New Mexico First Blog

STEM standards bill passes committee; funding for broader STEM initiative may be in trouble

Updates: There was activity on two STEM items this week: 1) legislation to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards; and 2) funding for the governor’s STEM initiative. Both items align to the STEM Summit, convened by NM Partnership for Math & Science Education. The standards bill (HB67) passed the House Education Committee yesterday after the bill sponsor, Representative Bill McCamley, made minor amendments regarding implementation timing. Cheers to Innovate+Educate for helping draft this bill. The $2M for STEM requested by the Public Education Department and Governor Martinez is currently in the executive budget but not the legislative budget. Four STEM summit attendees (including parents, a student, and an educator) attended the appropriation hearing Tuesday night and asked for the $2M.     ..

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Bill that protects “grown in New Mexico” passes committees in House and Senate

Centennial Town Hall participants recommended that our state support existing industries, and brand products as made or grown in New Mexico.  The chile advertising act (SB234) addresses that goal and it passed yesterday in the Senate Conservation Committee. The companion bill (HB238) passed the House Agriculture Committee earlier this month. The act would close a loophole that currently allows out-of-state or out-of-nation chile growers to brand their produce in a misleading way (such as marketing it as “Hatch Green Chile” if the product is grown elsewhere). At least one town hall participant attended yesterday’s hearing. Special thanks to Representative Rudy Martinez and Senator George Muñoz for sponsoring the bills.  ..

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Governor Toney Anaya to testify on energy planning memorial

A New Mexico First supported energy memorial (HJM 8) has been scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13th at 8:30am in room 309. Both Governor Toney Anaya, energy expert, and Jennifer Salisbury, implementation chair for a previous New Mexico First Energy Town Hall will address the committee. The memorial requests that the New Mexico legislative council direct the appropriate committee of the legislature to review electric transmission capacity in New Mexico for renewable and conventional energy sources.   The memorial aligns with our town hall energy recommendation that asks government to develop a comprehensive energy plan.  HJM 8 also aligns with recommendations from the 2009 New Mexico First Energy Town Hall.   ..

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Rural Primary Healthcare Bill Supported by New Mexico First

New Mexico First is delighted to announce that we are supporting SB 137, the rural primary healthcare bill sponsored by John Arthur Smith.  The bill would make an appropriation to the Department of Health to support rural primary healthcare and the recruitment, hiring and retention of additional primary healthcare clinicians in rural underserved areas.  This bill perfectly aligns to the healthcare centennial town hall recommendation, which calls for the recruitment and retention of more healthcare professionals.  ..

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Calling all STEM education supporters; we need your help!

Governor Martinez announced a $2 million dollar math and science initiative that aligns with the New Mexico First STEM Summit’s action plan. The request is being considered next week by the House Appropriations Committee. The committee chair generally asks if there are audience members with a position to share. People stand and state their name, affiliation, and a short reason they favor the appropriation. If you would like to voice support, please attend the hearing on Monday, February 11th at 1:30 PM at the Capitol Building, room 307.  RSVP at info@nmfirst.org.  ..

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Tourism funding clears its first hearing; Governor Anaya testifies on behalf of Centennial Town Hall

Implementation co-chair Governor Toney Anaya appeared on behalf of the Centennial Town Hall at the House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC) hearing this week in support of marketing funding for the Tourism Department. Others spoke up as well. The result was that the Tourism Department may obtain a $1.5 million increase in their advertising budget for a total of $4 million for the next fiscal year.  This is great news for the town hall participants who wrote the economic development recommendation that called for increased tourism funding for advertising and marketing.   Read the recommendation by clicking here..

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Peer-to-peer substance abuse memorial passed unanimously in the house!

UPDATE: 1/31/2013 11:46 AM - Peer-to-peer substance abuse prevention memorial passed unanimously in the House 64-0. Based solely on the student town hall recommendation on substance abuse prevention, NM Representative Rodella introduced HJM 12, which calls on health-related state agencies to incorporate peer-to-peer approaches into existing substance abuse prevention efforts. Yesterday, the item passed unanimously in the House Judiciary Committee! The lawmakers specifically said they appreciated the students’ work in this area. We’ll keep you posted as it moves through the process.  ..

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New Mexico First commends Governor Martinez

Last week Governor Martinez announced a $2 million dollar initiative that would bring quality math and science teachers to underserved areas. As we pointed out in our previous note, the Governor’s initiative aligns closely to the STEM Summit action plan. In response to this great news, New Mexico First wrote a letter of commendation. You can read that letter here.   ..

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Governor Martinez and state legislators are taking action on NMF produced education STEM report

A wide range of New Mexico professionals interested in science, technology, engineering, and math came together in late 2012 to develop action plans for strengthening STEM education. The final report from the STEM summit was circulated widely among policymakers and education leaders. Members of the implementation team presented  the plan to Governor Susana Martinez, PED staffers and members of the administration.   Our public officials are taking action and implementing STEM related initiatives and legislation. So far, ..

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Centennial town hall update: peer-to-peer substance abuse accomplishment

New Mexico First is pleased to announce progress on the peer-to-peer substance abuse recommendation from the Centennial Town Hall. As a result of the town hall’s call for youth-led drug prevention activities, New Mexico Representative Debbie A. Rodella introduced House Joint Memorial 12, requesting the Department of Health and the Human Services Department to incorporate peer-to-peer approaches into existing substance abuse prevention efforts.  The memorial is currently in the House Health, Government & Indian Affairs Committee.  ..

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