Roe v. Wade Celebration to be held at NM Capitol Rotunda

The Santa Fe chapter of NOW (National Organization for Women) rides the momentum of the Women’s March on Washington by hosting a celebration of Roe v. Wade decision in the NM Capitol Rotunda. On Tuesday, February 7 from 10am -11am supporters of a woman’s right to decide her reproductive health will gather to honor the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling. The January 22, 1973 United States Supreme Court ruling that ensures a woman’s right to obtain a safe and legal abortion from a health care provider is under threat like never before, in state houses across the national and in Washington. Within the first week of his tenure, the 45th President of the United States has threatened Planned Parenthood with defunding. He also waved his pen and reinstated the Global Gag Rule that blocks U.S. aid to international organizations that perform or even talk about abortion.

Your guide to fact-checking Gov. Martinez’s State of the State 2017

When Gov. Martinez gives her next-to-last State of the State address just after noon on Tuesday, she’ll be defending six years of her policies and her plan to address the backlash, including a nearly half-billion dollar, multi-year state deficit. In years past, Martinez has issued glowing reflections on the state of the state and pointed fingers at everyone but herself when it came to addressing challenges. This year, you can fact-check her State of the State live on Facebook or Twitter using these handy social media-sized graphics. Just download them (right-click on your desktop, or hold down and save on the picture from your phone) and Tweet to go! Need more news like this?

Support this! “Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act” just filed in NM

Last week Representatives Bill McCamley and Javier Martinez introduced House Bill 89, the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act, that would make marijuana available for recreational use in New Mexico. With the overwhelming evidence that states with legal pot can create new and lucrative revenue streams for public works, HB 89 is a win-win for New Mexico.

Gov.’s budget proposal: fix economy by giving teachers, state employees $700-$2100 pay cut

Gov. Susana rolled out her FY18 proposed state budget this week. In a state with the nation’s largest income inequality gap and slowest economies, Martinez’s proposes to cut wages to state employees and teachers by 3.5% – that’s $700 – $2100 per worker – while protecting handouts to some of New Mexico’s most profitable companies, says two of the state’s largest worker unions. 

AFT-NM, representing teachers (a significant portion of local teacher salaries come from state funding, ,waning the governor’s pay cut proposal would be imposed on teachers at the local level):

“Governor Martinez’s proposals will take money out of the pockets of our working families through retirement deductions and jeopardize our schools’ ability to provide safe, quality instruction for our students by ‘sweeping’ hard-saved cash reserves from their budgets. “The bottom line is this: Governor Martinez is telling working New Mexicans to ‘tighten their belts’ while hoping we don’t notice she’s placed it around our necks.”

Here’s the analysis from AFSCME, the union represnting state blue-collar and white-collar workers:

After creating a $300 million deficit at a time when other states are running surpluses, Gov. Martinez announced yesterday that she plans to make up the deficit by taking anywhere from $700 to $2,000 from each and every state and university employee in New Mexico. Call Gov. Martinez’ office [505-476-2200] and tell her that public employees should not pay for her deficit. “Please don’t balance the budget by using pay cuts of any kind–including pension pay swaps–on public employees”

Show respect to the person answering the phones!

A Recap – Progressive Action Summit 2017

Red River, and Raton, and Farmington, and Hobbs, oh my! People came from near and far on January 7th, for ProgressNow NM’s first ever, Progressive Action Summit. The Summit was a jam packed day of exactly that – action. If you weren’t able to be with us, you might be wondering what happened:

22 Community Organizations: delivered presentations, workshops or panels, concerning and or addressing current and or proposed legislation, while gathering awareness and support around their issue. 22 Elected Officials: gave time out of their day to participate, present, engage with and respond to citizens and leaders from our communities.

Will 2017 be the year marijuana is legalized in New Mexico?

Rep. Bill McCamley of Las Cruces is hoping that the fourth time is the charm when it comes to legalizing marijuana for recreational use in New Mexico. “On the house side, Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives for the last two years and they’ve killed this. I mean, they’ve not let this out for discussion. I’ve introduced this three separate times.” McCamley said today in a press conference in Las Cruces.

