Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The Silver City Arts and Cultural District recently announced that Silver City is seeing an increase in visitor numbers. According to Executive Director Callie Kennington, The statistics come from comparing the fourth quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016, and show a 14.9% increase in the use of the Murray Ryan Visitor Center.
In sports news, the Western New Mexico University football team 2017 schedule has been determined. This year, WNMU will have six home games, with three of the first four games being played in Silver City. The season opens on September 2nd, Homecoming for the Mustangs will be September 23rd, Senior Day will be November 4th, and the final game of the regular season will be November 11th.
In legislative action, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 238-183 to pass House Resolution 7, a bill which prohibits federal funding from being used to purchase health care plans that cover elective abortion. Of the resolution, Congressman Steve Pearce said the following in a statement: “Unknown to many, Obamacare forced every taxpaying American, regardless of their conscience beliefs and faith, to foot the bill for elective abortion services.” Pearce went on to say “I’m proud to have cosponsored this important piece of legislation and will continue to fight for the protection of New Mexican values.”
A new proposal would prevent New Mexico law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal immigration laws and turn the state with the largest percentage of Hispanic residents into a “sanctuary state.” Under the proposed bill, New Mexico police departments or sheriff’s offices would be prohibited from cooperating with federal agents in deporting immigrants suspected of living in the country illegally. In addition, the measure would ban New Mexico agencies from getting “federal funds, equipment, personnel or resources for the purpose of detecting or apprehending” such immigrants.
House Democrats continue their efforts to raise the state’s minimum wage today when HB 67 goes before the House Labor and Economic Development Committee. Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque) is proposing to raise the minimum wage to $8.40 beginning in 2018, $9.20 in 2019, and $10.10 in 2020.
Bipartisan efforts are making headway in the New Mexico House and Senate to reinstate a tax credit that spurred nearly a quarter-billion dollars of investment in roof-top solar and related jobs in the nation’s second sunniest state before expiring last year. A Senate panel on Tuesday endorsed a bill that calls for renewing the credit for an additional eight years. A House committee took action Monday on a similar bill.
House Bill 179, the Pregnant Work Accommodation Act, was introduced on the House floor on Friday. The bill would expand protection that makes it illegal to discriminate, refuse to hire, firing or demotion, or not reasonably accommodating a mom-to-be when a company has more than 50 employees as is already in place, to protect women who work in businesses with as few as four employees.
One bill before lawmakers during this legislative session in Santa Fe would make it tougher for criminals to buy guns. The bill would effectively enforce background checks for buyers who go off-market at guns shows and flea markets.