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WED: New Mexico legislators approve $1B state spending increase, + More

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New Mexico legislators approve $1B state spending increase - By Morgan Lee and Cedar Attanasio Associated Press

New Mexico's Legislature approved a record-setting $1 billion annual budget increase on Wednesday to bolster spending on public schools, Medicaid, public safety initiatives and an array of grants, loans and tax breaks to private industry.

The Senate approved by voice vote with no indication of opposition to endorse a roughly $8.48 billion general fund spending plan for the fiscal year starting on July 1 — a 14% increase over current-year spending.

The bill now moves to the desk of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who supports major provisions and can veto any part of the spending plan.

The budget builds on a windfall in state government income from surging oil production and federal pandemic aid.

Salary increases of at least 7% are slated for school district and state government staff across the state, with a minimum hourly wage of $15 for public employees and higher base salaries for teachers.

Annual spending on K-12 public education would increase by $425 million to $3.87 billion, a 12% boost. Annual Medicaid spending would increase by roughly $240 million to $1.3 billion as the federal government winds down pandemic-related subsidies to the program that gives free health care to the impoverished.

In a state with high rates of poverty, the proposal extends free college tuition to most New Mexico residents pursuing two- and four-year degrees, and it fully funds home-based care for thousands of people who have had severe disabilities since childhood.

Amid a record-setting spate of homicides in Albuquerque, the budget would underwrite new intervention programs aimed at curbing gun violence and boost salaries for state police by nearly 16% — with even higher increases for judges.

Democratic state Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, a lead House budget negotiator, said the bill ensures funding to help local policing agencies offer their own competitive salaries.

Legislators want to extend pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage for a year after births, up from two months, by spending $14 million. Most births in New Mexico are covered by Medicaid.

The budget bill funds an initiative from the governor to establish a training academy for the film industry run by a consortium of existing state colleges and universities. It also provides $650,000 to found a climate change bureau as the state expands the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Lawmakers were still racing against the clock to approve a $385 million package of tax cuts, credits and rebates that would narrow the scope of taxes on Social Security income and provide a per-child tax credit of up to $175 to parents. The Legislature adjourns by law at noon Thursday.

The Legislature also inched toward final approval of a package of crime-fighting initiatives that would expand surveillance of criminal defendants as they await trial, with 24-hour monitoring of ankle-bracelet tracking devices.

Legislators balked at proposals to ban pretrial release for people accused of some serious crimes. They have focused on efforts to expand police training and oversight, with funding for alternatives to traditional prosecution and incarceration. Some enhanced criminal penalties are possible.

Time was running out on efforts to shore up election oversight, expand voting access and protect election workers from harassment, after fragmented proposals were combined into one bill.

Proposals endorsed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver would expand access to mail-in ballots and voter registration opportunities, in a counterpoint to new restrictions on voting access in at least 19 Republican-led states.

On teacher pay, legislators approved a measure to allow Indigenous language teachers to be paid at the same rate as their peers, even if they don't have an undergraduate degree. Bills sent to the governor earlier this week would increase teacher pay between 7% and 22%. For Native American language teachers paid as teaching assistants in many districts, their salaries could triple.

Lujan Grisham is expected to sign all of the teacher pay measures.

In consumer protection efforts, legislators sent a bill to governor's desk Wednesday that caps annual interest rates on storefront loans at 36%, down from 175%.

In a concession to profitability, a fee of 5% can be charged on loans of up to $500, and the maximum size of an installment loan is doubled to $10,000.

In a statement, Lujan Grisham signaled her support for the legislation.

Tens of thousands without power across Albuquerque, including UNM - KUNM News

Over 25,000 Albuquerque-area residents are without power Wednesday night, according to the Public Service Co. of New Mexico.

The University of New Mexico closed its campus around 4:40 p.m. for the remainder of the day as a result of its outage. KUNM’s campus studio was impacted and remained off air at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The university urged caution as students and staff left campus due to traffic signals being out in the area.

KOB-TV reportsPNM says the outages are likely wind-related and not connected to a fire outside one of the company’s facilities west of the city.

