Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The Unofficial Election Results for yesterday’s Municipal election re-elected District 1 Councilor Cynthia Ann Bettison with a vote of 137 to 54 over Ronald Perez. District 3 Councilor Jose Ray maintained his seat in an unopposed race.
According to a recent study, non-profit organizations in Grant County employ nearly 10% of the Labor Force. The data confirms that the non-profit sector is a major economic force here in Grant County. Local organizations also contribute to over $24 million to the local economy annually. According to a study conducted by The University of New Mexico, the nonprofit sector is also a major economic force throughout the state, employing more than 1 out of 20 paid workers – more than twice as many as the New Mexico state government; more than in manufacturing; more than in agriculture; more than in the mining, oil-and-gas and utilities industries combined; and almost four times the number in the State’s real estate industry.
In legislative action:
Legislation that will expand solar power tax credits passed the House floor on a unanimous vote of 63-0. The legislation expands current tax credit to include the leasing of a solar power system, which will help promote clean energy and consumer choice. Currently, there is only a tax credit for purchasing a solar panel system – not leasing one. The bill expands the solar market development tax credit for residential and small business.
Senator Tom Udall introduced legislation to combat one of the most serious health and law enforcement issues facing New Mexico communities: prescription drug abuse and misuse. Udall’s Increasing the Safety of Prescription Drug Use Act would expand access to treatment options for addicted patients, strengthen training for medical professionals, and increase abuse prevention opportunities. Importantly, the bill would help medical professionals avoid overprescribing medication to patients by giving them access to real-time prescription databases across state lines.
A bill aimed a protecting minors and mentally ill inmates passed its first hurdle in a House panel. The bill, if passed, would outlaw the practice of leaving minors in custody in solitary confinement, ban the practice of leaving people who have been declared mentally ill by a licensed professional in solitary confinement, and end the common practice of leaving any adult in solitary confinement for more than 15 consecutive days.