NM Film and Television Industry Vital To State Economy

New study highlights role of Dem sponsored/supported tax incentives

This week, Part 1 of a new commissioned study on the NM Film and Television Industry was released.  The film/television industry, strongly supported by state legislative Democrats, has been one of the few state job creators during the past 10 years.  In addition to film and television employment, the industry creates economic impacts through production spending, infrastructure spending, and film induced tourism.

This Governor vetoed the “breaking bad” bill and instituted caps on these vital tax incentives that provide jobs and generate income for thousands of New Mexicans. Why did Governor Martinez try to blow it up and destroy this job creating engine?

New Mexico Democrats have worked tirelessly in both houses of the legislature to protect this vibrant and vital industry.

What has Governor Martinez and NM Republicans accomplished?

Nothing. Zero. Zilch.

This is Governor Martinez’s New Mexico:

–50th in nation for well being of children

–zero jobs created—state lost almost 6000 jobs within last year

–1st in nation for child hunger; 2nd for adults

New Mexico Democrats, led by Senator Tom Udall and Gary King, are ready to offer common sense ideas, as well as a vision to help create jobs, maintain affordable health care and ensure our kids have a world class education.

DPNM is building a better future for clean, good paying jobs so that our kids and future generations will always be able to call New Mexico their home.

Help us.

Starting now.

 

Gary King: Passing Mississippi in Kid Count Ranking Nothing to be Proud Of

Attorney General King said in a statement issued yesterday that New Mexico surpassing Mississippi to 49th in childhood well-being is, “nothing to be proud of.”

Gary King

Gary King

“Times are hard for our kids and New Mexican families,” said King Tuesday. “The bottom line is that the battle over last and next to last is nothing to be proud of. All this tells us, is that things are bad in New Mexico, and just got worse in Mississippi, which is nothing to get excited about.”

“The best anti-poverty strategy is a quality education and a good paying job,” said Deb Haaland, the Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov; Kings running mate. “That is why it is imperative that we tap into our state’s Permanent Fund, the third largest in the nation with an excess of $13.5 billion, and properly fund childhood education so that New Mexico’s kids have a better shot at success. It is terrible that we are willing to sit here and allow this to happen while there is a tangible solution under state government’s control. We must act now to save our children today, tomorrow, and our future generations.”

The King and Haaland statements come on the heels of New Mexico being named 49th in childhood well being and childhood education, among other key indicators that are used to determine quality of life for children, as opposed to 50th.

Senator Tom Udall Statement on Report that U.S. Military’s Burn Pits May have Broken Federal Law

U.S. Senator Tom Udall responded to a new report that the U.S. military’s use of open-air burn pits at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan may have violated federal law. According to the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), made public today, most of the solid waste at Shindand Air Base was disposed of for years in open burn pits rather than incinerators. Despite the potential health hazards, burn pits remained in use even after open burning was prohibited by law and despite a regulation requiring the military to notify Congress about the practice, the report found.

“I am outraged that despite evidence that burn pits were making our troops sick — and laws prohibiting their use — that our military continued to use them for years,” Udall said. “Today’s report adds to the evidence that the military’s toxic burn pits overseas exposed more veterans to potentially debilitating and in some cases fatal conditions when there were alternatives for disposal. We need to continue this investigation so we can hold the right people accountable and so we can get the facts we need to ensure our service members and veterans in New Mexico and across the country are getting the right care.”

Udall has spoken out repeatedly against the U.S. military’s unnecessary use of burn pits throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands of troops and veterans have become sick after breathing toxic fumes from burn pits used to dispose of everything from Humvees to medical waste and plastics. Despite opposition from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Udall led a bipartisan effort to create a burn pit registry to help veterans get more information about treatment – and hopefully, one day, a cure. The registry was created on June 19, 2014.

“One of the veterans who is dying as a result of burn pits is my constituent, Jessey Baca from Albuquerque,” Udall continued. “Jessey and his wife Maria were tireless partners as we worked to create a burn pit registry to help service members and veterans get more information and better treatment. But we shouldn’t stop there. We owe it to Jessey and the thousands of veterans like him to ensure this never happens again.”

President Obama Signs a New Executive Order to Protect LGBT Workers

“Many of you have worked for a long time to see this day coming.”

Those were President Obama’s words to the audience in the East Room of the White House this morning, before he signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the signing, the President explained how, because of their “passionate advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of [their] cause, our government — government of the people, by the people, and for the people — will become just a little bit fairer.”

Today’s Executive Order amends Executive Order 11246, issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in the existing Executive Order covering federal contractors.

“It doesn’t make much sense,” President Obama said, “but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. And that’s wrong.”

The President also pointed out that workplace equality is simply good business. Noting that most of the Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies on their books, he explained that these policies help companies attract and retain the best talent.