Power is expected to be restored by 7:00 p.m. Wednesday.

New Mexico regulators approve plan to replace nuclear power - Associated Press

New Mexico regulators on Wednesday approved a plan that calls for new solar generation to replace the capacity that will be lost when Public Service Co. of New Mexico stops buying electricity from the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona.

The utility will lose 114 megawatts after its Palo Verde leases expire — one in 2023 and the other in 2024. Under the plan, PNM will develop more solar energy with backup battery storage.

A proposal was filed with the Public Regulation Commission last April to prepare for the transition, but it took months for the regulatory panel to sign off despite requests by the utility for expedited consideration.

Utility officials said that due to the delay, some of the contracts to build the solar facilities will have to be renegotiated with independent energy developers. It also means the solar power won't be available in time to help with peak summer demands in 2023.

PNM has cited the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains, noting that developers are having difficulty constructing projects and delivering replacement power on time.

Similar delays are happening with solar and battery projects meant to replace some of the lost capacity that will come from the upcoming closure of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico.

PNM is expected to submit its plan this week for meeting demands during peak summer months, saying a quick decision by regulators is imperative.

The commission contends it followed regulatory rules and timelines for evaluating the Palo Verde case.

Hearing examiner Cristopher Ryan said the process was time-consuming due to the complexity of replacing firm, around-the-clock nuclear power with intermittent solar energy. Some parties also questioned the adequacy of the utility's bidding process.

Marijuana bill spurs water rights debate in arid New Mexico - Associated Press

Hispanic farmers and rural residents in New Mexico are concerned legislation that would allow small cannabis producers to significantly boost their plant counts lacks a provision to ensure the producers have valid water rights.

An organization that represents traditional irrigation systems across the state, Latino and Native American agriculture groups and environmentalists are calling on lawmakers to restore what they say is critical language aimed at protecting limited water resources.

A House committee is scheduled to consider the bill Wednesday. The push comes in the waning hours of the legislative session that ends at midday Thursday.

The arid state already is struggling to meet its water demands. Experts have warned lawmakers throughout the session that supplies are expected to dwindle even more in the coming years as drought and warmer temperatures linked to climate change persist across the West.

Supporters of the legislation have described the water rights requirement as "red tape" that is keeping micro businesses from entering the recreational marijuana industry.

However, critics worry that without the requirement, the illegal use of water could go unchecked as the industry takes off in New Mexico. They point to problems elsewhere, including California where water theft by illegal marijuana growers has helped to suck dry local aquifers, leaving legitimate users without water.

Paula Garcia, head of the New Mexico Acequia Association, said it's a matter of equity. She said Native American and senior water rights holders in New Mexico are from historically underserved and marginalized communities and they stand to be put at greater risk of having their rights impaired.

"New Mexico is now in an era of long-term aridification, where we need more careful stewardship of our limited water resources and cultural integrity," she said in a letter sent Tuesday to members of the House. "By removing the water protections, rural entities — such as mutual domestics and acequias who are entrusted with managing water at the local level — will bear the burden of enforcement. This would put our precious water resources at risk."

The water rights requirement had been a key component of last year's debate in New Mexico to legalize the production, sale and use of recreational cannabis for adults. Retail sales are scheduled to begin April 1.

Over the last five months, state water officials have reviewed around 40 cannabis business proposals for verification of water rights. Fewer than 15% of the proposals had valid water rights configured correctly for the intended use.

Under the legislation, a license could be revoked if the grower uses water to which they do not have a legal right. The Office of the State Engineer also would be required to develop a guide regarding water rights and the legal use of water.

Critics have argued that due diligence should be done before a license is granted, not after someone is found to be illegally using water.

State water managers also have noted that increasing production limits from no more than 200 total mature cannabis plants to 1,000 plants at any one time could increase a producer's consumptive water use by fivefold.

Farmers and others have suggested that New Mexico collect at least two years of data on water use by the industry before legislators propose any changes to the water protection requirements within the cannabis act.

Police: Man fatally shot after report of domestic violence - Associated Press

Authorities say the fatal shooting of an Edgewood man by Torrance County sheriff's deputies stemmed from an alleged domestic violence incident.

