Here’s a look at today’s headlines: R

Local businesses will be the feature of a free public seminar at the Deming Business Expo scheduled for this Friday and Saturday.  Businesses from around Deming and Luna County will set up booths to highlight their products and services, as well as a series a breakout presentations by local and state officials covering a variety of topics.  Over 40 businesses have already registered to participate, which will give attendees the opportunity to ask questions and visit with local and regional businesses.

The Silver City Community Theatre’s production of Last of the Red Hot Lovers, originally scheduled for March 22nd and 23rd, and March 29th and 30th, has been cancelled.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an overhaul on its approach with opioid painkillers following criticism of being too willing to approve addictive narcotic painkillers and slow to fight their misuse. New Mexico is a leading state in death rates involving prescription drug overdose, which has more than tripled since 1990.  The FDA announced a strategy that will now require new versions of prescription painkillers to undergo a process of approval.  The plan would require outside advice from a committee of experts, unless the product has abuse-deterrent properties, such as difficulty to crush or dissolve and require more warnings and safety information on drug labels.

In legislative action: a plan to amend the state Constitution to let independents vote in primaries was tabled Monday by the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 9 would add state-agency performance evaluations to the Accountability in Government Act. The bill, before the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday, would utilize use of evidence-based and research-based findings along with a “promising government agency programs” category.

The Senate and House passed unanimously SB 76. “Stealing a battery is like stealing a horse in the old west, you are left stranded,” Senator Cliff Pirtle said in support of the bill to prevent the theft of lead-batteries and all lead now that lead has increased in price and thieves are stealing batteries to get it.

SB 234 encourages more physicians to practice in New Mexico by encouraging their HMO to pay them in a timely manner while they are being credentialed. The bill requires HMOs to pay interest of 1.5% to the physician or other licensed to furnish health care services in New Mexico on the payments they are owed for their services during their credentialing period.