- Former Public Regulation Commissioner Jason Marks suspended his campaign for Attorney General.
- A federal judge ruled against restoring funds to mental health providers.
- A deal has been reached in allowing the state Auditor to have access to the behavioral health audit.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Al Lama said Thursday a state district judge in Santa Fe has been asked to issue an order making clear the audit report will be protected from public disclosure once it's provided to Balderas.
- According to the Attorney General, the Human Services Department Secretary has the power over Medicaid payments -- and so the behavioral health payments that were recently suspended.
“The ACA made a significant change in how Medicaid fraud is investigated,” Al Lama of the Attorney General’s Office told members of the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday. “The attorney general’s office cannot advise the (Human Services Department) … because that’s not authorized by federal law … We don’t carry the same sort of discretion to make determinations … That rests with the agency director.”
- The Taos News reports on a Taos nonprofits that could face takeover because their funding was cut off. But even more interesting was a look at an Arizona provider that is taking over the work New Mexico providers have had to stop because of the funding suspension.
- Congressman Steve PEarce was harshly critical of Rep. Steve King's remarks on immigrants.
- Anti-abortion activists collected 27,000 signatures to put a late-term abortion ban on the Albuquerque ballot. While it likely would be struck down since it would be different from state law, it could give a boost in turnout to mayor Richard Berry.
- Gross receipts tax collections were up for the third consecutive month in May, according to the city.
- The Drought and Fire Digest:
The Santa Fe Reporter has time lapse videos of the drying Rio Grande.
The city of Santa Fe is hoping to help conserve Colorado River water.
“Water demand exceeds the supply,” Santa Fe Mayor David Coss said Thursday as he announced the city’s intention to join with other municipalities in seeking specific actions to help the Colorado River.An official outlined an interim pipeline plan in Eastern New Mexico.
The San Juan-Chama Project, which delivers water from a Colorado River tributary to the Rio Grande, provides almost half the drinking water for Santa Fe residents through the Buckman Direct Diversion project. As water flows in the San Juan and Rio Grande shrink, there’s the potential for Santa Fe to lose the river as a source of water. The city water system has municipal reservoirs and wells supplying water as well, but those resources also will be affected by an ongoing drought.
Under the plan, the water authority would construct of an interim pipeline, which will run from northern Curry County, west of Cannon Air Force Base, and toward Portales and Elida, with water purchased from private landowners. Called Phase 2, the interim pipeline would be complete in 10 years, officials said.
Van Gulick likened the interim pipeline to a diversified water portfolio, giving communities more than one source of water.
- Santa Fe mayor David Coss fears that climate change could cause an economic disaster in the state capital.
Cross [sic] spoke during a stop in Santa Fe of the “I Will Act on Climate” bus. The 27-state bus tour is organized by several environmental and health groups, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
“We have a moral obligation to the future to leave them a healthier planet, just like our parents and grandparents handed us a better planet. We need to be responsible stewards for where we live,” Coss said, according to the Journal.
- Wildfires may contribute to global warming according to research out of Los Alamos National Labs.
- An internal complaint against the Planning and Zoning Director Russell Naranjo was dropped after a city investigation.
- The Albuquerque Journal got the letter that confirmed an investigation into Gov. Bill Richardson as recently as last summer. The Santa Fe Reporter first broke the story earlier this week.
- The clerk of the city of Rio Rancho will issue free voter ID cards. However, voter ID cards are not the only ID that can be used for the August 20 special election.
Voters will need to present two identification documents that show name and address such as: a state-issued ID card, Social Security Card, student ID card, utility bill, bank statement or a paycheck.
- Fifth graders at Mescalero Schools are asking the president's daughters to save Otero Mesa and not allow drilling there.
"My fifth-grade class first became aware of Otero Mesa through Styve Homnick (founder and director of Citizens for Otero Mesa). He was a weekly visitor to our class and spoke about his 'New York' culture, as well as introducing Otero Mesa," said Mescalero Schools teacher Wendolyn Murphy. "None of the students were aware of the mesa or the significance of it and how it relates to their culture. With some brainstorming, the students decided to write a letter to Sasha and Malia Obama. They thought they could connect with the young ladies due to their age and possibly interest them in the Apache culture.
- V.B. Price at New Mexico Mercury spoke to political scientist Richard Fox about poverty in New Mexico. This is part of the site's Insight New Mexico series.
- The chair of Luna Community College says he can't be removed from that position.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican editorial board says its a good idea to stop the practice of letting PACs pay for special elections.
- In the latest shooting by Albuquerque Police Department officers, the family of the man who was killed wants answers after they learned the man was shot nine times.
- Albuquerque's police chief isn't the only police chief that's undergoing scrutiny.
Ruidoso Downs councilors have placed Police Chief Doug Babcock on probation following a preliminary vote of "no confidence" from four out of five officers in his department.
- The Navajo Nation will take over a detox center in Gallup.
- According to an online poll by USA Today, green chile sauce is the best regional food.
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