- Milan Simonich looks at how Gov. Susana Martinez accepted she would have to implement the Affordable Care Act, also known was Obamacare.
In early 2013, Martinez said New Mexico would expand Medicaid to cover as many as 170,000 low-income residents.
“The election is over and the Supreme Court has ruled. My job is not to play party politics, but to implement this law in a way that best serves New Mexico,” she said to the state Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats.
- Those on both side of the same-sex marriage debate filed briefs with the state Supreme Court.
- The governor's office released info on out-of-state travel costs.
The lion’s share of the expense — $24,021 of the $27,169 — was for transportation, lodging and food for the governor’s state police security team. Another $2,479 paid for the travel expenses of the governor’s staff who accompanied her to the various out-of-state events. Only $668 was spent on Martinez herself for these 11 trips. Most of her expenses were paid for by her re-election campaign or by organizations who invited her to the various events.
The out-of-state travel during the time period of the records request reflects Martinez’s status as a rising national star in the Republican Party. Her travel this spring included a trip to Rome in March as part of the U.S. delegation to attend the installation of the new pope, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., for the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the invitation of Vice President Joe Biden.
- Will the 2014 elections be boring? Electoral projectors are saying there won't be many competitive races. Susana Martinez is favored to keep the governor's mansion, Tom Udall is favored to keep his spot as New Mexico's senior Senator and all three incumbent Democrats are favored to keep their seats.
- Attorney General Gary King, along with other members of the Conference of Western Attorneys General, wrote a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture asking for the return of some sequestered funds.
The letter, sent to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, protests the withholding of payments to the states under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, Twenty Five Percent Fund Act and Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act. The Federal government is withholding the payments pursuant to sequestration but refuses to explain its authority to do so, according to King.
“New Mexico can ill afford to lose monies that are guaranteed by law,” King said in a statement. “The large areas in our state where national forests and grasslands are located are vital to local economies and withholding these payments is not only inappropriate, but possibly illegal.”
- The Spaceport New Mexico got the OK for a $21 million loan for a visitor's center.
- New Mexico will receive $2 million in federal emergency aid to deal with flooding from the recent storms.
- KOB jumps on the "drought isn't over" train.
“Elephant Butte is so low that the Butte has to come up to 400,000 acre-feet of water before, in the middle Rio Grande, we can start storing water for next year,” said Chris Sichler, a board member of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. Sichler grows chile and other produce on his Snake ranch Farm in San Antonio. “So we’re a long ways from that, from 400,000 acre-feet, so it’s probably going to take two or three years of good snowpacks and rain like we’ve been having.”
- Cochiti Dam helped save communities from being flooded.
- The rains and resulting floods have created muddy oil field roads.
- The state's reliance on federal money is at an all-time high. And the funds are about to go away thanks to the sequester.
- Cattle ranchers are appreciative of the rains.
Abeita said recent rainfall brought roughly 9 inches to the area. He said some of his cattle have actually fattened up, and healthier cows are better for business.
"Right now with everybody selling, we got rain. That's going to bring the cattle market up, so that's going to make it better for us," said Abeita.
- New Mexico Voices for Children has a plan for increasing the well-being of New Mexico children.
- Is there still life in the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project?
In a letter sent this week to Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense, Heinrich suggested that the expertise of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory should be utilized to find a means for the project to proceed.
Heinrich, right, said he hoped that the lab would “examine potential changes to test protocols that would allow DOD to adapt to the presence of a new transmission line.”
- The Lincoln County gross receipts taxes is growing.
"We have two 1/8th (of a cent) GRTs, one for the detention center (in Carrizozo) debt service and the other for indigent health care," she said of the taxes imposed in January 2000 with voter approval. A GRT is levied against sales and some services, exempting cartain foods and medicines.
"We are way up," Robbins said. "The year 2013 is a 3.949 percent increase over the previous year. That's encouraging."
- Gallup liquor sellers haven't voluntarily refrained from selling alcohol from 7:00 am to 11:00 am as city officials hoped.
- The German Air Force will begin its move to Alamogordo from Fort Bliss.
- Upper Fruitland chapter members voted to endorse the Navajo Nation's purchase of a coal mine from an Australian company.
- The Daily Lobo looks at the Park(ing) Day movement.
- Only full-time students will be able to vote on whether or not to build an $8 million football stadium on campus.
- Not one, not two, but THREE. That's how many articles there were in the New York Times on Sunday about New Mexico, per Albuquerque Business First.
- Los Alamos County has the lowest uninsurance rate in the state.
- The Pew Research Center found the number of undocumented immigrants dropped during the recession, but the numbers are edging upwards again.
In all, the analysis from the Pew Research Center estimated that there were 11.7 million immigrants living in the country illegally in March 2012. That was down from an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007, a year before the stock market collapsed, but it represented a slight increase from the estimated 11.3 million in 2009, during the worst year of the recession.
- Farmers near Clovis will try growing canola.
- KOB's Chris Ramirez reflected on his interview with Michael Astorga, the convicted cop-killer who sits on death row. It reminds me of the first post-conviction interview with Astorga four and a half years ago with the Santa Fe Reporter.
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