Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
Yesterday, a House Joint Memorial #2 that would support behavioral health services, passed the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. HJM 2 would create a comprehensive plan for the establishment of publicly funded inpatient mental health services in southern New Mexico. In 2013, behavioral health services across the state were disrupted by an investigation into New Mexico’s long-standing behavioral health providers, which created a serious behavioral healthcare shortage. In southern New Mexico, twelve counties have the highest rates for depression and other mental health conditions in New Mexico. Additionally, there is not a single psychiatric hospital to serve these individuals in southern New Mexico. HJM 2 now moves to the House Floor for consideration.
Nearly 40 Western New Mexico University students and public citizens gathered on campus yesterday to attend Congressman Steve Pearce’s educational talk about business in New Mexico. The members of Delta Mu Delta, the international business honor society, hosted the event and asked Pearce to speak from a business owner’s perspective since he and his wife owned and operated an oilfield services firm in Hobbs. Pearce, who is in his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, spent time getting to know the audience that contained Western New Mexico University students from Mexico and Hawaii, local business owners, and interested citizens, in addition Representative Pearce took a few questions from the audience. Closing the talk, Pearce gave students a piece of advice. “Be learning more than just numbers. Learn from everything you come in contact with.”
State Senator Howie Morales, has sponsored a Senate Joint Memorial #23, “Requesting that the General Services Department transfer part of the Fort Bayard Hospital campus to the Village of Santa Clara and lease water rights for development and operation of the property as a Living Heritage Recreational Complex and to preserve Fort Bayard as a National Historic Landmark.” Residents are encouraged to contact New Mexico representatives and senators to approve and pass the bill so the property can be conveyed and eventually be restored and utilized for years to come. The legislation has less than two weeks to get through the House and Senate.
Students from the Deming High School SkillsUSA group, visited with local legislators in Santa Fe during the New Mexico Legislative Session. The students met with State Representative Candie Sweetser and State Senator John Arthur Smith, to discuss formal funding of the SkillsUSA Career Technical Leadership Project. Several technical career organizations were present to advocate support from legislatures on Senate Bill 53 and House Bill 79, that both contain stipulations for the funding of Career Technical Education. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education in the nation’s classrooms.