A New Mexico State Police statement said two deputies shot Travis Boawn, 37, while investigating a report that Boawn allegedly attacked a woman with a claw hammer inside their shared residence on Monday.

According to the statement, the Sheriff's Office got a 911 call reporting that a local medical center had a patient with injuries suffered in a domestic violence incident.

The statement said didn't say what led up the shooting of Boawn at the residence he shared with the woman but said two deputies each fired at least one shot at him and that he was struck at least once.

No other identities were released.

Santa Fe Police: Lawmaker drove at twice legal alcohol limit - By Cedar Attanasio Associated Press / Report For America

A New Mexico lawmaker caught drinking and driving late Sunday night during the state's legislative session was intoxicated at more than twice the legal limit for alcohol, according to a police report.

Police measured Democratic Rep. Georgene Louis' blood alcohol content at 0.17, more than twice New Mexico's legal limit of 0.08, according to a police report released Tuesday.

Louis issued a statement Monday accepting responsibility for her actions and apologizing to her constituents. State Republican leaders are calling for her resignation.

In the report, the officer arresting Louis says he clocked her traveling 62 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer said in his report she admitted to having two to three vodkas about two hours before the stop.

Louis, of Albuquerque, was on the way to a rented home in Santa Fe when police stopped her, attorney Kitren Fischer said in a statement.

Louis was absent from a committee hearing on Monday and missed some legislative votes Tuesday. She was seen voting in a virtual hearing Tuesday evening.

Legislature focuses on training, deterrence to fight crime - By Morgan Lee Associated Press

New Mexico legislators have bundled together initiatives aimed at reducing violent crime and improving policing with an emphasis on police hiring and training as well as tracking excessive force incidents. The move came amid calls from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for a crackdown on urban crime and violence.

A Senate panel on criminal justice continued to refine the bulging crime package on Tuesday with time running out on a 30-day legislative session that ends Thursday at noon.

The centerpiece bill would expand the ranks of state district judges, boost retention pay for municipal police and sheriff's deputies and bestow million-dollar death benefits for relatives of police killed in the line of duty — four times the current amount.

Supporters have said the bill would ensure robust training at New Mexico's Law Enforcement Academy to help officers cope better with stress, interactions with the homeless, techniques for de-escalating violence and modern-day racial sensitivities.

That would come hand-in-hand with new accountability measures, as authorities compile a database of excessive force incidents involving police and related sanctions including firings and de-certifications.

The legislative package was assembled amid tough-on-crime proposals from the governor including enhanced penalties for some violent offenses and a prohibition on pretrial release for charges of severe violent or sexual crimes.

Many legislators in the Democratic majority so far have shunned the proposal to strictly limit pretrial release, instead focusing on ways to improve monitoring of defendants through ankle-bracelet locators. And some enhanced penalties appear to have fallen by the wayside — including stiffer sentences for second-degree murder.

Another component of the law would expand a gun violence reduction program, pioneered in Albuquerque, that focuses on deterrence measures for people likely to fall into cycles of violence.

Democratic Sens. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces, Natalie Figueroa of Albuquerque and Meredith Dixon of Albuquerque are sponsoring the legislation.

In a vote Tuesday afternoon, a Senate committee added enhanced penalties for violent crimes, and new criminal definitions for chop shops and theft of metal, like stripping copper wiring from homes and construction sites.

The measures passed without objection, despite some hesitation.

"My gut tells me that we shouldn't be increasing the felonies at all, in the absence of any evidence it's worked, and the fact that we've done it twice in two years already, but I understand it's an election year," Cervantes said.

The legislation sets out requirements for crime reduction grants that pursue alternatives to traditional prosecution and incarceration, with requirements for regular performance reviews.

Judge told release of insurance info OK in clergy abuse case -Associated Press

A federal judge has been told that Archdiocese of Santa Fe records that would indicate how much insurance money is available to help pay a settlement of clergy sex abuse claims can be made public if they are redacted to withhold victims' identities.

