Ben In The News

February 05, 2019

Rail Runner receives Wi-Fi grant

by Rick Nathanson

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a grant of nearly $2.5 million for upgrades to the New Mexico Rail Runner's Wi-Fi network, a necessary component for the installation of federally-mandated Positive Train Control, or PTC, technology. The technology is specifically designed to prevent train crashes and derailments by providing a reliable path of communication for the PTC system. As part of those upgrades, 26 towers will be installed along the 100-mile corridor between Belen … Continue Reading


January 31, 2019

U.S. Rep. Luján stumps for NM voter registration bills

by Dan Boyd

Fresh off steering House Democrats to big electoral gains, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján called on state lawmakers Thursday to approve bills dealing with voting, environmental protection and health care access during their current 60-day session. In a 25-minute speech to members of the House and Senate, Luján specifically praised bills dealing with automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration. "I encourage you to continue to act to make New Mexico's democracy as open … Continue Reading


January 30, 2019

New Mexico may open Medicaid to paying customers

by Morgan Lee

New Mexico would open its Medicaid program to new paying customers in an effort to expand affordable health care options under proposed legislation unveiled on Wednesday. The measure from Democratic Rep. Deborah Armstrong of Albuquerque aims to create a Medicaid buy-in option for state residents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid coverage or marketplace subsidies under the Affordable Care Act but still may struggle to afford adequate care. Medicare recipients would not be … Continue Reading


January 11, 2019

Members of Congress donate to charity; refuse pay during shutdown

by KRQE Media

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - In a show of support for federal workers, dozens of members of Congress are refusing their paychecks, or donating them to charity. New Mexico Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small says she's asked for her entire paycheck to be withheld until the shutdown ends. Representatives Deb Haaland and Ben Ray Lujan both announced they will donate part of their pay to charitable organizations. Sen. Tom Udall says he's still weighing his options, and Sen. Martin Heinrich has … Continue Reading


December 18, 2018

Dem. wants border official to step down after girl’s death

by Angela Kocherga

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, called for the head of Customs and Border Protection to "step down"after a congressional delegation visited the New Mexico stretch of border where a 7-year old girl died after crossing the border illegally and being taken into custody. "There was nobody on board who could offer any kind of medical help to her and no medically trained personnel," Castro said about the bus used by Border Patrol to transport the child among a large group of migrants from Antelope … Continue Reading


December 18, 2018

Lawmakers seek probe into Guatemalan girl’s death

by Associated Press

Lawmakers visiting the Border Patrol station where a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl was taken hours before her death demanded an independent investigation Tuesday into the response by federal agents. "There are things that we need to learn," said U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz, a California Democrat who was part of the delegation visiting the Border Patrol station in Lordsburg, New Mexico. Ruiz, a doctor, questioned why border agents didn't call for an immediate airlift of Jakelin Caal after her … Continue Reading


December 17, 2018

Delegation looks into death of migrant child

by Angela Kocherga

Nearly a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are visiting the New Mexico border to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala after she was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents earlier this month. Congressman Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., and Congresswoman-elect Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M., will be part of the delegation. Joaquin Castro, chairman-elect of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, will lead the 11-member group, which … Continue Reading


August 09, 2018

Rep. Luján secures 1,500 new books for La Farge Branch Library

The popular La Farge Branch Library was one of the many communitywide casualties of the late July floods, with thousands of books soaked and destroyed as the extraordinary rain event pummeled through the roof. Helping hands have emerged, some from high places. "We got the most pleasurable phone call from his office," said Pat Hodapp, city library director. The Library of Congress will make the books available through its surplus books program at Luján's request, the … Continue Reading


August 04, 2018

A push for NM to lead the nation in health care with Medicaid buy-in option

Althea Yazzie, from McKinley County, said it was a slow build toward her support of Medicaid buy-in. But when her grandson was born premature and her son and his wife were stuck with an unexpectedly large bill, she started advocating for the option, which would allow people to pay a premium, like for private insurance, to buy into Medicaid or a Medicaid-like program. Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a memorial authorizing a study into the viability of Medicaid buy-in for the … Continue Reading


August 04, 2018

Working to overcome digital divide

This year the San Felipe Pueblo library was connected - finally - to broadband. It's hard to overstate the impact access to high-speed internet has had on this traditional tribal community in the dry hills of Sandoval County. For many residents of the reservation, they can head online for the first time to learn, connect with loved ones, grow their businesses and search for jobs. Libraries have indeed become a prime location for the new digital town square. For students, this is … Continue Reading


