--2 Morning Word: National coverage for Dems target on Pearce
         
Dec. 4, 2016
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Morning Word: National coverage for Dems target on Pearce

How ACA changes impact NM and more news from around the state...

November 15, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • The Democrats' top mission in New Mexico is to get Steve Pearce out of office, Roll Call reports.
    Two Democrats are running in the 2nd District: former Eddy County Commissioner Roxanne Lara and attorney Leslie Endean-Singh. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee telegraphed its support for Lara when it named her to the Jumpstart program in early September.

    “Everyone’s thinking in New Mexico that Roxanne gets her name out now and runs again and beats [Pearce] in 2016,” said a New Mexico-based Democratic consultant who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “By 2016 or 2018, this will be a Democratic district.”
    The 2nd Congressional District isn't like the 1st Congressional District when Heather Wilson was eking out tighter and tighter wins -- Pearce has soundly won reelection for numerous cycles and it goes solidly Republican on the presidential and statewide level. So moving it to the Democratic column will be a tough task.
  • KUNM looks at what a revision of the Affordable Care Act means in New Mexico.
    The President announced a policy change, and now individual plans scheduled for cancelation on January 1st because they don’t comply with Affordable Care Act regulations could be extended through 2014. Extending policies, though, is up to the insurance companies. For now, the new rule may have created more questions than answers.

    John Arnold, of the UNM Health Sciences Center, said that the nearly 27,000 low-income New Mexicans who qualify for UNMCare would not benefit from the extension. “We believe all or nearly all of them will qualify for expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act or for one of the health exchange plans,” he said. Arnold broke down the numbers, explaining that about 75 percent of these patients will qualify for healthcare coverage under Medicaid - leaving 25 percent to transition to the health exchange plans.
  • The reversal came too late according to New Mexico insurers.
  • Yes, there will be another fight over third grade retention.
  • Embattled Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz won't talk to KRQE, but he sat down with KOAT.
    Ortiz is under scrutiny for investments he’s made, specifically long-term bonds that have locked up the county’s cash. Officials have said this money is needed to pay county bills and fund county projects.

    "Nothing to worry about unless something falls out of the sky I'm not aware of,” said Ortiz. “Looks like we are going to be in good shape."
  • Here's info on how to help out in the Philippines after the super typhoon that decimated the nation.
  • The Albuquerque Journal looks at how the proposed abortion ban is placing New Mexico at the center of the debate on abortion.
  • An anti-abortion group is alleging their website was hacked so emails intended for the group instead went to their campaign opponents. The opponents denied the allegations and said it was "political theater."
    The Messenger asked to see the inbox for the info@respectabqwomen.org email account. McCoy said “we’re not going to open up our email accounts to perusal, but we could at least do a test, to see if it is actually coming to our email account.”

    McCoy said in an email he had clicked on the email address on the website. “It’s ridiculous that they haven’t changed it back yet. Unless somebody changed their password on the back end of their website, they’re clearly leaving it unchanged for a bit of campaign theatre.”
  • V.B. Price at New Mexico Mercury spoke to ProgressNow New Mexico's Pat Davis. The upcoming abortion vote in Albuquerque was a topic of conversation.
  • Joline Gutierrez Krueger looks at one of the couples that helped blaze the trail for same-sex marriage. One half of the couple recently passed away.
  • There is some fear about what stricter graduation requirements mean for students.
    Another Hobbs High School student, 17-year-old Sergio Torres, testified before the Legislature’s education committee, saying he might not graduate either, even though he had already completed some college-level courses,

    Parks said Sergio was a good and earnest student, but he did not pass a standardized math test, putting his future in doubt. Sergio said he would take the test again rather than quit to pursue a GED.
  • The last original Navajo Code Talker spoke to students at Santa Fe Indian School. I've always loved the story of the Navajo Code Talkers and their contributions to American in World War II.
  • A member of the New Mexico Health Exchange Board wants to keep New Mexicans in the high risk pool there and send the bill to the federal government.
  • Gov. Martinez continues her travels, this time to ARizona
  • The Rio Grande Sun covers teachers' dislike of the new teacher evaluation programs.
    Locally, the Española School District has been having its own problems with the evaluation system. At Española School Board’s Oct. 30 academic and finance work session, District Human Resource Officer Esther Romero said not only had teachers come to her expressing their frustration at the new evaluation system, some have decided to resign.

    “In the last two weeks, I’ve had four teachers come in very upset with this process. And out of the four, two have turned in their resignation or retirement letter,” Romero said.
  • Gov. Susana Martinez proposed a fix to the child abuse law after a recent state Supreme Court decision.
    The governor's target is a ruling by the state Court of Appeals last month that only 10 categories of people, including physicians, nurses and teachers, must contact authorities about suspected child abuse.

    Martinez disagreed with the court's interpretation of the law, and said she'll ask the Legislature to make clear that every person is required to report suspected abuse.
  • Gov. Martinez doesn't think the state should have to pay for upgrades and maintenance of Amtrak tracks in the state.
  • Four Corners officials are looking at a $300 million freight rail project.
    Craven said the rail would likely run from the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry's facility in Thoreau, up the mesa to the NAPI freight terminal and into Farmington. But it's still in its conceptual stages, he said.

    "Ten years minimum before any ground gets broken," he said. "That's the best estimate."
  • The state's lottery fund is in trouble. A sign of the times is that New Mexico State University will fund up to 60 percent of the tuition of lottery scholarship students in the spring.
    "We wanted to ensure students aren't feeling anxiety and weren't facing barriers to enrollment," said Bernadette Montoya, NMSU vice president for student affairs and enrollment. "We want them to enroll."

    Many students are concerned about how they will pay for college if the state decides to fund some or none of their lottery scholarships, she said.
  • Village councilors in Ruidoso are asking how to avoid possible violations of the Open Meetings Act when they attend the same event.
  • A commission is recommending a new court system for tribal entities.
    The commission recommends that tribes, at their sole discretion, be able to “opt out” of this existing scheme, allowing tribes to prosecute and punish offenders, consistent with the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
  • The amount of prosecutions on immigration offenses jumped sharply in New Mexico so far in 2013.
    Reasons for the increase were not immediately clear. Immigration prosecutions across the nation have risen sharply during the Obama administration. But New Mexico had seen declines the previous three years.

    At the current pace, the center projects the district will have prosecuted an estimated 6,544 cases by the end of the federal fiscal year, which ended September 30 — more than at any time since at least 1986, the earliest numbers available. U.S. Justice Department data for September were not yet available.
  • The federal government will foot most of the bill to get the North Central Regional Transit District up to ADA standards.
  • A bill to transfer 5,100 acres from the Bureau of Land Management to the U.S. Army and expand White Sands Missile Range took a step forward.
  • The Capitol Christmas Tree will be in Albuquerque today.
  • Good work by KOB -- which has been doing some good work in general lately -- on identifying the most unvaccinated schools in the state.
    4 On Your Side learned that between 1999 and 2011, the number of vaccine exemptions granted by the department – for personal religious reasons – more than doubled.
  •  

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