Give me Libertarians or give me less government
Or both. But maybe that's too much bureaucracy. Either way, Gary Johnson's performance in the 2016 election means Libertarian candidates have to get just 230 signatures to get on the ballot for statewide office. State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn recently changed his party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian. The party has found candidates to run for Martin Heinrich's US Senate seat and for all three congressional seats, as well as other statewide offices. The secretary of state announced the party's certification yesterday.
Suing the MVD
Must've been super hard to find people to sign up for this lawsuit, eh? It's not a long-lines or lousy-service suit, though. A group of people, including former Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, says the Martinez administration is illegally requiring documentation ($) like Social Security cards for driver's authorization cards. Those are the "second-tier" cards that don't meet REAL ID requirements but would be enough for someone without immigration documentation to drive legally in state. The administration says it's a political stunt.
Police arrest three in teen’s death
Thirteen-year-old Jeremiah Valencia died in November. He was the victim, authorities say, of profound abuse and neglect at his Nambé home. Now they've arrested his mother, Tracy Peña, for his murder. They've also arrested Peña's boyfriend and his son in connection with the murder. More information is expected at a news conference today.
APD officer to be honored at State of the Union
Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets will be a guest tonight at President Trump's first State of the Union speech. Regardless of what you think of the president, Holets deserves attention. He adopted the baby of a woman he found shooting up heroin last year. The little girl was also addicted to opioids.
Like parole, but not
New Mexico has a serious problem with what's euphemistically called "in-house parole." The real deal is it's not releasing hundreds of inmates when they're supposed to get out of jail. Sometimes it's that they can't find proper housing, other times it's an administrative delay, but it's damaging to inmates who have served their time and costs the state more than $10 million a year. It's been an issue at least since the Legislative Finance Committee identified its practice a decade ago and publicized it in a 2012 report.
Speaking of reports, the annual judicial checkup by the Administrative Office of the Courts showed some stunning numbers. Statewide, prosecutors filed 32 percent more homicide cases last year than in 2016. And the number of felony domestic violence cases more than doubled ($). Overall, courts saw a more than 7 percent rise in criminal cases filed last year. With crime a huge political playing card, funding remains a huge issue for every part of the growing court system.
Bill would alert authorities after failed gun buys
An Albuquerque Democrat says there's no good way to track when someone who shouldn't be able to buy a gun attempts to do just that. State Rep. Debra Sariñana has crafted a memorial that would request that the FBI alert law enforcement when that happens. Unlike other bills in this short legislative session, the measure doesn't need approval from the governor, as it's a nonbinding request reflecting the will of the Legislature.
Santa Fe is once again offering a brief period of amnesty for those who have bench warrants—orders authorizing the arrest of someone who was supposed to show up in court—for municipal court. The city's judicial arm has about 3,000 outstanding bench warrants. At least until tomorrow afternoon, you can show up and pay the original fine without additional penalties and without getting arrested on that warrant.
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