The news out of the legislature is finally slowing to a drip... drip... drip...
Now it is just actions on bills by Gov. Susana Martinez and groups asking Martinez to either sign their preferred legislation or veto it. These probably are not going to impact Martinez's decisions all that much.
I have been talking to some of the groups heavily involved in the session. I spoke to Conservation Voters New Mexico
and New Mexico Vote Matters
already -- pieces on interviews with representatives of New Mexico Voices for Children and Think New Mexico are on their way this week as well.
So look forward to those and other pieces looking both back at the legislative session and what is coming up next in New Mexico at NM Telegram.
On to the Word:
- Note: The Albuquerque Journal website was having some trouble, so no Journal stories are in the Word today.
- The New Mexico Finance Authority received some rare good news. The rating service Moody's says it will not downgrade the NMFA over the bizarre fake audit.
- That was quick. After not only getting statewide but nationwide attention (it was at JimRomenesko.com and Gawker), the CNM Chronicle will be allowed to publish again.
- The Santa Fe Reporter has this take.
- VB Price says the whole thing was a fiasco for CNM (this was written before CNM reinstated the CNM Chronicle).
- And the Santa Fe Reporter writes about the complicated same-sex marriage issue.
Yet because King’s opinion isn’t legally binding, little has changed. New Mexico’s laws afford same-sex couples some rights, but with crucial exceptions—such as inheritance, or the right to make a medical decision on behalf of an incapacitated partner or spouse.
“There have been no changes at all as a result of the attorney general’s opinion,” Laura Schauer Ives, the legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, tells SFR.
- The city of Santa Fe introduced its resolution on same-sex marriage that started the media blitz on the issue (this is not, however, associated with the lawsuit that says same-sex marriage should be legal in New Mexico).
- The Department of Workforce Solutions has another black eye -- this time some New Mexico National Guardsmen, back in the state after serving overseas, say they are being stiffed.
Dannenbaum said the problems began 12 weeks ago after he applied for unemployment benefits with the state Department of Workforce Solutions. He and a large number of his fellow Guard members have yet to be paid.
A Workforce Solutions spokesperson told KRQE News 13 it's unclear if the delay is because of a glitch in the department or with a paperwork processing center in Florida.
- Robert Nott writes at the Santa Fe New Mexican that school reform is still a moving target.
- The slow roll of the sequester continues. Now New Mexico will lose $26 million in federal mineral payments, the Department of the Interior announced. Only Wyoming took a bigger hit.
- And the #nmdrought portion of the Word.
The National Weather Service took some pictures of snowpack this year and in the same place last year. And the comparison is... scary. (Via John Fleck)
- Whiile Permian Basin's economy is booming thanks to the oil and gas industry, the same cannot be said of San Juan County. Conoco Phillips has suspending drilling in the San Juan Basin because of the low price of natural gas.
“We thought at this time it would be a good decision to make, and suspend it and watch natural gas prices,” said Jim Lowry, a Houston-based ConocoPhillips spokesman.
He added, “Again, I want to stress the temporary nature of it. We'll restart as soon as possible, and that's heavily dependent on the price of natural gas.”
- An advocacy group protested Steve Pearce's vote on the House budget, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports.
- The Clovis News Journal reports on the cabinet secretary at the New Mexico Tourism Department explaining the "New Mexico True" ad campaign.
- Media news (non-CNM Chronicle edition): The Rio Rancho Observer added a new staff writer "to report on the Sandoval County Commission and health news while also assisting with feature writing and covering breaking news."
- Capitol Report New Mexico reports on the longshot lawsuit calling for a new election in Rio Rancho because of long lines.
- Steve Terrell says the race is on between Sam Bregman and Roxanne Lara for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. I spoke to Bregman yesterday and will speak to Lara today.
- The Ruidoso village manager is a finalist for the city manager job in Alamogordo.
Responding to a request for public records from the Ruidoso News, Alamogordo City Clerk Nancy Jacobs supplied the names of the four applicants being considered out of an initial field of 28. Besides Lee, they are Lewis Kelly Udall, town manager/personnel director for Pinetop-Lakeside, Ariz.; James R. Stahle, town manager for Sahuarita, Ariz.; and David J. Johnson, whose last position was director of administrative services for the Town of Buckeye, Ariz.
- The town of Taos is seeking proposals to re-purpose its convention center.
The Town Council approved a draft RFP at its meeting Tuesday (March 26), with town leaders describing the convention center buildings as expensive and underused.
- A new crime alert -- thieves are targeting custom tailgates in Deming.
- Owners who had their chickens euthanized after being accused of breeding for cockfighting say their rights were violated.
Villa and Salinas, who were cleared last year of cockfighting charges by a jury, detailed their allegations in a March 13 lawsuit filed against Doña Ana County investigators, the state attorney general's office and an animal cruelty task force.
The couple alleged that they and a daughter were "detained without arrest or probable cause" at their home on Koogle Road for hours between the evening of April 4, 2009, and 5 a.m. the next day, according to the complaint.