Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The New Mexico Chapter of American Gold Star Mothers Recently presented a check to Fort Bayard Medical Center. A prime objective of the American Gold Star Mothers is “to give aid wherever and whenever possible to veterans through voluntary service, monetary, or material contributions.” The $250 donation is to be used expressly for the Veterans’ wing at the medical center.
The Deming/Luna County Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated its 100th Gala fundraising event. Jim Dye passed the gavel to Tyler Benting, who will preside as president of the Board of Directors for 2016. Community Achievement Awards were also presented at the Gala by State Representative Dona Irwin. Viramontes Farms received Agribusiness of the year, Business Person is Karl Bennett of Karl’s Embroidery, Education Person is Dr. Dan Lere, Oustanding Citizen is Richard Patterson, New Business of 2015 is 5R Travel Center, and Chris Moiser of Sure Print was also recognized.
In legislative action: a bill to authorize Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings accounts in New Mexico passed the Senate today by a unanimous vote of 34 to 0. House Bill 61 is sponsored by Reps. Conrad James and Sheryl Williams Stapleton. The House of Representatives unanimously approved the measure on February 8, 2016. It will now be sent to Governor Susana Martinez for her signature.
U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he has introduced legislation to ensure that unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum in the United States receive legal representation and a fair hearing. The Fair Day in Court for Kids Act will address concerns that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is improperly rushing recently arrived asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras through the immigration court process. Many of those individuals are children who have arrived since 2014, fleeing life-threatening gang violence and attempting to reach parents or relatives who are already living in this country. Children with attorneys are five times more likely to be granted protected status, but asylum seekers do not currently have a right to counsel.
House Bill 301 would require the Legislative Council Service to archive webcasts of the Legislature’s floor sessions and committee meetings for five years. The bill passed the House Floor on a unanimous 62 to 0 vote tonight. Currently, committee meetings and floor sessions are webcast live on the Legislature’s website, but not archived for the public to watch later. If the bill becomes law it would require the Legislature to archive the recordings of all committee meetings and floor sessions.