News waits for no one and now that the black hole that is the legislative session is over, attention will start to turn to other issues.
The postmortems are coming in, with the Monday column from Milan Simonich
on Speaker Ken Martinez's role in the controversial passage of a tax package getting the most attention.
But other news came out as well, namely the opinion of Santa Fe city officials that same-sex marriage is already legal in New Mexico. You can see New Mexico Telegram's report here
But there will be municipal elections throughout the state -- with the Albuquerque mayoral election being the 600 pound gorilla in the room. And then there are people already announcing their intentions for 2014.
And you thought there would be a break after the legislative session.
On to the Word:
- Speaking of the controversial end of the session, you can catch up with the action through what everyone on Twitter was saying.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican spoke to Sen. John Arthur Smith, the architect of the deal.
Rep. Stephen Easley, a freshman Democrat from Santa Fe who voted against the bill, said the last 60 minutes soured what had been a collegial and respectful 60-day session. “It was a good session, everyone was treated fairly by the speaker until the last 30 seconds, when the fix was in,” he said. “There was no debate, no discussion on this bill. That was unfortunate.”
But Smith said that is the nature of the Legislature: “I don’t know of any other way to do it when we’re running out of time.”
- Democratic Party of New Mexico chairman Javier Gonzales responded to the aforementioned Simonich column.
- On the same-sex marriage issue, NBC News:
The marriage statute, which does not specify gender, is “sufficiently vague” on the issue, said Phil Sisneros, a spokesman for New Mexico’s attorney general.NBC notes that New Mexico is one of just two states that neither explicitly allow or disallow same-sex marriage in statute.
- Businesses loved the end of the session, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
- The Santa Fe Reporter looks at concealed weapons information.
Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous, had 7,777 permits—the highest total number, but below average in terms of the ratio of permits per 100 people, which averages 1.65 statewide. Santa Fe County had 1,501 permits, the fifth-most total, and averaged roughly one permit per 100 people. In general, the ratio of concealed-carry permits per 100 people was higher in the southern and eastern portions of the state, and lower in the northern and western parts.
- Dona Ana County will consider some tax increases to pay for 911 and crisis triage centers.
The County Commission on Tuesday unanimously OK'd the first step on the proposed sales tax increase by authorizing the advertisement of a formal hearing. A 1/4 of 1 percent sales tax hike, or an extra 25-cent tax on a $100 purchase, is being proposed.
A second proposal seeks to renew a set of bonds that could pay for construction of a new countywide 911 call center, said County Finance Director Bill Noland. If placed before voters and OK'd, that measure would hold property tax rates steady, he said.
- Gov. Susana Martinez attended the inauguration of Pope Francis I as part of the United States delegation. The delegation was led by Vice President Joe Biden.
- Beacuse of Martinez being out of state and Lt. Gov. John Sanchez headed to Washington D.C. to attend a National Lieutenant Governors Association meeting, Secretary of State Dianna Duran is the acting governor. There is a weird quirk in the state Constitution, outdated now, that says the acting governor must be in the state's borders.
This isn't Duran's first time as acting governor; she served as governor in August when both Martinez and Sanchez were at the Republican National Convention in Florida. Duran wiil not sign any bills while governor, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
- Albuquerque Mayoral candidate Pete Dinelli announced a whole slew of endorsements from Democrats around the state.
- Five attorney generals from western states met with New Mexico's new Attorney General in Mexico City. Attorney General Gary King was included.
- Green jobs are growing in New Mexico and around the nation, Albuquerque Business First reports, citing U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
New Mexico boosted its number of green jobs in 2011 by 1,453 to 24,337. Green jobs represent 3.1 percent of all jobs in the state.
- Two of the lesser-known bills that were casualties of the session included a bill related to treating PTSD in veterans and one allowing some 17-year olds to vote in primaries.
- The $10.3 million verdict in a wrongful shooting case involving Albuquerque Police Department won't add to Albuquerque residents' taxes the Albuquerque Journal reports; instead, insurance will pay it out.
- The city of Alamogordo violated water standards for not testing for lead or copper in both 2007 and 2010.
- The CNM Chronicle won an award, the Weekly Alibi reports.
We here at The Weekly Alibi would like to extend a congratulatory hand to The CNM Chronicle for taking third place in the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) 2013 International Best in Show Competition at the Midwinter Conference in San Francisco, which went from Feb. 27 to March 3.
- The Clovis News Journal reports on education funding increases after this year's session.
- Probate Judge Joe Horace Lucero in San Miguel County resigned his post.
Montoya said Lucero cited no specific reason for his decision in his resignation letter.
The abrupt resignation comes in the middle of Lucero’s second consecutive term as the probate judge. Such a resignation from a judge is sometimes a signal that a judge has gotten into trouble with the Judicial Standards Commission, but the state Supreme Court had taken no disciplinary action against Lucero as of Monday afternoon.
- The Taos News reports that the county will bill a former commissioner for a class he took.
At a meeting Tuesday (March 19), county manager Stephen Archuleta said the county recently received a $765 bill for jail classes attended by Jaramillo in September 2012, three months before he was set to leave office. The New Mexico Association of Counties offers a scholarship to pay for jail employees to attended the training, but email correspondence states that as a county commissioner, Jaramillo's class costs would not be covered by the association.
- The Los Alamos Daily Post says the Los Alamos City Council wants more study on a community broadband project.
- The Ruidoso News reports on a park ranger saying they won't just "Let it burn" as an Associated Press article claimed. The park ranger referred to it as "sensationalism."
- Thom Cole spoke to Daniel Tanaka, the former state securities director, about the fake New Mexico Finance Authority audit. Tanaka maintains he did nothing wrong.
- A Municipal judge in Taos dismissed charges over a protester's signs being removed from the side of a road.
- Sure, 2016 is a long way off. But its never too early for people to float names of presidential candidates; Fox News host Greta van Sustren thinks that Gov. Martinez would make a fine choice.
- The movie "Enemy Way" has an open casting call in Deming.
- The Associated Press reports on a something called "March Madness" enveloping the state from Albuquerque to Las Cruces and everything in between.