Morning Word: Battle Brewing Over Public Records Access
Udall wants to amend the Keystone XL Pipeline billMorning WordMonday, January 26, 2015
It's Monday, January 26, 2015.
Open government supporters are gearing up to oppose a proposal by New Mexico State University to limit access to public records.
A document prepared by NMSU and obtained by the Journal describes a litany of proposed exemptions to the Inspection of Public Records Act, including some that would make secret much of the public sector hiring process and certain law enforcement activities.
US Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, has offered an amendment to the controversial pipeline bill that would establish a national standard for renewable energy he says would create a quarter million jobs, reduce pollution and save energy consumers billions of dollars.
"The Keystone Pipeline is an investment in doing things the old way — importing foreign oil. Instead of doubling down on foreign oil, we should be talking about how we can move America forward by investing in the homegrown energy of the future. We have the technology and the resources to lead the world in clean energy production and jobs and fight climate change, but our energy policy needs to catch up with the times before China and Germany dominate the market," Udall said.
An analysis done by New Mexico State University and the University of Arizona said the line would create 6,200 jobs during its construction, as well as 36,000 jobs from the construction of new renewable plants in Arizona and New Mexico. In New Mexico, the study said, the project would bring $275 million in estimated wages.
The solar boom has some Eldorado residents bothered. They see photovoltaic panels as eyesores.
The New Mexico Court of Appeals is expected to hear arguments on assisted suicide for terminally ill patients today.
Clifford said Korte’s firing is part of a broader reorganization within the governor’s administration as Martinez moves into her second term, and that the initiative will affect others as well, including Public Education Department spokesman Larry Behrens.Kathy Korte herself was fired by the University of New Mexico herself last year. She’s filed a wrongful termination lawsuit and claims she was fired for her outspoken views.
The voter ID debate has taken a high tech turn. Forget about the cost of photo ids, Senate Minority Whip Bill Payne, R-Bernalillo, wants the state to consider using expensive thumbprint and eye scan technology.
Rep. Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales, D-Taos, said lawmakers will seek state capital outlay funds and federal transportation grants to cover the cost and the administration is coordinating with towns and counties to pursue grants and that the state supports keeping the route.
Attorney General Hector Balderas has requested $18 million in general funding from the New Mexico Legislature. Balderas said he needs some of the money for water battles with Texas.
State District Judge Francis Mathew ordered the department to hold a hearing that would allow Santa Fe-based Easter Seals El Mirador to hear the specific allegations against it for the first time — and give the provider a chance to respond to those claims. The ruling could open the door for other providers affected by the shake-up to do the same, according to the nonprofit’s lawyer.Easter Seals El Mirador CEO Mark Johnson said he’s confident the group will be exonerated.
The University of New Mexico Lobos lost a tough game in Wyoming at the buzzer.