August 02, 2018

Flood damages about 2,000 books at Santa Fe library

A flood, after monsoon rain, destroyed thousands of books at the La Farge Branch Library in Santa Fe. "The night of the storm we had a roof leak. And it was like a waterfall against this back wall," Library Director Kathryn Spangle explained. She says the water destroyed more than 2,000 children's books and soaked the carpet and wooden shelves. In total, she says the flood caused about $37,000 worth of damage. Spangle says Congressman Ben Ray Lujan is trying to replace the books … Continue Reading


August 02, 2018

NM looks to lead the nation in health care with Medicaid buy-in option

Althea Yazzie, from McKinley County, said it was a slow build toward her support of Medicaid buy-in. But when her grandson was born premature and her son and his wife were stuck with an unexpectedly large bill, she started advocating for the option. That option would allow people to pay a premium, like for private insurance, to buy into Medicaid or a Medicaid-like program. Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a memorial authorizing a study into the viability of Medicaid buy-in for … Continue Reading


July 28, 2018

Korean war vet's heroic story ‘worth learning'

The story of the Korean War's "one-man army" began in 1932 in the tiny northwestern New Mexican town of Cabezón. Roy Tachias, 86, was born there on Jan. 25 of that year, the oldest of 10 children. Their home had an earthen floor and no electricity or indoor plumbing. The family moved to Bernalillo while Tachias was still young. When he was 16, Tachias hitchhiked to Albuquerque to enlist in the United States Army and was posted in Japan at just 17 years old. But when the U.S. … Continue Reading


July 02, 2018

Santa Fe schools tapped for 'rolling study halls' program

KOB: June 30, 2018 Google is partnering with the Santa Fe Public Schools district to give students with long commutes the ability to ride buses outfitted with Wi-Fi and an onboard tutor. Democratic U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico and Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel got a demonstration Friday of the "Rolling Study Halls" program. Students participated in a coding activity during the bus ride. Then, the school district hosted a discussion with Lujan and … Continue Reading


July 02, 2018

Luján gets demo of school district's new ‘rolling study halls' program

Santa Fe New Mexican: June 30, 2018Democratic U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Luján, who is hoping to narrow a digital divide by helping U.S. schools fund Wi-Fi service on school buses, and Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel got a demonstration Friday of a new Rolling Study Halls program at Santa Fe Public Schools.Google is partnering with the Santa Fe school district to give students with long commutes the ability to ride buses outfitted with Wi-Fi and an onboard … Continue Reading


July 02, 2018

Op-Ed: Health care a right, not a privilege

Santa Fe New Mexican: June 30, 2018New Mexico has suffered tremendously from the opioid epidemic.This is not a new problem. Earlier this year, the New York Times wrote about how one of the most distressing truths of America's opioid epidemic is that it has already lasted for 150 years. For more than a century, this crisis has been breaking communities.This certainly isn't a new problem in New Mexico. Five-hundred-and-one New Mexicans died of drug overdoses in 2015.There were 52,404 deaths … Continue Reading


June 25, 2018

Op-Ed: Trump shows true colors with immigration policy

Albuquerque Journal: June 24, 2018I recently visited two facilities in Brownsville, Texas, where immigrant children are currently being detained. What I found there was heartbreaking. Among the thousands of children being held in Texas, I met Roger and Lea. Both babies are under a year old and were separated from their families over a month ago.Let me be clear - President Trump caused this problem, and President Trump has not fixed it. The president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the … Continue Reading


June 21, 2018

Democratic lawmakers call on Trump to visit detention centers

CNN: June 18, 2018Brownsville, Texas (CNN)Democratic Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Joaquin Castro on Monday called on President Donald Trump to visit the South Texas border and witness the separation between immigrant parents and children."Mr. President, if you really are in charge, pick up the phone and stop this," Luján told reporters in Brownsville, Texas. "The President should come visit these children."Castro, of Texas, echoed the New Mexico lawmaker's … Continue Reading


June 21, 2018

Luján visits migrant kids detained in Texas

Albuquerque Journal: June 20, 2018U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján traveled from Washington, D.C., to Brownsville, Texas, near the Mexican border, on Monday to check on migrant children being housed in government shelters.Luján said what he saw disturbed him, even though the staff seemed compassionate.The New Mexico Democrat told the Journal on Tuesday that he and a delegation of congressional members from several states visited the Casa Padre and Casa Presidente shelters in Brownsville. … Continue Reading


June 06, 2018

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján Cosponsors Legislation To Preserve A Free And Open Internet

Los Alamos Daily Post: March 3, 2018 U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) announced that he cosponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) to preserve a free and open Internet and overturn the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) recent action to repeal existing net neutrality protections."A free and open Internet is essential to a free and open society, which is why we must protect net neutrality," Luján said. "The Internet has revolutionized the way we do business, … Continue Reading

Showing page   of 2