--2 Morning Word: Preview of same-sex marriage case in front of state Supreme Court
Oct. 22, 2016
Marriage in Progress
Enrique Limón

Morning Word: Preview of same-sex marriage case in front of state Supreme Court

Health exchange cost balloons and more news from around the state...

October 22, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • Advocates for same-sex marriage previewed Wednesday's oral arguments.
  • The Albuquerque Journal:
    Meanwhile, an attorney for GOP legislators who have filed lawsuits against county clerks voluntarily issuing same-sex marriage licenses, said the equal rights language was not intended to lead to gay marriage being sanctioned.

    Albuquerque attorney Paul Becht also predicted the state’s highest court will not rush to a decision in the case.
  • Health exchange board members are shocked at a charge that is three times what was originally budgeted.
    Board members were originally told that it would cost around $10 million for Deloitte LLP to connect the individual side of the NMHIX to the federal insurance hub that will eventually determine whether individuals qualify for Medicaid or for government premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

    But during an Oct. 18 meeting in Albuquerque, board members were told that the job could cost up to $30 million.
  • There won't be a polling location at the University of New Mexico for the November 19 20-week abortion ban election. The vote in the Albuquerque city council fell along party lines -- with five Republicans voting against and the three Democrats voting for it. One Republican was absent.
    It was a tense debate, and City Clerk Amy Bailey resisted the idea of adding a location. She said she couldn’t guarantee she’d find space on campus so close to Election Day and that she needed to focus her energy on running the rest of the election, which begins this week.
  • The Center for Civic Policy is airing radio ads and sending direct mail to voters in Sen. John Arthur Smith and Sen. John Sapien's districts on early childhood education funding -- particularly an attempt to tap the Land Grant Permanent Fund to fund early childhood education initiatives.
  • NM Capitol Report covered the ads as well and said that Sapien was blindsided.
    Sapien, right, said no one from the Center on Civic Policy had ever attempted to have a dialogue with him on the early childhood initiative.

    "I'm really dumbfounded that they would take out after me in a negative-spirited campaign," Sapien said in an interview.
  • Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry will give his State of the City address at a real estate industry meeting.
  • The Las Cruces Tea Party will be holding a municipal candidate forum.
  • Sen. Tom Udall wants more natural gas exports.
    "It's a big opportunity for us to be able to export natural gas," said Udall, D-N.M., at WPX Energy on Monday. "There are a lot of applications that are pending, and we urged (U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz) to look at them and move those along."

    Udall was part of a bipartisan group of senators this summer that urged Moniz to approve those trade agreements. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has also voiced support for a quicker process to export natural gas.
  • The man who runs a controversial youth ranch spoke out on the Today show.
    Lauer asked if parents knew and understood that restraints were part of the program.

    "Well if your child is possibly incarcerated already, typically, and they sign agreements. They know. We have CYFD signed agreements knowing that we do such things," Chandler said.
  • V.B. Price went down a YouTube rabbit hole from the Albuquerque mayoral debate to a TEDxABQ presentation.
    I’d really never heard of Goodman before, except in the context of remaking the old Hilton Hotel downtown into Hotel Andaluz and working to redevelop the long abandoned Winrock Mall to be a showcase for contemporary sustainable design. I’m always suspicious of the idea of “sustainability” because it generally means, in my mind, sustaining what already doesn’t work.

    But after listening to Goodman’s TED talk I’m suddenly energized in a way I haven’t been in long while. He advocates for a focused New Mexico and Albuquerque “big idea,” one major focus that has many variables. And he picked “natural resource management.” That doesn’t sound very exciting on the surface of it, but when you think a little further it is the right idea for our state and our times. Many of us have thought so, but not with Goodman’s eloquence.
  • Former congressional candidate Gary Smith will defend himself from charges of slashing the tires of a political opponent after he had a falling out with his public defender.
    On Monday morning, Smith told Second Judicial Court Judge Stan Whitaker that he’s being forced to represent himself because his court-appointed Public Defender Cynthia Leos won’t file legal motions on his behalf.

    But Leos disagrees with her client’s assertions. She says he wants her to file motions that are not ethically permitted under judicial rules of evidence and procedure, including a motion ordering the victims to answer written questions. The relationship, Leos told the judge, has been deteriorating for months and “has no chance of coming back.”
  • The city of Alamogordo is dropping some requirements for a housing authority board after the city couldn't find anyone to fill two of the positions.
    The original ordinance, passed in April, required the five member board to have two members with expertise in the field -- one with experience residential construction or real estate sales and management and the other person a employee of a local lending institution.

    So far, the city has been unable to find two members who meet these qualifications.
  • A "rogue bank account" of the Student Bar Association at UNM paid for tabs at bars and visits to nail salons.
    UNM’s Police Department is aware of the ongoing audit “and will review the findings to determine if further action should be taken,” according to the statement. Also, as required by law and university policy, UNM has notified State Auditor Hector Balderas of a possible misuse of funds and will send the results of its investigation to his office when it is completed.
  • John Fleck takes Congress to task for not working through a budget and appropriations process.
  • Eddy County reversed the shutdown of the Malaga Volunteer Fire Department.
    Commissioner Tony Hernandez, who lives in Malaga, said the appointment of an interim fire chief will ensure fire and emergency service coverage in the Malaga Fire District until an election by the department's membership can be scheduled to elect a fire chief and secretary as required by state law.

    "We have some firefighters who have expressed wanting to stay on the job and some new people interested in joining the department," Hernandez said.
  • It isn't clear whether the school board in Portales will seek to help finance one-eighth of the Eastern New Mexico University stadium construction cost with a bond election.
  • The city of Albuquerque is looking for a vendor for free high speed wireless on Central Avenue.
  • A beer festival in Las Cruces will be able to go forward despite concerns from a local church.
    St. Paul's United Methodist Church is 62 feet from the event's planned location, a parking lot at the northwest corner of Griggs Avenue and Water Street, according to city documents. Also, Central Elementary School is 28 feet from the city-owned lot. Because the event would be on a Saturday, regular classes won't be in session that day.

    Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima told the council he'd received a letter from St. Paul's United Methodist Church objecting to holding the event across the street from its church building. He said the church indicated it thought there were other venues that could be used.
    The city council voted to provide a waiver to an ordinance that bans liquor sales within 300 feet of a church.
  • Vernon's Hidden Steakhouse will keep the headstone of a character on Breaking Bad. For some reason, organizers of the mock funeral thought it was a good idea to have the headstone at an actual cemetery.
  • Geoff Grammer will once again be a voter for the Associated Press men's basketball poll. Here's his first ballot. Go yell at him.

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