This week on New Mexico in Focus, producer and correspondent Floyd Vasquez examines a legal claim made by the State of New Mexico that could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It involves the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the law that protects service members' reemployment rights, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard. It prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation. The case is now before the New Mexico Supreme Court and is being watched closely by stakeholders nationwide.
New Mexico PBS’ one-hour public affairs show New Mexico in Focus airs Fridays at 7 p.m. and repeats Sundays at 7 a.m. on Channel 5.1, and Saturdays at 5 p.m. on Channel 9.1, except during Pledge Drives.
NMiF host Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel look at the shift in the New Mexico House of Representatives to Republican control for the first time in 62 years, and the new leadership, including Rep. Don Tripp, R-Socorro, who will be speaker of the House, and Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, who will be majority leader. Change is also coming to the Republican Party of New Mexico with Chairman John Billingsley announcing he will not seek re-election.
The Line also looks at the outlook for the New Mexico Spaceport following the crash of Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two in the Mojave Desert recently. Critics say the Spaceport should capitalize on the growth of the commercial space industry that is taking place elsewhere.
The Line discusses a proposed ordinance in San Miguel County that would impose some of the strictest requirements in the country on oil and gas drilling. This comes as a federal judge considers the future of an ordinance that bans oil and natural gas drilling in neighboring Mora County.
• Gary Kaiser, employer support of The Guard and Reserve
• Dave Pederson, General Counsel, office of the New Mexico Attorney General
• Sgt. First Class Phillip Ramirez, Afghanistan and Iraq veteran
• Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group
• Sophie Martin, Editor, DukeCityFix.com & Attorney
• Rob Nikolewski, New Mexico Watchdog
• Inez Russell Gomez, Santa Fe New Mexican
• Floyd Vasquez
• Gene Grant