – As a result of Tesla Motors announcing New Mexico as one of four finalists for the location of its new lithium battery factory, Governor Susana Martinez has announced a possibility of a special session in order to woo the company. Democratic Senators are willing to take the necessary steps to bring economic development to the state, and also want to ensure appropriate protections for taxpayer dollars are in place.

New Mexico Customer Care Center To Expand

Mar 21, 2014

A Rio Rancho customer care center is expanding its workforce. 

Gov. Susana Martinez and Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela announced Thursday that Alliance Data Retail Services will be hiring for 200 new jobs.

The Plano, Texas-based company says it will hire customer care associates, customer retention associates, trainers and customer care managers. All positions offer a full range of benefits to full-time employees.

Brunner: USDA Boosts Rural Communities

Mar 19, 2014
NM USDA Rural Development Director Terry Brunner

  The recent economic recession hit New Mexico’s rural communities especially hard.  Its impacts are reflected in New Mexico’s frequently reported grim social and economic statistics.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Mission area, the only federal agency with a specifically rural mission, is working hard to help rural communities help recover of from the recession.

New Mexico Senate Democrats: Martinez Veto Hurts At-Risk Students

Mar 19, 2014
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – Governor Martinez’s recent veto of $15.2 million appropriated to the Public Education Department in next fiscal year’s budget (Senate Bill 313) for at-risk students is a stark contradiction to her assertion that the budget provides “more interventions for struggling students and schools.” The vetoed money was intended to be used for services designed to improve educational outcomes for at-risk students.

ACLU Holds "Know Your Rights Checkpoint" Wednesday

Mar 18, 2014

  Las Cruces, N.M.— On Wednesday, March 19th at 12pm, the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights, along with community members and volunteers from Southern New Mexico, will form a “Know Your Rights Checkpoint” to ensure travelers know their constitutional rights while passing through Border Patrol interior checkpoints.

Rep. Pearce Responds To Report On WIPP

Mar 14, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Today, Congressman Steve Pearce responded to the Department of Energy’s WIPP Underground Fire Accident Investigation Report. The report provides a detailed examination into the fire that took place on February 5, 2014. 

“This transparent report highlights the sloppy procedures that caused the fire,” Pearce said, “including failure to regularly clean oil and grease off the engines of mining equipment.  The report concludes with the steps the WIPP team and the Department of Energy intend to take to prevent future incidents at the facility.

  After weathering the Great Recession and through five years of hard work and determination, America is creating jobs and rebuilding our economy. But as a result of shifts that have taken hold over more than three decades, too many Americans are working harder than ever just to get by, let alone to get ahead. 

Pearce: DOD Should Release Report On Electric Transmission Line

Mar 11, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Since 2009, New Mexico has been faced with an internal conflict.  Sun Zia, an Arizona corporation, has proposed building an energy transmission line across New Mexico, which would cut across White Sands Missile Range (WSMR).  Despite concerns from the Department of Defense (DoD) that this line would negatively impact the mission at WSMR, the Department of Interior (DoI) supported Sun Zia and published an official alternative route running through the missile range.  This past fall, DoD and DoI asked MIT to conduct an impartial audit of the Sun Zia proposal to validate or discredit the DoD

Democrats Tout New Alternative Fuel Bill

Mar 9, 2014

Governor Susana Martinez signed House Bill 30 (HB 30)sponsored by Representative Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales (D-42-Taos) and Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller (D-17-Bernalillo). The legislation adjusts and equalizes tax rates among different fuel types, eliminates outdated obstacles to alternative fuel use and streamlines administrative processes. HB 30 has the endorsement of the Legislative Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommittee.

Pearce: I Will Ask Tough Questions About Radiation Leak

Mar 8, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce held a town hall meeting Friday to help New Mexicans get answers on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad.

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.