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Is the latest REAL ID threat for real?

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New Mexicans may not be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses to board airplanes by next year, according to a letter from the federal Department of Homeland Security.

The federal agency recently rejected a waiver the state applied for to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Congress passed the law 10 years ago...

Weak deal? Dianna Duran and her pension

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One of the biggest criticisms following the aftermath of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s plea deal and resignation was that it looks like she will keep her government pension.

This week, Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Milan Simonich lamented that Duran “gets a pension for violating the voters’ trust” while the newspaper’s editorial board urged Santa Fe District Court Judge T. Glenn Ellington to reject the plea deal for being “too soft.”

State law allows judges to fine public officials convicted of felonies “the value of the salary and fringe benefits paid to the offender … after the commission of the first act that was a basis for the felony...

Employment opportunities for Navajo veterans

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Sundt, an Arizona construction company, is looking to hire approximately 500 contract workers over the course the next three years starting in October 2015.

The Four Corners Power Plant will be installing new environmental equipment onto their two larger units and the contract workers will be utilized in the installation of this equipment over the next three-year timeframe.

Sundt is looking to identify Navajo veterans who would be interested in working on this retrofit project. Jamescita Peshlakai, Veterans Liaison for the Navajo Office of the President and Vice-President will be working with Sundt to facilitate the employment of Navajo veterans for the...

NM delegation announces $15 million to upgrade Amtrak

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham, Steve Pearce and Ben Ray Luján announced Oct. 26 that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $15,210,143 for the Southwest Chief Route Advancement and Improvement Project to continue essential upgrades to Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line.

The Southwest Chief runs from Chicago to Los Angeles and stops in several New Mexico communities, including Raton, Las Vegas, Lamy, Albuquerque and Gallup. Without funding for these essential repairs, the Southwest Chief could have been rerouted or abandoned entirely — a major economic loss to rural communities that...

Udall, Heinrich push to make quality, affordable child care

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are continuing their push for reforms that would help all families access quality child care in New Mexico and across the country.

The senators announced Oct. 27 that they are backing a resolution outlining principles for how Congress can act to improve the quality of child care while reducing the cost. Those principles include ensuring child care professionals can get better training and pay, and that Congress provides adequate resources to help state and local governments support affordable child care in local communities.

“Quality, affordable child care is essential for working parents and...

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