U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, both Democrats, spoke to state legislators during a joint legislative session Tuesday.
Luján spoke about bipartisan legislative efforts at the federal level, his recovery from a stroke he suffered last year and what legislating means to him.
“That’s what this body is, incredible leaders from all over New Mexico, every small town, village, big town and big city,” Luján said. “A big part of what we do together is navigating those challenges when it comes to constituent casework one at a time. One person at a time, one family at a time. And when we come together and especially with the timeframe that you work on legislative initiatives together.”
Luján had a stroke on Jan. 27, 2022 from which he has recovered.
The process of his recovery led Luján to want to do more work to get first responders support as well as do more to let people know the signs of a stroke.
The seven signs of a stroke are facial weakness such as a droopy eyelid, nausea, dizziness, numbness, loss of balance, slurred speech and headache, according to the American Heart Association’s stroke.org.
A quick way to determine what is happening is through the FAST: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty and if the person has these symptoms then it’s Time to call 911.
Luján’s bipartisan legislative efforts include the bipartisan infrastructure project as well as his work on legislation with Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, on the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act which sought to prevent drunk driving cases. Another bipartisan effort Lujàn cited was his work with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on amendments on an omnibus bill that would expand the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
“Sen. Ted Cruz and I worked on legislation to our friends up in the northeastern part of New Mexico to change the way that we could travel on those roads of being a major arterial into the northeastern part of New Mexico that will create more job opportunities, open up more commerce and create safer roads,” Luján said.
The Ports-to-Plains Corridor is a highway corridor between the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas and Denver, Colorado.
Stansbury’s address was a pep talk that included mention of bipartisanship at the federal level.
“This is our moment to seize our destiny, to take the lessons of our ancestors that have been passed down across generations and taught to us across every corner of this state to defend our rights, to defend our democracy and to defend the values that every single person in this chamber holds dear as a New Mexican,” Stansbury said. “As a people, we have to know that this is our moment to change the systems that have left so many of our communities behind to invest in our children and their future to fight for justice and opportunity to protect our lands and our waters and to ensure the resilience of our communities for generations to come.”
Stansbury lauded the bipartisan infrastructure project and her outreach efforts in New Mexico’s first congressional district.
“From the largest bipartisan infrastructure bill in generations, to one of the most significant economic recovery and innovation bills in decades, to the largest investment in climate action ever in our nation’s history, and the greatest expansion of Veterans benefits since the GI bill with the PACT Act to ensure the veterans who’ve proudly served our country can get the care they deserve,” Stansbury said. “It’s why my office has held over 700 community meetings across our District.”
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or PACT Act, is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Infrastructure and Jobs Act, also known as the bipartisan infrastructure deal, strengthens infrastructure including expanding broadband, removing the nation’s lead service lines to provide clean water, repairing existing infrastructure such as roads and bridges and doing so while keeping climate change in mind, according to a White House Fact Sheet on the deal.
Stansbury’s district covers the central part of New Mexico including all of Torrance County and parts of Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Valencia counties.
Luján is the son of former state Speaker of the House Ben Luján.
The other three members of the New Mexico federal delegation addressed a joint legislative session on Feb. 13.