Judge decides SFR vs. Gov case
Gov. Susana Martinez acted within her rights in limiting access to government for news organizations she doesn't like. Of course, we're talking about the good ol' Santa Fe Reporter here. We sued the governor in 2013, claiming she violated public records law and the Constitution by discriminating against the newspaper for its critical coverage of her. Judge Sarah Singleton handed down her ruling yesterday, saying the governor and her staff did indeed break the law in three public records requests. But picking and choosing which news outlets to give access to is a perk of the office.
Workplace face punch
After being accused of punching a female subordinate in the face, former Human Services Department worker Donald Ortega will get a year of unsupervised probation. The charges will disappear if he doesn't violate the terms of the sentence. That's after a Santa Fe police officer agreed to drop a battery charge ($) against Ortega in exchange for a guilty plea to a lesser crime. The attorney for accuser Ursula Montano says it's an outrageous deal, but police say their case was weakened when Montano missed a hearing.
UNM Regents postpone solution to athletic debt
The University of New Mexico's Athletic Department is at least $1.35 million in debt right now. It's been in the red for nine of the last 11 years. Regents promised action at November's meeting, but this week decided to put off finding a solution until at least next month. The Athletic Department has a new chief financial officer arriving in January, when some regents say they'll get a "fresh" perspective on the shortfall.
Change your mind
As mentioned in this space a couple of times in the past few days, Javier Gonzales has decided to run for lieutenant governor. That's, like, three months after he said he was done with politics. Is that hypocritical? Cynical? We asked him about that, as well as what's for dinner when he cooks for his daughter.
Last day to sign up for ACA health insurance
President Trump cut the signup period for health insurance in half this year, so today's the last day to enroll in a health insurance plan on the state-sponsored exchange. The state superintendent of insurance says he expects enrollment to approach last year's level, but thinks the state could have convinced 10,000 more people to sign up for health insurance if he had six more weeks to do it, as he did last year.
Let the bills drop
Today's the first day for lawmakers to pre-file legislation ahead of next month's regular session. Expect a quick fix to New Mexico's reciprocity agreement with other states that allows out-of-state nurses to work here without having to get relicensed. The governor controls the agenda for the upcoming 30-day session, so we're likely to see tax reform and anti-crime legislation introduced as well.
ABQ charter school earns top honors
MSN, the Microsoft-branded news site, says the Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science is the state's best high school. The news outlet says student-to-teacher ratios and high college entrance exam scores helped boost the school.
The quiet storm
There's a winter weather system headed our way this weekend. It'll arrive Sunday, but how much punch it will pack is still unclear. The southern half of the state seems primed for most of the action, though there could be widespread snow across New Mexico. After that, temperatures are expected to warm somewhat.
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