New Mexico First Blog

Water planning bills being heard in committee today and Friday

Participants in the Centennial Town Hall ranked water planning their #1 recommendation. There are three bills on state and regional water planning being considered in hearings today and  one bill on Friday. New Mexico First will have representation at these hearings. Join us if you can!

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Early childhood bills moving steadily along

New Mexico schools are one step closer to continuing and expanding the K-3 Plus early childhood development program.  HB310 amends the public school code to change the programs’ eligibility. Under this bill, schools whose students are at the 80 percent poverty level or an elementary school graded D or F by the Public Education Department would be eligible for the program.  This week HB310 passed in the house 63-0.  The next stop for HB310 is the Senate.  
 
Similarly, SB365 and HB333 passed their first legislative committee hearings.  These bills would strengthen NM's home visiting efforts, which are a proven early childhood development strategy. The bill would require the Children, Youth and Families Department to adopt and disseminate rules by which the standards-based home visiting program will operate.  HB333 is expected to be heard next in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, and SB365 is expected to be heard next in the Senate Finance Committee.  ..

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Energy planning memorial quickly moves through the legislature

There is a quick update on HJM8 the Electric Transmission Capacity Review memorial.  This week the memorial passed 62-1 in the house, and is now headed for the Senate Rules Committee. Kudos to the advocates of this bill.

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New Mexico First will hold facilitation skills training workshop - Sign up today!

New Mexico First will hold its annual facilitation skills training workshop April 15-16 in Albuquerque. The event will provide a well-defined, step-by-step approach to learn how to run productive meetings. Whether you want to serve on a leadership team for our future events or lead groups at your own organization, we encourage you to attend. By the end of the workshop, you will be able to: ..

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Energy memorial passes committee unanimously

Update: New Mexico First is pleased to announce that the energy transmission planning memorial (HJM8) passed unanimously in the House Energy & Natural Resources Committee.  Four participants from the town hall testified, contributing to the hearing’s success.  Special thanks to Representative Brian Egolf for sponsoring this bill.  ..

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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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