Gov. signs legislation for online professional license renewal

Susana Martinez

Engineers, nurses and professionals in other fields will be able to apply for and renew their state licenses online under legislation that's been signed into law by Gov. Susana Martinez.
The governor said Monday the state Regulation and Licensing Department estimates the current paper-based licensing system costs nearly $300,000 in postage and other supplies.
The state hopes to speed up the licensing system and reduce costs by allowing agencies to accept applications and renewals online.
The measure was approved by lawmakers during the recently completed 60-day session of the Legislature.


Senator Udall in NM this week

Tom Udall 

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is scheduled this week to visit southeastern New Mexico to discuss drought, energy policy and agricultural issues.
The New Mexico Democrat is slated Tuesday to participate in a panel on agricultural and drought issues at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. Udall is then expected to visit with Roswell-area veterans to get an update on health care and transportation issues.
The senator also is schedule Wednesday to visit the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia to talk border security, training and enforcement issues with Indian County Law Enforcement, Border Patrol, and other federal agentss.
Later in the week Udall will visit New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs for an announcement on a new technology education partnership.


Fires and smoking prohibited on state lands

Ray Powell

State Land Commissioner Ray Powell is prohibiting smoking, open fires and fireworks on state trust land because of the risk of wildfires.
Powell announced the restrictions on Monday. He said the potential for human-caused fires is high because of drought conditions as well as recent high winds.
The Land Office manages nine million acres of state-owned land and 13 million acres of subsurface rights to oil, natural gas and minerals.
Revenue from grazing, mining and oil and gas production on state trust lands helps support public schools and other state institutions.
Powell said the Legislature approved $500,000 for the Land Office starting in July to reduce fire risks by thinning forests and other prevention efforts.