Local Viewpoints

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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: 


New Mexico Senate Democrats React To State Of The State Address

Jan 22, 2014
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.

Senator: New Mexico Citizens Paying Too Much For GED Test

Jan 20, 2014

  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.

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:

Border Trade Alliance Cheers Budget Deal

Jan 17, 2014

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.

Legislators Probe Racino Allegations In New Mexico

Jan 16, 2014

  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.

Pearce Votes For Health Exchange Disclosure Bill

Jan 16, 2014
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 and the healthcare exchanges.   

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

Jan 16, 2014
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.

Bill Introduced Regarding Proposed Gila Water Diversion

Jan 16, 2014

  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.

Public Citizen: Trade Deal Would Kill American Jobs

Jan 15, 2014

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.

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

Jan 15, 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.


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.