I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
This time, guv likely to sign veteran’s museum bill
Gov. Bill Richardson once again has an opportunity to make Las Cruces the home of a planned state veterans museum, and he’s likely to do so this time.
The Senate gave unanimous approval on Saturday to House Bill 59, which would create the museum and establish Las Cruces as its home. The House had already approved the bill, also unanimously.
“I can’t think of a better way for the Legislature to finish their work this session than to honor our veterans with this new museum,” Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, the bill’s sponsor, said in a news release. “In addition to honoring their sacrifice and telling New Mexico’s rich military history, it will also contain an office for veterans to get important services and information. This is a great day for our veterans and for Doña Ana County.”
The bill passed in 2008, with Richardson supporting it and two of his cabinet secretaries testifying on its behalf. But controversy ensued when Richardson vetoed that bill after its Republican sponsor — Leonard Lee Rawson of Las Cruces — became Richardson’s most vocal critic on other issues during the 2008 session.
Richardson then convened a task force to decide on the best location for the museum. His task force reiterated what was in the 2008 bill — that Las Cruces was the best spot. Richardson agreed with the task force’s recommendation and said last fall that Las Cruces will be the home of the state veteran’s museum.
The bill now awaits Richardson’s signature.
In a news release sent after the session concluded on Saturday, Veterans Services Department Secretary John Garcia called the bill “a historical measure.” And Cultural Affairs Department Secretary Stuart Ashman said the bill’s unanimous approval by the Legislature “is a clear mandate… that the Department of Cultural Affairs work with the Department of Veterans Services to create this museum.”