Change to county grievance procedure tabled

Robin Fornoff Curry County commissioners were poised Friday to delete a grievance procedure from their employee personnel policy. Then, four department chiefs objected and the measure failed in a flurry of confusing motions and procedures. “This is ridiculous,” said Commissioner Frank Blackburn, who minutes earlier had aligned himself with Commissioner Robert Sandoval to leave the […]

Commission votes to look into automated security

Argen Duncan The Curry County Commission has voted 4-1 to request proposals for an automated security system at the county courthouse. At their meeting Tuesday, Commissioner Frank Blackburn voted against the measure, and commissioners Daniel Stoddard, Caleb Chandler, Wendell Bostwick and Robert Sandoval voted for it. The vote came after a presentation by David Barnes […]

Cuts in gifted education hurt kids’ potential

Aisha Sultan “How can we measure the sonata unwritten, the curative drug undiscovered, the absence of political insight? They are the difference between what we are, and where we could be as a society.” — James Gallagher, former director of the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. There is a well-tolerated discrimination in our […]

Bill would change schools’ measure of success

Liliana Castillo A bill that would change the way student success is measured in New Mexico’s schools is headed to state legislators this session. Bill sponsor Rep. Dennis Roch, an assistant superintendent with Texico schools, said under the bill, House Bill 355, each school in the state would be rated by a letter grade, A, […]

Press release: Bingaman backs measure to help keep teachers in the classroom

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today joined in introducing a bill to help prevent educator layoffs. The economic downturn of the past two years has led to extremely tight state budgets. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – legislation that is helping rebuild the New Mexico economy – provided over $500 million over two […]

Bingaman Backs Measure to Help Keep Teachers in the Classroom

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today joined in introducing a bill to help prevent educator layoffs. The economic downturn of the past two years has led to extremely tight state budgets. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – legislation that is helping rebuild the New Mexico economy – provided over $500 million over two […]

Measure bumps up county term limits

By Steve Terrell: The Santa Fe New Mexican The Senate on Saturday passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow county officials in the state — commissioners, sheriffs, clerks, treasurers and assessors — to run for three consecutive four-year terms instead of the two terms under current law. The resolution passed with a 27-14 vote. […]

Freeze means freeze: Lawmaker’s bill cracks down on state hires

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican A lawmaker upset over the continued hiring of state employees after a Gov. Bill Richardson-imposed hiring halt has introduced a measure that sets out stringent criteria for exemptions to the rule. Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Sandia Park, is carrying a bill (SB 215) that would only allow the state […]

Domestic partnership bill passes committee

By Kate Nash: The Santa Fe New Mexican As a measure to give domestic partners many of the rights and privileges as married couples inches through the Legislature, supporters hope it becomes law this year — when Gov. Bill Richardson has said he will sign it. That’s because New Mexico next year could have a […]

Senate OKs health care measure, reaching milestone

By Erica Werner: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats passed a landmark health care bill in a climactic Christmas Eve vote that could define President Barack Obama’s legacy and usher in near-universal medical coverage for the first time in the country’s history. “We are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, […]

Naming state songs waste of officials’ time

Freedom New Mexico As if we need another means to measure how far government has strayed from the narrow intent of our nation’s founders, we give you the current flap in Oklahoma. A collection of conservative lawmakers became outraged that the song “Do You Realize??” by native sons Flaming Lips was poised to become the […]

Long day, night at Roundhouse

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican In any other year, three days out from the Legislature’s adjournment, the Roundhouse hallways by 9:30 a.m. can be frenetic with lawmakers and lobbyists pondering the fate of their bills. Instead, the halls are mostly quiet, and the coffee maker of the Society of Association Executives is just rumbling […]

March 19, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: two Media literacy: Under a bill approved by both the House and Senate, public schools could offer media literacy as an elective class. The measure (HB342) calls for the electives to be offered to 6th through 12th graders starting in the 2010-2011 school year. Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, is carrying […]

Bill allowing broadcast of legal ads clears House

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican A measure that would allow legal advertisements to be broadcast on television or read on the radio to meet publication requirements has cleared the House, but might face a tough time in its first Senate committee. The measure, sponsored by House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Nambe, would allow ads for […]

March 17, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: four Electronic medical records bill heads to governor The House has approved a measure that would allow patients and doctors to chose to use electronic medical records. Under the measure (SB 278), which is now headed to Gov. Bill Richardson’s desk, patients would re-consent annually to have their information available electronically. […]

March 13, 2009 legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: 8 The living daylights: The Senate Public Affairs Committee voted 7-1 on Thursday in favor of a bill to abolish daylight saving time in New Mexico. In a news release, bill sponsor Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, D-Dona Ana, said “There are so many reasons for New Mexico to exempt itself from […]

Senate sets limits on campaign contributions

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican Ethics reform advocates say they made progress with the approval by the Senate on Thursday of a campaign contribution limit measure, but still have other reforms on their to-do list this session. “It is a big step forward,” Steve Allen, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico said of […]

Bill seeks transparency on state spending

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican State expenditures would be displayed online and searchable under a measure the Senate approved Tuesday, one of a few moves that would increase transparency in the Roundhouse this year. Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, who is carrying the measure (SB159), said it would make it easy for people to follow […]

Legislation proposes changes to train security, warning bells and fines

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican The New Mexico Rail Runner Express could have its own police patrol, would ring its bell for a shorter amount of time in Santa Fe and could tap into more funding under measures moving in the House and Senate this session. Another measure would increase by $90 the fine […]

March 5, 2009 Legislative tidbits

Days remaining in session: 16 Webcasting progress: The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday approved SR3, which would allow webcasting from the Senate floor. The measure now goes to the Senate floor for debate. Meanwhile, another lawmaker is webcasting from House committee meetings. Rep. Dennis Kintigh, R-Roswell, is sending out video of meetings at www.nmgov.tv Fresh […]