, as the traditional turnover from the first term to a second continues. The Cabinet-level positions are head of the Human Services Department, State Engineer, Indian Affairs Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
The HSD has been embroiled in controversy over recent years and current secretary Sidonie Squier announced her resignation earlier this month.
The former state cabinet-level secretary will be the staff director of House Budget Committee. May was the head of the DFA and publicly feuded with Susana Martinez before he was moved to the New Mexico Finance Authority. He was fired from that position after it was revealed that an audit of the agency was faked.
. The biggest increase comes in the healthcare sector -- 4,900 of the 9,100 jobs. Meanwhile, manufacturing continues to shed jobs at a high rate. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.6 percent to 6.5 percent.
. Wirth is a more progressive Democrat, and represents one of the most heavily Democratic areas of the state.
Democratic senators, Wirth said, must focus on "core Democratic issues" and by setting their own agenda and "can't just sit here and play defense" against the House Republican agenda. He wondered "what kind of tone" the opposing party in the lower chamber will set. House Republicans, for instance, could finally clear a so-called parental notification bill that would require minors to notify parents they're getting an abortion, he said.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed legislation Friday to increase by 2 percent the sales tax on food with little to no nutritional value, starting next year. No other sales tax on the Navajo Nation specifically targets the spending habits of consumers. It will remain in effect until 2020, but it can be extended by the Navajo Nation Council.
A decision on whether or not a candidate for the President of the Navajo Nation
. If the candidate, Russell Begaye, is ruled not qualified, it would be the second Navajo Nation presidential candidate named not qualified. The election was already delayed from earlier this month because of one candidate being removed from the ballot.
. The proposal, which has the support of Gov. Susana Martinez, calls for $50 million to be in the fund.
The money flows through local governments and is generally used to help with land acquisition, building improvements or other bricks-and-mortar work sought by private companies. The state constitution bars it from being given directly to the companies.
Of the $15 million, roughly $7.8 million has been spent since July, according to the state’s Economic Development Department.
After congratulating him, I asked Luján how he planned to fulfill his duties as the House Democrats’ top election strategist while keeping an eye on the people and issues back home in his remote congressional district. How would he avoid “going Washington?”
“If anyone is concerned about that, they can join me this weekend (at his home in New Mexico) and help me clean out the sheep barns,” the congressman said with a broad smile. “If they have a free hand and want to help me shovel some of what the sheep produced, come on by!”
Did Republican legislators walk out of a Legislative Education Study Committee hearing? That's what Rep. Nate Cote, D-Organ, said on his Facebook page.
I called Cote Thursday. He said all the Republicans but Senator Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, got up and left - "They all sort of disappeared." He said he figured some, including Rep. Jimmie Hall, R-Albuquerque, went to other committees happening at the same time, but Cote also walked into the hallway to find several standing around just "shooting the bull while the presentation was going on."
I called Hall who said he was jumping from one committee to another and he certainly didn't orchestrate any such walkout. He said a lot of committee members do have to make several obligations at once, requiring some stepping in and stepping out over the course of a day.
. Tori Sandoval said she was forced to take 10 days of unpaid leave because of political retaliation from the county manager. She says she was falsely accused of embezzlement. Her attorney is former DA Matt Chandler.
Should publicly funded candidates who have no opposition
Wide sidewalks, street trees, on-street parking, bicycle lanes and protected mid-block crossings for pedestrians would be encouraged. In some cases, the city could eliminate some lanes of traffic or make them more narrow, if traffic engineers determine the street is built to handle more cars than it actually does.
Ray Seva, spokesman for the state Veterans’ Services Department, said Wednesday that only the top 17 cemeteries on the Cemetery Administration’s list will qualify for funding this year, meaning only the Gallup cemetery will move forward for the 2015 federal fiscal year.
In addition to the Gallup veterans cemetery, Martinez had proposed cemeteries in Fort Stanton, Carlsbad and Angel Fire.
. The harvest only starts when the leaves fall off the pecan trees, making it easier to get to the pecans.
An October forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted New Mexico will produce about 65 million pounds of pecans this season. That's about 10 percent less than last year.
This year is a so-called "off" year for the state's pecan crop, meaning fewer pecans will be produced than a year ago, farmers said. The two-year cycle tends to yield a light crop one year and a heavy crop the next.
New Mexico is one of the largest providers of pecans in the nation. Last year, only Georgia grew more pecans.
This week, the "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" cast and crew, including director Zach Snyder, moved from Chicago to their new filming location in New Mexico, in particular Playas and Deming. It is not yet determined who the characters are that will be appearing in New Mexico, but it is believed to be the last leg of the movie's location shoot, and will only last a short period of time. On Friday, several photos with Cavill and fans were posted and tweeted from a Deming restaurant.