Albuquerque’s Jewish Community Center is functioning back to normal Tuesday afternoon after a scare from a phoned bomb threat. The threat came in a phone call to the JCC earlier in the day, according to Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Simon Drobik. The JCC responded by quickly evacuating staff. “We then sent over the bomb squad and deemed the area safe,” Drobik said. The bomb scare came on the same day threats were made against at least 17 other JCCs in five other states, according to a report in Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
New Mexico’s Attorney General is joining 16 other Attorneys General throughout the country to combat climate change. State Attorney General Hector Balderas made the announcement on Tuesday morning in a press release. “We have been impacted by climate change, and we see its drastic effects in New Mexico—extreme drought, increased risk of severe forest fires, and the ruin of our wildlife and natural habitats,” Balderas said. “Our efforts will ensure that progress is made on climate change and that the public is fully aware of the effects on the health and well-being of New Mexico families.”
The coalition of will work together on investigations; the press release noted specifically investigations into what extractive energy companies knew about the risks of climate change and if they deliberately misled investors and the public. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed records from Exxon over the allegations in November of last year.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a controversial and high-profile bill allowing the terminally ill to end their own lives, meaning the country’s most populous state will become the next state to allow the practice. Until a few months ago, New Mexico was the fifth such state, but the state Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that struck down a decades-old ban on medically assisted suicide. Now, the state Supreme Court is poised to hear oral arguments in the case later this month. The California law goes into effect in 2016; a Supreme Court decision could decide if New Mexico’s constitution requires a right to “aid-in-dying” before then. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain,” Brown wrote in a signing statement.
State Rep. Deborah Armstrong watched with interest while California debated changes to the law on exemptions vaccinations for children. California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that would give California one of the strictest laws regarding vaccination exemptions. The other two states with similarly strict laws are West Virginia and Mississippi; Mississippi has the highest rate of vaccinated children in the nation. “I’m glad to see that there was support and recognition that something needs to be done to not have exemptions be really easy, but for legitimate reasons to be able to have an exemption,” the Albuquerque Democrat told New Mexico Political Report in a short phone interview on Wednesday morning. Armstrong introduced legislation in this year’s New Mexico legislative session that would close a loophole in the state’s vaccination law.
Even as a New Mexico court battle looms over regulations for ride-sharing services, a Boston-based lawyer is taking the two main ride-sharing companies to court over a separate issue in California. Earlier this week Business Insider reported that attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan filed suit against Uber and Lyft, the two largest ride sharing services. At issue is whether drivers for the two companies should be classified as employees or contractors. Currently, drivers work as independent contractors. In a phone interview with New Mexico Political Report, Liss-Riordan said her suit is different from the regulation battles in New Mexico and other states, but both issues relate to how the two companies do business.