Egolf and Morales Introduce Memorials in Support of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in New Mexico Legislature
CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 1/31/14 through 2/7/14
(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:
- Egolf and Morales Introduce Memorials in Support of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in New Mexico Legislature
Representative Brian F. Egolf, Jr., of Santa Fe, and Senator Howie Morales, of Silver City, introduced memorials into their respective New Mexico legislative bodies requesting that the New Mexico Congressional delegation support amendments to expand compensation under the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) for individuals exposed to radiation. The proposed amendments would expand compensation to include all of New Mexico, including those exposed to the July 16, 1945 Trinity Test of the first nuclear weapon, near Alamogordo. As always, public participation will make a difference. Please contact your New Mexico legislators and ask them to support Senate Memorial 35 and House Memorial 36. http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislation.aspx?Chamber=S&LegType=M&LegNo=35&year=14 and http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislation.aspx?Chamber=H&LegType=M&LegNo=36&year=14
RECA was first passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990, which provided some compensation to those who were exposed to radiation from certain atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in Nevada and in the Pacific, along with uranium mining and processing operations, some of which occurred in New Mexico.
In 2013, U.S. Senator Tom Udall led a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Senator Martin Heinrich, to expand RECA to provide compensation, including medical benefits, for Americans sickened from working in uranium mines and related operations and living downwind and downstream of nuclear weapons tests. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:SN00773:|/home/LegislativeData.php| U.S. Representative Ben Ray Lujan introduced a companion bill in the House, which is co-sponsored by Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham and Steve Pearce. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:HR01645:|/home/LegislativeData.php|
In April 2013, Senator Tom Udall said, “We have seen the heartbreaking effects of those who sacrificed their health and lives by working or living near uranium mines and nuclear test sites in the mid-20th century. Many Americans unwittingly paid the price for our national security, and unfortunately, some victims fell through the cracks in the original legislation. Expanding RECA will provide these individuals with recognition so that they can receive the much needed compensation they deserve.” http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1272
The compensation would cover those who experienced the first bombing of innocent civilians living in the Tularosa Basin in July, 1945. Tina Cordova, of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, said, “ The time has come for us to perform our most basic duty and that is to see to it that every man, woman and child in New Mexico who has suffered with, is suffering with or who has died from cancer and other diseases directly associated with radiation exposure is compensated. It is our moral and ethical duty and obligation.”
The New Mexico memorials congratulate Senator Udall and Representative Lujan “for their vision in introducing legislation to expand, under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, the rights of individuals exposed to radiation.”
To find your New Mexico legislators, go to www.nmlegis.gov. Ask them to support House Memorial 36 and Senate Memorial 35.
Senate Memorial 35 will be heard in two committees before going to the floor, Senate Rules and Senate Judiciary.
House Memorial 36 will be heard in House Energy and Natural Resources before going to the floor. Representative Egolf is the chair of that committee.
The memorials are identical and independent, which means either or both can pass or fail. They are not subject to the governor’s veto.
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