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Column: How Will Sequestration Cuts Affect New Mexico?

on February 26, 2013 - 2:26pm
Column by CATHY WIGET KING
Los Alamos

According to the information put forward on the White House website, Sequestration will cut funding to New Mexico by millions including providing fewer funds for everything from education and military bases to meals for senior citizens.

The total amount of cuts for the entire country is $85 billion.

Here are the details:

Primary Cuts:

MILITARY READINESS (Dept. of Def.): $42 million in cuts from Army base(s) ($32 mil.) and Air Force base(s) ($10 mil.) (National Laboratory cuts were not mentioned.)

EDUCATION CUTS: $6.1 million for primary and

I-40 Eastbound Closed Until at Least This Morning

on February 26, 2013 - 7:47am

NMDOT News:

SANTA FE - The New Mexico State Police has announced that eastbound I-40 from Tramway to the Texas state line will remain closed until at least sometime this morning. This is due to severe weather conditions in Texas and Oklahoma.

The roads in New Mexico are mainly clear and passable. State Police are keeping the closure in place to accommodate the requests from law enforcement and transportation officials in Texas.

For up-to-date road conditions across the state, call the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s toll-free road hotline at 511 and check on road conditions, view

'Fair Pay for Women Act' Clears House

on February 26, 2013 - 7:07am

STATE News:

SANTA FE - The “Fair Pay for Woman Act” sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe-47) and co-sponsored by all the Democratic Women Representatives sailed through the House Monday, Feb. 26.

The committee substitute provides clear guidelines and remedies for wage disparity in New Mexico.

It also allows the employer to assert an affirmative defense of good faith and reasonable grounds for believing the act or omission did not violate the Fair Pay for Women Act to avoid treble damages.

The Democrats in the New Mexico House have been committed to equality in pay for women and are

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Luján: New Report Reinforces Need to Prevent Sequester

on February 25, 2013 - 1:57pm

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. Congressional News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District highlighted a new report that was released by the Obama Administration that reinforces the need to prevent the sequester's indiscriminate cuts from taking place.

The cuts are scheduled to begin on Friday, and threaten to harm the economy and result in significant job losses in New Mexico and around the country.

The sequester was part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which Luján voted against.

"From education to public safety, the sequester's arbitrary cuts will hurt

Winter Storm Continues in New Mexico

on February 25, 2013 - 8:56am

Courtesy/NWS

NWS News:

Blizzard conditions continue to impact far east-central New Mexico early this morning, especially areas between Tucumcari and the Clovis and Portales areas.

Snowfall levels of 8"-10" have been reported in these areas, but needless to say, measuring snow in 50-plus mph winds is extremely difficult.

Regardless, the impacts of this major winter storm have been widespread and significant. The I-40 corridor, as expected, appears to have seen the greatest impacts.

The latest indications are that the heaviest snow bands will shift farther east into the Texas Panhandle by

Utility Assistance for Deployed Soldiers Passes House 65-0

on February 24, 2013 - 7:15am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – By a vote of 65-0, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Friday that would allow members of the military who have just been deployed or given a temporary assignment to discontinue and re-establish utility services without paying a penalty or reconnection fee.

HB 175, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Steinborn (D-Doña Ana-District 35), would affect utilities including water, gas, electricity, and telephone. It would also allow service members to selectively shut off services when a municipality bundles them together.

The inspiration for this legislation

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Valles Caldera Trust Awarded $545,000 For Solar Powered Shuttle System

on February 23, 2013 - 12:40pm

VCT News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS—Valles Caldera Trust has been awarded a $545,000 federal grant that will allow visitors to tour the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the quiet comfort of a solar powered all-electric shuttle bus.

The grant is one of 29 awarded nationally by the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in the Parks Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Authority.

The grant will fund the purchase of an all-electric 26-passenger ADA-compliant shuttle bus to replace two gasoline-powered 12-passenger vans currently in use.

Construction of a solar photovoltaic

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