The archdiocese previously asked Judge David T. Thuma to seal the records, saying that releasing them could breach the terms of its insurance agreements and make them unenforceable.

However, lawyers for four insurers said during a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing Monday that they didn't object to release of the records if information identifying victims is redacted, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Archdiocese attorney Thomas Walker also said Monday that the records could be released with redactions, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

"We appreciate that keeping things secret is not desirable," Walker said.

Lawyers for abuse survivors who filed claims in the bankruptcy case had argued there were no valid legal reasons for sealing the documents.

Victims' attorneys have reached a tentative settlement as to the total archdiocese contribution but the amount has not been made public.

Alec Baldwin sued by family of cinematographer killed on set

By Andrew Dalton Ap Entertainment Writer

The family of a cinematographer shot and killed on the set of the film "Rust" sued Alec Baldwin and the movie's producers Tuesday alleging their "callous" disregard in the face of safety complaints led directly to her death.

At a news conference announcing the lawsuit, attorneys for the husband and 9-year-old son of Halyna Hutchins said that Baldwin refused training for the type of "cross-draw" he was performing when he fired the shot that killed her.

Baldwin's attorney responded that any claim the actor was reckless is "entirely false."

The suit filed in New Mexico's Santa Fe County in the name of Matthew and Andros Hutchins shows a text message exchange between a camera operator and a producer in which a complaint over gun safety was met with what the suit calls "callous sarcasm."

The operator, Lane Luper, texted unit production manager Katherine Walters saying: "We've now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe."

Walters responds: "Accidental discharge on the firearm? Awesome. Sounds good."

At least four other lawsuits have been filed over the shooting, but this is the first directly tied to one of the two people shot.

The defendants' "reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures led to the death of Halyna Hutchins," attorney Brian Panish said.

Had proper protocols been followed, the suit says, "Halyna Hutchins would be alive and well, hugging her husband and 9-year-old son. "

Baldwin, who was also a producer on the film, was pointing a gun at Hutchins inside a small church during the setup for the filming of a scene for the Western in New Mexico on Oct. 21 when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza. The attorneys showed an animated recreation of the shooting at the news conference.

Baldwin has said he was pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction and it went off without him pulling the trigger.

The suit says industry standards call for using a rubber or similar prop gun during the setup, and there was no call for a real gun.

It also says that both Baldwin and assistant director David Halls, who handed him the gun, should have checked the revolver for live bullets.

The suit also names as defendants Halls, Walters, the film's armorer Hannah Guttierez Reed, and ammunition supplier Seth Kenney.

"Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false," Aaron Dyer, attorney for Baldwin and other producers, said in a statement Tuesday. "He, Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a 'cold gun' – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge."

He added that "actors should be able to rely on armorers and prop department professionals, as well as assistant directors, rather than deciding on their own when a gun is safe to use."

Last month Baldwin turned over his cellphone to investigators, and Dyer said he continues to cooperate fully with the investigation.

Authorities have described "some complacency" in how weapons were handled on the "Rust" set. They have said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed.

Baldwin said he does not believe he will be criminally charged in the shooting.

Several crew members have filed lawsuits, including Gutierrez Reed, who blamed Kenney for the shooting.

Her attorney Jason Bowles did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new lawsuit. An attorney for Kenney could not be found. He has said previously that he was sure his company did not send any live rounds to the set.

In an interview with ABC, Baldwin said Hutchins had asked him to point the gun just off camera and toward her armpit before it went off.

"I didn't pull the trigger," Baldwin said. "I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never."

Panish said Tuesday that the assertion was unrealistic.

"I think it's clear what happened," he said. "Alec had the gun in his hand, he shot it, Halyna was killed."

The complaint does not cite a dollar amount, but Panish said it would be considerable.

"A longtime marriage, a soulmate is lost, and a boy to be raised without a mother at a young age is a tremendous loss," he said. "And anyone who's even been close to that experience knows, that that goes on forever and ever and ever."

The plaintiffs' attorney in New Mexico, Randi McGinn, said the lawsuit is likely to move much more quickly than if it were filed in California, as others have been.

