Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The Office of Admissions and Recruitment at WNMU has announced a list of new scholarships that will be available to the incoming freshman class for the fall 2015 semester. The scholarships each have their own set of requirements for students based on their state of residency and GPA. Administered by the Office of Admissions, the scholarships are new opportunities for students who may also qualify for FAFSA based or University Foundation based awards. See the complete scholarship list at http://admissions.wnmu.edu/save.
In legislative action:
Legislation that will toughen penalties for convicted child abusers and those whose abuse contributes to the death of a child passed the House floor on Thursday by a vote of 50-10. Currently, those who intentionally beat a child to death only face life in prison if the victim was under the age of 12. Under the new bill, those who intentionally harm a child leading to the child’s death would face life in prison no matter the child’s ate. The bill will also toughen penalties for child abusers, increasing the penalty for the first offense from a third degree felony to a second degree felony. After the first offense, it would increase to a first degree felony.
Legislation to regulate ridesharing companies in New Mexico has cleared the House Transportation and Public Works Committee. The ridesharing services have expanded safe, reliable transportation options for New Mexicans and provide valuable economic opportunities. The legislation would streamline regulations in New Mexico and codify the highest safety standards for ridesharing services. Regulating these services will also provide safety to New Mexico’s consumers. The legislation will require ridesharing services to provide insurance and conduct rigorous background checks, ensuring accountability.
During a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the US Forest Service’s fiscal year 2016 budget request, Senator Martin Heinrich continued his fight to reform federal wildfire policy. He urged the need for more resources to restore New Mexico’s national forests to healthy conditions in order to reduce the cost of catastrophic wildfires.
In a show of bipartisanship, Republican and Democrat lawmakers in the House and Senate held a press conference today to tout the bipartisan Jobs Council initiatives included in the House budget that passed earlier this week. The initiatives echo recommendations from the bipartisan Jobs Council, which is dedicated to creating 160,000 jobs for New Mexico. Among other things, the House budget calls for a $35 million increase for the closing fund; $1.6 million for tourism advertising; $7.5 million for the Job Training and Incentive Program (JTIP), which covers the cost of hiring and training new workers; a $600,000 increase will go to the New Mexico MainStreet program, which helps revitalize downtowns across the state.