“Despite all that,” he said, “in too many states and in too many workplaces, simply being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender can still be a fireable offense. There are people here today who’ve lost their jobs for that reason.”

“I’m going to do what I can, with the authority I have, to act,” the President said. “The rest of you, of course, need to keep putting pressure on Congress to pass federal legislation that resolves this problem once and for all.”

Learn more about today’s Executive Order, and why LGBT workplace equality is good for business.

Weekly Address: Equipping Workers with Skills Employers Need Now and for the Future

In this week’s address, the President discussed the importance of ensuring that the economic progress we’ve made is shared by all hardworking Americans. Through his opportunity agenda, the President is focused on creating more jobs, educating more kids, and working to make sure hard work pays off with higher wages and better benefits.

This week, the President will visit a community college in Los Angeles to highlight the need to equip our workers with the skills employers are looking for now and for the good jobs of the future, and he will continue looking for the best way to grow the economy and expand opportunity for more hardworking Americans.

VIDEO MENSAJE DE LA CASA BLANCA: Capacitando a los trabajadores para más oportunidades

En el mensaje de esta semana, la Directora de la Casa Blanca Consejo de Política nacional Cecilia Muñoz habló sobre el progreso de nuestra economía, pero también subrayó la necesidad de seguir avanzando la agenda de oportunidad del Presidente para crear más puestos de trabajo, capacitar a más trabajadores, educar a todos nuestros niños y garantizar que el trabajo duro sea recompensando con salarios más altos y mejores beneficios. Según la Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico (OCDE), los adultos hispanos son cuatro veces más propensos a tener bajos niveles de alfabetización, lo que representa una gran barrera para las personas en Estados Unidos que trabajan duro para ascender en la escala de la carrera a trabajos mejor remunerados que apoyen su sueño americano. Este país debe seguir siendo el lugar en el que todos los que trabajan duro pueden tener éxito si intentan.

English/Inglís: Watch and share President Obama’s weekly address.

En Español: Video mensaja de la Casa Blanca.

Richard Jacquez Wins Democratic Nomination for Magistrate Court

Richard Jacquez

Richard Jacquez

Attorney Richard Jacquez is the Democratic nominee for Magistrate Court, District 7.

District 7 is a new position which has been created in the Doña Ana County Magistrate Court. Jacquez was selected, under New Mexico Statute, by the Doña Ana County Democratic Party Central Committee to be placecd on the ballot as the Democratic nominee for the November 4, 2014 General Election.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich Addresses Central American Refugee Crisis

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor yesterday on the current Central American refugee crisis.

Last week, he joined U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on a tour of the temporary facility for undocumented parents and their children at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center campus in Artesia, New Mexico. In his remarks Senator Heinrich touched on the nature of the current crisis, and the false claims from some that there is lax security at the border.

We have a human crisis at our southern border that requires an immediate, but compassionate response. Yet instead of supporting the supplemental, which seeks to addresses the root causes of the crisis and protects these vulnerable children, Republicans are trying to use the crisis to promote fear and their border enforcement only agenda.

Recently, a Republican Governor suggested the president send the National Guard to “Secure [the southern] border once and for all,” and that “the border between the U.S. and Mexico is less secure today than at any time in the recent past.”

That is simply not true.

The notion that lax border policies are somehow responsible for this latest crisis is not just a myth, it is a willful misrepresentation driven by politicians who would rather create a political issue than solve a real problem. The border today is more secure than it has ever been.

There are more border patrol agents on the ground and more resources and technology deployed on the border than in any time in our nation’s entire history. In FY 2012, the Federal government spent $17.9 billion on immigration enforcement. That is $3.5 billion more than the budgets of all other Federal law enforcement agencies–FBI, DEA,ATF, Secret Service, and U.S. Marshalls Service–combined. These resources have been effective.

Senator Heinrich has long been a strong advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, and is a proponent of the president’s emergency supplemental request to address the increase in child and adult migration from Central America in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of the Southwest border. He once again called on House Republicans to pass immigration reform.

“It’s time to fix our broken immigration system once and for all. Our short-term solution is to approve the President’s emergency supplemental request now – our long-term solution is for House Republicans to put the Senate’s immigration reform bill on the floor for a vote.

“Our nation will be better for it” Senator Heinrich said.

Watch and share Senator Heinrich’s floor speech.

Senator Tom Udall Stands up for New Mexico Women’s Access to Health Care

Disappointed GOP sided with corporations to filibuster women’s health care: ‘Not My Boss’s Business Act deserves debate’

Senator Tom Udall

Senator Tom Udall

Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall expressed his disappointment after Republicans blocked debate on a bill to restore women’s access to contraceptive health care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 split decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The court ruled that closely held corporations may deny coverage for certain forms of birth control if members of the board object on religious grounds. The filibuster of the Not My Boss’s Business Act, which Udall cosponsored, prevented the Senate from considering a measure to restore the contraceptive coverage requirement and other services guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, and to prevent corporate employers from imposing their personal ideological beliefs on their employees by denying legally required health coverage.