"In New Mexico, we're used to people coming in from out of town to play cowboy, who don't know how to use guns," McGinn said.

Hutchins, 42, grew up on a remote Soviet military base and worked on documentary films in Eastern Europe before studying film in Los Angeles and embarking on a promising movie-making career.

On her Instagram page, Hutchins identified herself as a "restless dreamer" and "adrenaline junkie."

In 2019, American Cinematographer called her "one of the year's rising stars."

Dyer's statement said: "Everyone's hearts and thoughts remain with Halyna's family as they continue to process this unspeakable tragedy."

Navajo Nation sues New Mexico county over redistricting map -Associated Press

The Navajo Nation is suing San Juan County over a recently adopted map that will determine political boundaries for the northwestern New Mexico county through 2030.

The tribal government, its human rights commission and five tribal members claim that the five-member county commission violated the Voting Rights Act by approving a map that packs Native American voters into a single district.

The lawsuit filed last week states that the map approved by the commission in December deprives Native American voters of an "equal opportunity" to elect candidates of their choice in four districts despite them constituting almost 40% of the county's total population.

The complaint filed in federal court also states that action by the commission adds to the history of racism and voter suppression that members of the Navajo Nation have faced in the county and in municipalities.

Leonard Gorman, executive director of the human rights commission office, said in a statement that the map selected by county commissioners disenfranchises Navajo voters.

County spokesperson Devin Neeley declined to comment on the pending litigation.

County commissioners were presented with three maps in November featuring redrawn commission district boundaries, the Farmington Daily Times reported.

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission presented a fourth map that evenly distributed the Native American population across two districts. A fifth map presented by county staff and an outside firm contracted by the county was based on comments collected during a public hearing.

The complaint states that commissioners voted 4-1 in December to adopt the map that placed a high density of Native American voters into the southwestern portion of the county.

Gorman said the Navajo Nation's priority is to maintain compliance with the Voting Rights Act and that the San Juan County Commission must respect the principals of redistricting when it comes to majority-minority districts.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to block the county from using the map in upcoming elections and order the commission to develop a new map.

Prosecutors: 'Hard to imagine a person more dangerous' - By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press

Prosecutors are seeking to keep in custody a homeless man suspected of stabbing 11 people in a matter of hours as he rode a bicycle around Albuquerque on Sunday, saying no conditions of release could reasonably ensure the safety of the community.

Tobias Gutierrez, who has a lengthy criminal history, appeared in court virtually Tuesday on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

A public safety assessment tool used by judges in New Mexico's largest city to determine whether a defendant can be released pending trial under certain conditions recommends that Gutierrez be released based on factors that include his age, previous history and the current charges.

Prosecutors argued otherwise in a pretrial detention motion.

"It is hard to imagine a person more dangerous that hurt more people than the defendant," the motion states. "With so many victims and with no clear motive or reason, it is clear that the defendant is an extremely violent and dangerous person. The only way to protect our community is to hold the defendant in custody until this matter is resolved at trial."

A state district judge will consider the motion at an upcoming hearing.

While Gutierrez was represented Tuesday by a public defender, an attorney who could speak on his behalf has yet to be appointed.

The case comes as legislative efforts to overhaul the state's troubled pretrial release program have all but stalled despite strong momentum for change in January when the session began. That was fueled partly by Albuquerque marking a year of record homicides and growing frustration among families who had lost loved ones to violent crime.

Lauren Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Raúl Torrez, said the Gutierrez case marks the second time in a week that the court's public safety assessment framework has recommended release for what prosecutors consider a dangerous person.

"Apparently even facing charges of stabbing 11 different people in broad daylight isn't enough to keep someone behind bars using this instrument," she said. "Unfortunately, while 77% of the public wants the revolving door shut on these types of violent offenders, the Legislature has once again failed to address the issue or even acknowledge the problem."

Despite the recommendations of the assessment, she said she was hopeful judges would use their discretion when considering detention motions.

Sunday's stabbings appeared to have been committed at random within hours along Central Avenue, one of the city's main thoroughfares. One of the crime scenes included a homeless encampment and another was near a smoke shop where the suspect asked a victim for money and yelled obscenities before swinging a knife, according to a criminal complaint.

