Morning Word: Same-sex marriage spreads across the state

And the rest of New Mexico's news

  • One day, same-sex marriage won't be the top news story of the day. Today is not that day.

  • --- Hundreds showed up to Civic Plaza in Albuquerque
  • to see a dozen same-sex couples marry
  • . They were just a fraction of the more-than 100 same-sex couples that received same-sex marriage licenses on Tuesday.
  • Meanwhile, three more counties
  • announced they would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples
  • . They are Taos, San Miguel and Valencia counties.
  • The Las Vegas Optic has
  • the local take on the San Miguel County Clerk issuing same-sex marriage licenses
  • .
  • She said she made the decision after consulting with County Attorney Jesus Lopez and the county clerk’s affiliate in New Mexico. Rivera, a Democrat, said she had wanted to issue the license for a long time but waited because of the murky legal issues involved.
  • The Lincoln County Clerk
  • won't issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
  • .
  • "It's unfortunately that county clerks have been put in the position of ruling on an issue that should be decided by a court, by the Legislature or by the vote of the people," [Lincoln County Clerk Rhonda Burrows] said Tuesday. "But unless and until we have a (state) Supreme Court ruling or a specific case is decided in Lincoln County, we will continue under the current position of not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples."
  • The Eddy County Clerk
  • could not be reached by the Carlsbad Current-Argus
  • for comment. A couple from Eddy County traveled to Dona Ana County to get their marriage certificate.
  • San Juan County
  • also will not be issuing same-sex marriage licenses without a court order
  • .
  • The Roosevelt County clerk
  • also says no
  • .
  • She added the person who called her said the county was liable to be sued if it didn’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    “It feels like a threat to me,” Carpenter said.
  • New Mexico Compass
  • has photos of the first same-sex couples to get marriage licenses
  • . At NM Telegram, we had
  • photos of the mass-same-sex marriage
  • .
  • Steve Terrell reports
  • same-sex marriage likely won't have much to do with statewide races in 2014
  • .
  • “I think both sides really want the courts to settle it,” Atkeson said Monday.

    Sanderoff noted that neither King nor Gov. Susana Martinez has been “leading the charge” in the gay marriage battle. The issue, he said, is a double-edged sword.

    He noted that Martinez repeatedly has said she is opposed to gay marriage, but that she wants voters to decide the issue. The governor rarely, if ever, talks about the issue and has refrained from making antagonistic comments about same-sex unions.
  • New Mexico In Depth and the Las Cruces Sun-News
  • are suing for the release of the behavioral health audit
  • .
  • The news organizations contend the law enforcement exemption doesn’t apply in this case in spite of the fact that the attorney general is investigating the audit’s findings. State agencies have released the audit’s executive summary and background, understanding and methods sections, but not the meat of the audit that details specific findings for each of the 15 providers.
  • The Human Services Department, unsurprisingly, did not respond to a request to comment.
  • KUNM looks at
  • the changes in one of the behavioral health nonprofits
  • .
  • Only three of 12 counselors remain to provide services to patients experiencing mental health issues like schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse. To say there has been disruption in this Los Lunas community is an understatement.

    “Anyone who says there hasn’t been disruption is naïve," said Valle del Sol’s Chief Executive Officer Kurt Sheppard.
  • The ballot initiative on an abortion ban
  • will likely go on Albuquerque's special election ballot
  • .
  • The Taos School Board
  • supports suing the state for inadequate funding of public schools
  • .
  • The next state budget
  • will have room for increases in state worker pay
  • , Thomas Cole says in the Albuquerque Journal.
  • State spending is up for the first time in four years, and the staff of the Legislative Finance Committee has estimated agencies will have about $139 million to spend on pay raises, new hires or some combination in the new budget year.

    In a letter to Martinez, state Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela, chairman of the LFC, urged the governor to consider an additional 1 percent to 2 percent pay increase for executive agency employees. The 1 percent pay hike last month cost $32.2 million this budget year.
  • Santa Fe's city council
  • passed a ban on plastic bags
  • -- with some exceptions.
  • The New York Times is the latest national news organization
  • to write about Steve Pearce's ability to win in a Hispanic-heavy district
  • despite being a Republican.
  • “One side says everybody just gets citizenship, the other side says deport them or put them in jail, whatever. And I’m saying there is another alternative that would allow families to stay together, that would allow people to work, that just would not make them citizens,” Mr. Pearce said last week in response to a question at a town hall-style meeting in Deming. “Because that makes me very nervous as a policy.”

    Later in the evening, he added: “I think that the plan I’m suggesting is the compromise plan. It’s somewhere out between kick them out and give them full citizenship.”
  • PRC commissioners
  • Ben Hall and Patrick Lyons both said they would run for reelection
  • at a Republican gathering in Otero County.
  • The oil boom in southeastern New Mexico
  • is projected to continue
  • .
  • The Santa Fe Reporter
  • looks at same-sex marriage in Santa Fe County
  • .
  • The Dona Ana County Commission
  • backed county clerk Lynn Ellins' decisiont o issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
  • in a symbolic vote.
  • Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela
  • wants to get rid of the gross receipts tax in favor of a state sales tax
  • .
  • The New Mexico Water Permanent Trust Fund
  • looks to be running out of money
  • .
  • Created in 2003, the Water Trust Permanent Fund began disbursing money in 2006 and has $46.1 million in its account. But the Legislature takes out $4 million each year, which exceeds the amount the fund returns in investments.

    Bauer presented the SIC board members with charts showing that under a less than superior financial scenario the fund would run out of money in six to 20 years.
  • The Santa Fe New Mexican
  • reports on how proposed copper mining rules could give those mines free rein to pollute water
  • .
  • The proposed new rule would let copper mine operations contaminate groundwater without variances, as long as the contamination was contained and fully removed up to state standards before the mine closed. Specifically, the change would allow Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold to contaminate groundwater beneath any of its Southern New Mexico mining properties, as long as it followed the containment and cleanup regulations.
  • The Santa Fe Reporter looks at
  • Stephen Easley and his recent death
  • . One big question is who will replace him.
  • House District 50 is both politically and geographically all over the map. Santa Fe County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Ellenberg calls it “very schizophrenic.” Both the Valencia and Torrance commissions are dominated by Republicans, while Santa Fe and Bernalillo commissions are majority Democrat.
  • The Cibola County Manager
  • wants an audit and investigation into the Cibola County Assessor's office
  • .
  • According to a letter provided late yesterday afternoon, County Manager Scott Vinson is requesting that the Director of the State’s Property Tax Division perform an audit and investigation on the County Assessor’s office because of some recent allegations.

    The letter from Vinson states, “I have been made aware in recent months that the Cibola County Assessor, Pablo Savedra, has attempted to force and or coerce his employees to make adjustments to particular tax payers that have close political or personal ties to Mr. Savedra.”
  • The Weekly Alibi
  • looks at the controversy over relocating probation offices in Albuquerque
  • . It is expected to be moved near Warehouse 508, a youth arts and entertainment facility.
  • “I can't say all criminals or all the sex offenders, but it is just a handful of those people that could cause major issues for the young people that come down to First Street,” said Andy Braman, executive director of New Mexico Extreme Sports, the company the City contracts to run Warehouse 508.
  • A former Santa Fe County Public Works director
  • pleaded guilty to bribes involving a paving company
  • .
  • Rep. Ben Ray Lujan
  • held a video forum to address hunger and poverty
  • .
  • Milan Simonich says
  • New Mexico loves the imagery or wolves
  • but is indifferent to the animal itself.
  • The $20 million bond for the Central Consolidated School District
  • passed
  • .
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