Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
This afternoon, the National Weather Service in El Paso issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for North Central Grant County. Doppler Radar indicated heavy rain due to thunderstorms that could cause urban and small stream flooding in the area. The advisory area included Silver City, Bayard, Santa Clara, Hanover, Fierro, Little Walnut Village, Fort Bayard, Tyrone, North Hurley, Pinos Altos, and Arenas Valley.
Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced S. 1723, the Promoting Renewable Energy with Shared Solar (PRESS) Act, a bill to boost access to renewable energy through community solar projects. The bill adds a new federal standard for states to consider that requires utilities to allow community solar projects up to 2 megawatts in size to be connected to their power distribution system. The legislation also requires the utility to allow the electricity produced by the community solar facility to be credited directly to each of the consumers that owns a share of the system, offsetting cost of the electricity that would normally be billed by the utility to the consumer.
Today, as the Senate debates reform of the nation’s controversial No Child Left Behind education law, U.S. Senator Tom Udall highlighted the impact the Senate’s bill — called the Every Child Achieves Act — could have on New Mexico students. In a speech on the Senate floor, Udall urged the Senate to improve the law and ensure it supports New Mexico students and teachers, as well as all students across the country who deserve a fair shot at success. Udall has already worked to include several provisions in the bill, and he highlighted the critical need to provide support and resources for early education, Native American schools, health and STEM education, teen parents and teachers.
Today, the House voted on H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act. Designed to promote scientific innovation and discovery within the medical field, this legislation contained elements that would be painful to New Mexico. Congressman Pearce issued the following statement in response to his ‘No’ vote: “No one can deny the benefits scientific discovery and innovation have made to the health of our nation and the world in the last 100 years. I fully support continued research, development and innovation in the medical field, however, the legislation voted on today included several misguided spending policies, which I could not support.”
The Human Services Department is considering changing the requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Adults without children already are required to either have a job or prove that they’re actively looking for one. The new proposals would require unemployed people with children older than 6 to perform 80 hours of community service each month.
Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced that Las Cruces, Farmington, and Santa Fe rank among the top five metropolitan areas in the nation for export growth. Las Cruces and Farmington – which rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation, respectively – also shattered records for export growth, with more of their businesses exporting more products than ever before. Santa Fe ranks No. 5. The report was released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
NASA has selected four astronauts to train and prepare for commercial spaceflights that will return American launches to U.S. soil and further open up low-Earth orbit transportation to the private sector. The selections are the latest major milestone in the Obama Administration’s plan to partner with U.S. industry to transport astronauts to space, create good-paying American jobs and end the nation’s sole reliance on Russia for space travel.