Here’s a look at today’s headlines:

The New Mexico Department of Health today reported that it has confirmed the state’s first flu-related deaths of the season.  A total of five deaths have been reported, and include a 29 year old man from Curry County, a 79 year old woman from Sandoval County, an 86 year old woman and an 81 year old woman from Bernalillo County, and a 92 year old woman from Los Alamos County.  Everyone age 6 months and older is encouraged to get vaccinated against the flu, which is a highly transmittable disease.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department will announce today that Preferred Produce Inc., a certified organic produce supplier for local markets and Whole Foods throughout the southwest will construct 45,000 square feet of greenhouse space.  This will expand Preferred Produce’s production capability and create up to 10 new jobs in Luna County.

In other news today, the US House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act of 2015.  The bill repeals the 30-hour definition of full-time employee in the so-call Affordable Care Act and restores the common sense 40 hour definition, according to the news release from the office of Congressman Pearce.  The bill helps small businesses stuck between the cost of health care insurance and the regulations, compliance cost, and taxes imposed by Obamacare.

Senator Tom Udall announced today that he will assume the role of the lead Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.  As ranking member, Udall will hold a key position to push for funding for New Mexico priorities.  The subcommittee is charged with producing one of the 12 annual appropriations bills to fund the federal government’s responsibilities and programs each year.  According to Udall, some of the priorities include funding for clean water and safe drinking water programs, National Park Service properties, ensuring adequate wildfire budgets, and providing funding to the Bureau of Land Management.