The Legislative session is just 8 days away. The legislative session will kick off on January 15 with Gov. Susana Martinez's State of the State address kicking off proceedings.
On to the Word.
- Pete Dinelli announced his candidacy for Albuquerque mayor on Sunday.
He is potentially the first of many, as Dan McKay at the Albuquerque Journal laid out.
- Also this weekend, New Mexico In Depth started releasing their first articles. The first article focused on Martinez's first two years in office and the question if her "combativeness" will harm her legacy.
- The second piece look at Martinez's decision on Medicaid expansion which is coming up soon.
The Medicaid-expansion debate has become about economics in New Mexico. Some lawmakers worry about obligating New Mexico to future financial hardships by expanding a health-care program that constantly grows and cost the state $857.3 million last fiscal year. Others question the wisdom of rejecting a program that will infuse billions of federal dollars into New Mexico as well as generate millions in state tax revenues, thousands of new jobs and more insured residents.
- Will Sen. Mary Kay Papen be the next Senate President Pro Tem? It appears she may have the votes, as Milan Simonich outlines. Pete Campos was nominated by the Democratic caucus, but the position is voted on by the entire chamber, not just the majority.
- KUNM received part of the public records requests they were looking for from the Albuquerque Police Department. Which led KUNM to wonder where the rest of the records are.
They are related to complaints against an unnamed Albuquerque police officer.
This partial compliance with KUNM’s IPRA request appears to bring up more questions than it answers. Why, for example, were these ten cases released and not the other twenty plus cases? Do the other files contain more explosive charges or charges that resulted in the officer not being “exonerated”? There also remain the larger questions that originally prompted this story: what is it about this officer's on-the-job behavior that has caused so many citizen complaints? Is it appropriate for the APD to continue to employ an officer who has had so many negative encounters with the public?
- The Santa Fe New Mexican writes about the one-year extension of the wind production tax credit recently passed by Congress and how it will help the wind industry in New Mexico.
- Miguel Garcia will introduce a bill to close the gun show loophole. Here's the Rob Nikolewski coverage of his announcement from Capitol Report New Mexico. And for maximum confusion, coverage from Milan Simonich on the announcement at New Mexico Capitol Report. Steve Terrell has his take.
- Gary Smith is facing legal problems related to tire slashing in Texas because, of course he is.
- Bernalillo County may raise the minimum wage to $8.50 to match the new minimum wage in Albuquerque.
- The Albuquerque Journal looks at the Santa Fe County Courthouse and when it will open. This normally wouldn't be that noteworthy a story -- but Gov. Martinez controversially vetoed the funding for furnishings in the new courthouse. This made many wonder when the oft-delayed courthouse would be occupied.
- Rep. Nate Gentry will introduce legislation to stop "double-dipping" of per diems from the state and from other entities. This comes after th controversial case of Ray Begaye, D-Shiprock, who ended up losing his seat in the state House largely because of the scandal.
- It looks like the New Mexico Compass will be regularly covering the Public Regulation Commission hearings. Here is Margaret Wright's look at the PRC's first meeting of the year.
- The new Sandoval County clerk has some changes from the way her predecessor ran the office. Sally Padilla, the former clerk, was at the center of the controversy over long lines on election day for voters in Rio Rancho.
- Albuquerque Business First reports the state of New Mexico will get $3.3 million in clawbacks from Schott Solar.
- Residents gave up 40 weapons in a voluntary gun disposal program. The Albuquerque Journal reported that there were even some "military-style automatic and semi-automatic rifles" that were turned in.
- Michelle Lujan Grisham was on NPR last week as part of a piece on freshman members of Congress.
- The Albuqeurque Journal looks at the state of the film industry in New Mexico.
- Taos County will look at the mental health parts of its health contract relating to the county jail.
- C-SPAN will be in Santa Fe this week for a series of interviews. The New Mexican:
The broadcast journalists will interview local historians and literary experts for programming that will be shown Feb. 2 and 3 on C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3, the public affairs network’s book and history channels respectively.
The series of interviews start with a kickoff event at 4 p.m.,Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Mayor David Coss, Santa Fe Public Library director Pat Hodapp and historian Jose Garcia are expected to speak.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican editorial board comes out in favor of filibuster reform.
- Susana Martinez nominated students for state regent positions in the state's public universities.
- Farmington's mayor and city councilors say the economy and city budget will be the top issues for the city in 2013.
- The two best industries in eastern New Mexico for job-seekers? Clovis News Journal reports:
Health care is currently eastern New Mexico's hottest industry for training and jobs, according to John Hemphill, manager or Workforce Connection facilities in eastern New Mexico. Renewable energy, wind and solar, is another thriving area for training and jobs.
- As with seemingly everywhere else in the nation, gun sales are up in Rio Rancho following the mass-shooting in a Connecticut elementary school, the Rio Rancho Observer reports.
- Alamogordo may add "In God We Trust" to their logo and display it in city chambers. Artesia recently made similar changes at the behest of In God We Trust America, Inc.
- The Las Cruces Sun-News' building is almost done. The old Sun-News building burned down two years ago.
- Will Spaceport New Mexico become a ghost-town? That's what Edward Wright, chairman of the United States Rocket Academy and project manager of Citizens in Space, wonders. At issue is whether New Mexico's legislature will pass an informed consent law that would largely exempt companies from accidents.
- Yates Petroleum paid $416,000 in a case of underreported royalties on natural gas recovered from federal lands in Wyoming, the Associated Press reports.
- State police will no longer monitor nuclear waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico KOAT reports.
- Dona Ana County commissions will vote on a new leader and "on a much-discussed mock city planned by Pegasus Global Holdings."