Report: More Than Half of People Who Shot and Killed New Mexico Law Enforcement Officers Were Likely Prohibited From Possessing Guns (but no one checked)

New Mexico appears to be on the brink of becoming the next state in the country to pass responsible background check requirements for gun sales. Now, a new report by one group supporting the effort shows that as many as half of the persons who killed a New Mexico law enforcement officer since 1987 shouldn’t have been able to own a gun in the first place – but there were no laws on the books requiring anyone to check. From Everytown.org:

New Mexico Background Check Bills, Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 50, Slated for Consideration During 2017 Legislative Session, Seek to Protect Law Enforcement by Preventing Convicted Felons and Other Dangerous People from Getting Guns; Research Shows Background Checks Save Officers’ Lives

New Everytown Polling Reveals 87 Percent of New Mexicans Support Criminal Background Checks for All Gun Sales, Including 84 Percent of Gun Owners

NEW YORK – A new analysis released today by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund reveals that more than half of the people who shot and killed a New Mexico law enforcement officer in the line of duty over the past 30 years – from January 1987 to December 2016 – were likely barred by state or federal law from buying or possessing firearms at the time of the incident. This legislative session, New Mexico lawmakers will be voting on Senate Bill 48 and House Bill 50 – legislation that will close the background check loophole in New Mexico and require criminal background checks for all gun sales to make the state safer for law enforcement officers and all New Mexicans. “Every day, law enforcement works their hardest to protect our fellow New Mexicans, but our current laws leave those on the front lines – and in our communities – in vulnerable positions.

3 Bills Aim to Protect Reproductive Rights in New Mexico

Respect New Mexico Women, a coalition of local organizations committed to supporting women’s health care access launched their reproductive agenda this week with a trio of legislative bills that expand the reproductive rights of women in our state, where New Mexicans remain unapologetically in favor of a woman’s right to access all forms of healthcare, including abortion. This is not necessarily true across the nation, where supporters, activists and healthcare providers face the possibility of dangerous rollbacks in legislation. Committees are reviewing at least forty-six anti-abortion bills in 14 states that challenge access to reproductive health including the right to a legal and safe abortion. With the appointment of religious zealot Betsy DeVos, whose family money has “funded crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)” that lie to patients about pregnancy, abortion, and other health concerns,” women’s health may soon find itself in limbo, but not yet. And not in New Mexico, if Respect New Mexico Women has anything to say about it.

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!

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.

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.

State: PED “erroneously reported” success with Gov’s keystone child reading initiative

The state’s bi-partisan budget analysts report that the State’s Public Education Department is fudging the numbers on the governor’s keystone early education program ahead of a request for more money in the upcoming year’s budget. When the Reads to Lead program was first launched in 2011, PED touted the $8.5 million expenditure as their keystone early education program and featured it prominently in its July 2012 PED newsletter, alongside pictures of Gov. Martinez reading to children at schools across New Mexico. She made it a central piece of her 2012 State of the State address, having appeared at 38 schools to read with students, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Last year, the department’s own report on the program (p.20) says, “since the implementation of Reads to Lead in 2012, approximately 6,000 educator, administrator, and reading coach participants have received professional development to assist struggling readers.” Those numbers have led PED to request larger and larger appropriations for the program each year.

GOP Wins Fight Over Defunding Senior, Tribal and Education Programs in NM

It was the final battle of the legislature: will New Mexico honor our commitments to tribes, seniors and students by funding projects non-partisan budget officials labeled “critical” in communities across the state? The State Senate, in a rare bi-partisan move, approved the projects after months of negotiation with the governor and House Republican leaders.  But that deal was scrapped in the final 48 hours of the session by Republican House leaders. “Democrats are angry because Republicans in the House of Representatives rewrote the $264 million capital outlay bill to eliminate money for schools and senior citizens projects, moving the dollars to road projects… “Capital outlay dollars repair roads, keep school buildings in top condition, assist tribes with their construction needs, help smaller colleges ($400,000 for Santa Fe Community College has been lost) and spread the wealth to every corner of the state.