The witnesses identified a man on a bike armed with a large knife. Some described the man as acting strangely and said he appeared to be upset.

New Mexico court records show Gutierrez's criminal history included felony offenses that ranged from burglary to battery, possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated. In 2014, he was sentenced to federal prison after trying to take a revolver and ammunition into a tribal casino and prompting a police pursuit.

Lawmakers approve $10k raises for many New Mexico teachers - By Cedar Attanasio Associated Press / Report For America

A measure that will increase minimum salaries for New Mexico teachers and counselors by as much as 22% cleared its final legislative hurdle late Monday with a unanimous vote in the House.

The bill, approved by the Senate last week, now heads to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. She is expected to sign it and has been touting it the largest increase in pay for New Mexico teachers in years.

Teachers and counselors in New Mexico are currently paid a minimum salary for nine-month contracts based on three tiers that factor in experience and continuing education: $40,000 for tier one, $50,000 for tier two and $60,000 for tier three.

The legislation would fund school districts to raise each of those salary tiers by $10,000, starting in July.

Many New Mexico schools pay minimum or near-minimum salaries, particularly in rural areas where the cost of living is low. Starting teachers in those areas can expect the highest increase in pay, around 22%.

The minimums wouldn't help Indigenous language teachers who are paid as teaching assistants.

Lawmakers are considering raises for other school workers in the final days of the session, which ends Thursday. Those proposals include a 7% wage increase for all school workers.

Interior secretary tours civil rights sites in Mississippi - By Emily Wagster Pettus Associated Press

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland toured Mississippi civil rights sites Tuesday, seeing the crumbling rural store that's part of the history of the 1955 lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till and touring the home where state NAACP leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in 1963.

Haaland traveled with White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory and Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson. The sites are in Thompson's district, which encompasses the Delta flatlands and much of Mississippi's capital city of Jackson.

Standing outside the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Jackson, Haaland said the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior are looking to expand opportunities for people to learn about the civil rights movement.

"Today, I was so honored to learn, to listen, to hear from people who have been on the ground working in this for decades," said Haaland, a former New Mexico congresswoman who is the first Native American to lead a Cabinet department.

Haaland said she heard from young people who did not learn about Till while they were in school but have learned about him since then.

Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, was visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta when he was abducted, tortured and killed after witnesses said he whistled at a white woman working in a grocery store in the small town of Money. No one was ever convicted of killing Till and the Justice Department announced in December that it was ending its investigation into his lynching.

The killing galvanized the civil rights movement after Till's mother insisted on an open casket, and Jet magazine published photos of his brutalized body.

"It's important that we educate our children because they deserve to know the history of our country," Haaland said.

The Evers home became a national monument in December 2020. Medgar Evers' widow Myrlie Evers, who is still living, served as chairwoman of the NAACP's national board of directors in the mid-1990s. She donated the family home to Tougaloo College in 1993 and the college transferred ownership to the National Park Service.

Medgar Evers was the first field secretary of the Mississippi NAACP, beginning in 1954. He led voter registration drives and boycotts to push for racial equality. He also investigated lynchings, beatings and other violence that Black residents suffered at the hands of white segregationists. He was shot to death in the driveway of the family home while Myrlie and their three children were inside.

"This site tells of courage and bravery in the face of evil," Mallory said.

Haaland said the Interior Department and the National Park Service have no immediate plans to take supervision of other civil rights sites.

"Of course, if additional sites are taken in under the National Park Service — whether they're national monuments, national parks, under that umbrella — then of course we have an obligation," Haaland said.

Thompson stepped in and said: "What she said is, if the Congress gives her the money, she'll do it."

The congressman said he would like the National Park Service to have a civil rights trail to document and preserve sites across the South.

The Evers' daughter, Reena Evers-Everette, said she wants people to remember the "warriors and the foot soldiers" of the civil rights movement.

"Let us not forget about the pain and the lack of respect that was created during the '40s, the '50s, the '60s — and now," she said.