Well, the budget process certainly got more interesting.
The House voted to concur with changes that the Senate made
. And small (relatively) monetary changes have cause a hang-up.
The governor says she will veto the budget
. Martinez cites many things, but the main issue is $3 million out of the nearly $5.9 billion budget.
It relates to education and merit pay, a key policy difference between Republicans and Democrats. The Senate took out the merit pay funding and changed it to a stipend for teachers from high performing schools to go to lower-performing schools.
And now a special session looms.
On to the Word:
- The March 14 edition of the Santa Fe New Mexican Legislative Roundup is online.
- Late in the night on Wednesday, the Senate quickly approved a concurrent resolution that seeks to shield their emails from the Inspection of Public Records Act. Only Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, voted against the bill.
- That one percent increase in state workers pay? It doesn't go all that far after an increase in pension contirbutions, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
“SB 27 [which passed Wednesday] now has current language that increases state employees’ contribution to PERA another [1.5 percent],” while reducing the state’s contribution increase to 0.4 percent. “This will be another pay cut for state employees, for the sixth year in a row,” said Singdahlsen, who earns $46,700 a year as a metals worker for the Department of Cultural Affairs.
- Time is running out on the background check bill for gun purchases at gun shows.
- The Albuquerque city council president says it is time for the Albuquerque Police Department to have a new chief in light of the Department of Justice investigation.
- And the Albuquerque Journal's take.
- Sen. Bill Soules, D-Las Cruces, will oppose Hanna Skandera's nomination as Public Education Department secretary.
- Albuquerque Business First says some businesses are unhappy about a bill that would increase penalties for copper thief failing in a committee.
- Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a bill that would have put a $5 fee on handicapped placards.
- The Santa Fe Reporter got a strange reply to an IPRA request of Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants, and Minority Leader Don Bratton, R-Hobbs, getting only five emails and having three rejected as exempt.
Earlier that same day, Martinez told the House Rules & Order of Business Committee “there are times when I’ll get a thousand emails a day.” On March 10, during a House debate on HCR 1, Bratton said he has received “hundreds, if not thousands, [of emails] in a 24 to 48 hour period.”
- New Mexico Capitol Report reports on Gov. Susana Martinez signing a bill that would provide funding for protective vests for police dogs.
- The Rio Rancho Observer reports on the lawsuit filed by some Republicans who lost election in Rio Rancho over hte long lines voters had to stand in to cast ballots. Republican lawyer Pat Rogers is involved.
- U.S. Sen Tom Udall is urging caution on a proposal to send nuclear waste from Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, NM.
- New Mexico Compass finds some people willing to talk about the minimum wage in Albuquerque and the results are mixed.
- Saying some books related to Hispanic (or Latino or Chicano depending on your preferences) are banned is a controversial topic. In New Mexico, a memorial by Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, sought to honor some of those banned books. El Grito has their take (the memorial passed in the House Education Committee after their post was made).
- San Juan County wants to restructure the way it collects gross receipts funds, the Farmington Daily-Times reports.
County Commissioners voted on Wednesday to amend an existing ordinance and create a new ordinance that will redirect about $2.3 million of gross receipts taxes from San Juan Regional Medical Center to the county's general fund.
The final vote to implement the ordinances will be on March 29 and the ordinances would go into effect July 1, according to county documents.
- Sen. Lisa Torraco, R-Albuquerque, is a fan of No Labels, Steve Terrell writes.
- The TV show Longmire got picked up for a second season and will be filming in New Mexico again.
- Ruidoso Municipal School District will have to pay a $1.3 million tab 15 months earlier than they thought according dto the Ruidoso News.
- The Attorney General is looking at the investigation of the death of a prominent civil rights attorney.
- The Santa Fe Reporter reviewed the Roundhouse cafeteria, with a shout out to Steve Terrell of the New Mexican. Oh, I was in there too.
- On the plan for Los Alamos to have city-wide broadband, from the Los Alamos Monitor:
The Los Alamos County Council spent two-and-a-half hours questioning Project Manager Estevan Gonzales, Information Management Manager Laura Gonzales and Broadband Planning Group President Tobey Johnson about their recommendations for a business plan to finance and build a Community Broadband Network.