Udall issued the following statement:

“Today we had a critical opportunity to restore women’s access to contraceptive health care, and to affirm that women’s personal health decisions ought to be between a woman and her doctor — without her employer’s interference. Yet Republicans chose to protect corporate interests over women’s rights to insurance coverage for legally guaranteed health care services.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case set dangerous precedents by once again deciding that a corporation has personal rights, and by ruling that an employer has the right to insert himself into a woman’s private decisions about her health care. New Mexicans know that a corporate CEO has no place dictating what health and family planning choices are best for a woman and her family. The Not My Boss’s Business Act deserves debate — it’s an opportunity to reverse the misguided Supreme Court decision and stand up for the rights of women and families. This issue isn’t over — I will continue to fight to ensure women in New Mexico and across the country can access the important health care and preventive services guaranteed to them by federal law.”

Senator Martin Heinrich Co-Signs Letter Calling For Review Of Trade Agreement With African Nations That Violate LGBT Rights

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with nine other senators, have sent a letter to President Obama urging the Administration to examine whether recently enacted laws that severely punish lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) individuals in sub-Saharan African countries should affect those countries’ eligibility for duty-free imports under theAfrican Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Authorized in 2000, AGOA has offered tangible incentives for African countries to expand trade, stimulate economic growth, and integrate into the global economy. In order to be eligible for AGOA benefits, a country is forbidden from “engag[ing] in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” However, in recent years, countries like Uganda and Nigeria have enacted harsh and inhumane LGBT policies that violate internationally recognized human rights protecting LGBT people. These laws and policies severely limit an LGBT person’s access to health care, housing, and education, as well as freedom of expression.

The senators wrote: “We are deeply concerned over a growing trend of laws and proposed legislation targeting LGBT individuals in Africa, which violates the standards set forth in the African Growth and Opportunity Act. We therefore ask that your Administration review Nigeria and Uganda’s eligibility for AGOA’s trade preference and, if it is determined that those countries are not ‘making continual progress’ in meeting the statute’s requirements, that you take steps to revoke AGOA eligibility to Nigeria and Uganda. We believe that the discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in those countries represent a clear violation of human rights and hope that the interagency process charged with AGOA’s annual review will make this recommendation.”

The letter comes just weeks before African leaders join President Obama at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit to foster commitment between the U.S. and Africa.

The letter was also signed by Senators Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

The full text of the letter is below.

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write with deep concern over a growing trend of laws and proposed legislation targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Africa. These laws, combined with the growing public vitriol by government officials and the media, threaten to usher in an era of widespread oppression of the LGBT community in many African countries. We believe the enforcement of these laws would be a human rights abuse in violation of the standards set forth in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Already this year, both Nigeria and Uganda have enacted laws that impose harsh penalties for homosexual activity and activism on behalf of LGBT people. Despite strong opposition from the United States and many other nations, Nigeria enacted the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January, and one month later, Uganda’s President signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act. In Nigeria, the legislation immediately triggered an outbreak of violent anti-gay attacks.

As you know, Uganda and Nigeria are among the countries eligible for AGOA, which has allowed for duty-free treatment of certain imports from sub-Saharan African countries since 2000. Congress passed this law with a clear intention to make the benefits of this non-reciprocal agreement contingent on these countries’ commitment to human rights. AGOA states that a country is only eligible for preferential trade status if that country “does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

The jurisprudence in the area of international human rights supports respect of sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights. We therefore ask that your Administration review Nigeria and Uganda’s eligibility for AGOA’s trade preference and, if it is determined that those countries are not “making continual progress” in meeting the statute’s requirements, that you take steps to revoke AGOA eligibility to Nigeria and Uganda in accordance with 19 U.S. C. §2466a(a)(3). We believe that the discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in those countries represent a clear violation of human rights and hope that the interagency process charged with AGOA’s annual review will make this recommendation. We further ask that you not restore eligibility until these beneficiary countries have taken steps to eliminate harsh penalties for LGBT persons.

As the International Trade Commission (ITC) correctly stated when AGOA was first passed, “Congress never intended AGOA to be a blank check for all African countries, without regard to performance. It was meant to offer tangible incentives for African governments to improve their political and economic governance, not to underwrite poor policies.” Some of the leaders who promote the benefits of AGOA in their respective countries, including Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, are the same leaders now presiding over the deterioration of LGBT rights in Africa. By revoking AGOA eligibility, the United States will be sending a clear message that countries must choose between enjoying the benefits of AGOA and violating the human rights of LGBT individuals. We thank you for your attention to this matter and urge you to act swiftly.

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