- Gov. Susana Martinez released her budget proposal.
- Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, and Majority Whip Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, responded to Martinez's budget proposal. Sanchez, who has feuded with Martinez in the past and has been said to be considering a run for governor, was more combative in his statement.
“The Governor has proposed spending approximately $80 million less than LFC’s recommendations,” said Senate Majority Floor Leader Michael Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo &Valencia). “That amount can go a long way to increase teacher and state employee salaries that have been flat since 2008. The money could also help continue to bolster the lottery scholarship program and much needed expansion of early childhood programs. These are all education-related, which is the foundation for economic development.”
- Teachers unions don't like how K-12 funding is being spent in Martinez's budget.
Martinez's budget plan calls for $12 million less in "above the line" spending than Richardson's 2008 budget did.The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is continuing their push against Rep. Steve Pearce. The Morning Word was told the DCCC is launching a web ad called "Faces of the Repeal." The push, which is against other candidates as well as Pearce, is designed to push positive stories of the Affordable Care Act.
However, Martinez's budget calls for about $75 million more in "below the line" spending than Richardson's did, dedicated to things like merit pay for teachers and principals, and a program that trains reading coaches.
“Millions of Americans are beginning the New Year with new and better health plans because of the Affordable Care Act – plans that Congressman Pearce is fighting tooth and nail to take away. For every statistic, there are millions of seniors who are saving thousands on prescription drugs, countless Americans who won't face bankruptcy because of health care, and millions of sick kids who are guaranteed coverage – and those are the people who Congressman Pearce is hurting with his obsessive repeal efforts,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
- Martinez will not put her political might behind a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state. Martinez has said in the past that she opposes same-sex marriage but thinks it should be up to the voters.
"I think what I said before was that yes, the people should have decided on it, but the Supreme Court has decided. And it's now the law of the land."
Asked if that meant she wouldn't push for the Legislature to pass a measure like Sen. Bill Sharer's Senate Joint Resolution 6, Martinez said, "It's the law of the land. The Supreme Court has spoken."
- Questions are coming because an understaffed Children, Youth and Families Department returned $6 million to the state general fund. The questions come after the death of a nine-year old boy at the hands of his mom despite the child frequently saying he was abused.
- And from KOAT:
Gov. Susana Martinez is pushing for laws that would allow the Children, Youth and Families Department to remove a child from a home and conduct follow-up investigations after an abuse case in closed. [...] [State Sen. Linda] Lopez says she wants CYFD to have more oversight. She’s backing legislation that would require social workers to report to a legislative committee, telling them about their case load and highlighting potential staffing problems.Lopez, a Democrat from Albuquerque, is running for governor.
- Former state Sen. Lynda Lovejoy announced she will launch a campaign to be a PRC commissioner later this week.
- Tularosa and Cloudcroft want capital outlay funding for water projects.
The search for water and the need to improve aging infrastructure are top priorities of three Otero County communities as officials sought state funding during the annual Otero County Legislative Capital Outlay Hearing on Friday at the county administration building.
State Reps. Yvette Herrell, William Gray and Zach Cook, and state Sen. Bill Burt, heard several priority projects in need of state funding from Cloudcroft, La Luz and Tularosa. State Sens. Ron Griggs and Cliff Pirtle, and state Rep. Nate Cote, were not present at the meeting.
- State Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Texico, wants to close what he calls a workers' compensation loophole that allows those injured on the job while drunk or high to get workers compensation benefits.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican has a report on the first mayoral forum between Santa Fe mayoral candidates Patti Bushee and Javier Gonzales. Not attending? Candidate Bill Dimas...
- Bill Dimas' boycott of all debates looks familiar to the Santa Fe Reporter.
If the strategy sounds familiar, it's because state Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, used it successfully in his 2012 bid for the state legislature. At the time, Trujillo portrayed himself as an outsider running against the "machine" politics of his opponent and Santa Fe Mayor David Coss.
- Both U.S. Senators from New Mexico voted to confirm Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve.
"Dr. Yellen has demonstrated good judgment and a keen understanding of conditions affecting the economy during her previous service at the Federal Reserve. She has also shown an understanding that the Fed's decisions can and do affect families struggling to get by in an economy where wages are too low and unemployment is too high. I am confident these traits will serve the country well and that her leadership will help drive policy decisions to boost our economy and put Americans back to work."Udall:
“Today’s vote was a historic moment for the Federal Reserve and for our nation. I look forward to seeing Dr. Yellen become the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve Board. As Vice Chair of the Fed, Dr. Yellen has proven herself to be a thoughtful and extremely effective leader. I look forward to her experienced hand and strong voice for working families as she takes its helm.
“I am also pleased that our efforts to reform Senate rules allowed a swift up-or-down vote on Dr. Yellen. The Senate is now able to do its job with respect to nominees without the partisan gridlock and obstruction that have become the norm in the Senate.”
- Owners of a horse slaughter plant in Roswell plan to sue the Attorney General for, among other things, slander.
Dunn has also accused King’s spokesman, Phil Sisneros, of making defamatory statements about him and questioning his legal capabilities.
Sisneros said King’s office has “taken a very strong stance against horse slaughter in New Mexico. From what I understand, it appears that this lawsuit is just an attempt to intimidate our office from proceeding with the lawsuit that we have filed to protect New Mexico’s interest.”
- There will be a legislative preview in Los Alamos by the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos and the American Association of University Women. Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and Senators Carlos Cisneros and Richard Martinez are scheduled to attend.
- Bernalillo County commissioners may put $1 million towards Innovate ABQ.
- The Albuquerque city council voted to ban electronic cigarette sales to minors.
- The Rio Grande is at a lower level than normal for this year and the outlook for snow the rest of the winter doesn't look good.
- State Fair revenues were down 9 percent this year, but the State Fair is still running a profit.
- A former gun shop owner from Chaparral is out of jail after successfully challenging the sentencing guidelines that he was charged under. He is also challenging smuggling charges.
Garland, who was released Dec. 13, alleged in a motion he filed with the court that a bigger issue is looming in the background, and that the U.S. Supreme Court could influence the legal definition of "straw purchases" and "straw purchasers."
"At issue before the U.S. Supreme Court," according to a Jan. 3, 2014, article in the New York Law Journal titled "AG joins Amici opposing 'straw purchase' of guns," "is whether a gun buyer's intent to sell a firearm to someone else constitutes a material fact under the firearm disclosure statute, and whether a federally licensed dealer is required to maintain information on a purchaser's intent to sell a gun to another individual."
- The city of Sunland Park, the site of much controversy over recent years, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
- A new TV show ("Killer Women" on ABC) debuts tonight. What makes it notable for New Mexicans is that it was filmed in New Mexico.