Rape kit backlog (finally) gets a lot more attention as legislative session nears

“With policies to overcome troubling long-held attitudes about victims, support for service providers and adequate funding, New Mexico can help lead the way by taking a concrete stand against sexual assault.”

— Tim Keller, New Mexico State Auditor

New Mexico has struggled over the last year to come to terms with a horrifying reality. Victims of sexual assault who submitted evidence from their attacks have waited years (sometimes over a decade) to see that evidence processed; often the first step in a long and difficult road to seek justice, or at the very least closure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZdJF8KMIiY
This problem exists across the county, but like so many things, New Mexico ranks at the bottom of all states in per capita untested kits.  

Public Health New Mexico reported some of the first articles on the rape kit testing crisis back in July of this year. In a series of stories, KUNM brought the subject to the forefront again.

Breaking: A.G. serves search warrant alleges “embezzlement” by Martinez cabinet secretary; Secretary resigns

One of Governor Martinez’s closest and most influential cabinet secretaries resigned suddenly this morning after the Attorney General’s office filed a search warrant seeking personal and business tax records from the Martinez administration.  Former employees of a Padilla client claim those records show Padilla embezzled from their company before joining the State’s Tax and Revenue Department, then used her position as Secretary to shut down an audit that may have uncovered it. The big picture

Padilla, an accountant, appears to have embezzled $25,000 from a former client, transferring money from their account to her credit cards while acting as Tax & Rev Secretary
Padilla used her position as Cabinet Secretary to attempt to stop an audit that could have uncovered her activity
Agents discovered $128,000 in unreported, taxable income for Padilla from multiple sources.  She was the State’s top tax enforcement officer at the time
Padilla admitting to burning records

Embezzling from clients as Tax & Rev Sec., attempts to stop audit to uncover it
Secretary Demesia Padilla, an accountant by trade, has been one of Governor Martinez’sclosest political appointees.  As Secretary of Tax and Revenue, she advanced many of the governor’s priority corporate tax cuts and oversees the Motor Vehicle Department and the governor’s anti-immigrant license efforts since 2011.

Thousands in NM immigrant community demand clean energy & green jobs from Gov. Martinez

Last week immigrant community members throughout New Mexico came together and submitted over 2,400 petitions to Gov. Martinez demanding she take action to protect the health and well being of their communities and increase renewable energy output in the state. The petition gathering was organized by Juntos: Our Air Our Water — a project of Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund — which organizes Latino communities to protect air and water and advocate for clean energy. From the Los Alamos Daily Post (emphasis added):
The petition gathering started early September after Juntos had conducted a survey, October 2015 through February 2016, which demonstrated that 89 percent of the surveyed families – mostly from the Latin immigrant community – expressed that their number one concern was the air quality and air pollution levels found in their communities. […]

The petitions recently turned in demand that the Martínez administration implement a strong plan to help our state transition to clean, renewable energy – specifically wind and solar energy – and creates more “green jobs”. Investments in renewable energy are investments in healthy families, and yet the Martinez administration continues to invest in dirty energy, despite its impact on New Mexicans’ air, land, water and health.

Did New Mexico women just shatter a glass ceiling in the legislature?

Wait, did New Mexico Democrats just shatter a glass ceiling by electing an all-women leadership? New Mexico Democrats might have just set an amazing precedent and shattered an insanely huge glass ceiling for women in leadership roles around the country. Three top positions within the Democrat’s new majority leadership are being occupied by women. Not only that but Sheryl Williams Stapleton, an African American, Doreen Gallegos, a Latina, and Doreen Wonda Johnson, a member of the Navajo Nation, are all women of color from very different parts of New Mexico — potentially creating THE most diverse caucus leadership team in American history. Nationwide women only make up 24.2% of state legislators despite representing nearly 51% of the overall population.