- Gov. Susana Martinez isn’t a frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President in 2016; Public Policy Polling finds that 68 percent of likely Republican voters don’t know enough about her to form an opinion while just one percent say she is their top choice.
- A study by the Economic Policy Institute finds that economic recovery is slow in New Mexico — and even slower for Hispanics in the state.
- An ethics complaint against Mayor Richard Berry took a step forward.
- A member of the Health Insurance Exchange Board said the state shouldn’t rely on the federal government, citing the high risk pool. Albuquerque Business First:
“I have the experience of getting burned by the feds,” Sandel said while urging his fellow board members to not allow federal officials to run the individual insurance portion of New Mexico’s exchange.
“It’s very difficult for me to envision handing individuals to the feds. It’s scary for me.
“We continued to be encouraged by the feds to enroll more people, and now they’re changing the contract. This is a significant change. I’m left with a feeling that things can change no matter what assurances there have been.”
- And the board is beginning the process of hiring a marketing firm for the exchange.
- The Rio Grande Sun reports on the city of Española needing an audit before it can get any capital outlay funding.
- New Mexico In Focus will talk about the state’s water battle with Texas — with Attorney General Gary King. Look for it tonight on KNME.
- Two Albuquerque city councilors want to suspend the Police Oversight Commission, saying it is ineffective. They say it should be suspended until a better solution can be found.
- St. Pius High School is forcing a transgender student who identifies as a male to wear a female gown if he wants to walk at graduation.
- Michael Coleman looks at the political infighting over who gets the credit for LANL cleanup funding.
- Clovis officials started the process on a huge amount of industrial revenue bonds for the Tres Amigas power superstation.
The commission, in a 6-0 vote, agreed to introduce an ordinance that would create 30-year bonds for a tax abatement of $1.655 billion for Tres Amigas, LLC, to build its power superstation on 14,400 acres of land in Curry County.
- State Republicans are going after Sen. Tom Udall for a letter he signed onto that asked the IRS to look into the non-profits that were involved in politics. The letter did not single out conservative groups or any other type of non-profit.
- The town of Taos rejected proposals for the Convention Center — and now may close down the buildings.
- NM Capitol Report has more on Leslie Endean-Singh, the Democrat who wants to face Rep. Steve Pearce in the 2nd Congressional District.
- The Daily Drought Digest:
The Mt. Taylor Ranger District is postponing issuing personal use woodcutting permits because of the drought.
The woodcutting season will begin when there is enough precipitation to decrease the likelihood of human-caused wildfires. The district will issue a media release and post information on the web to announce the beginning of the season.
The Lincoln County Commission accepted a change to subdivision ordinances despite opposition, the Ruidoso News reports.
Residents filled a Board of Public Utilities meeting on Wednesday to voice their dispelesature over a plan to drill a water well in their community. The Los Alamos Monitor:
DPU proposes digging the wells to utilize the county’s 1,200 acre-feet San Juan-Chama water allotment and secure the county’s water rights.
Well Site 3, located in county open space south of Pajarito Acres — provides the greatest potential to yield the 1,200 acre-feet allotment and will be the first site tested.
The State Engineer plans on metering some water wells to measure water use.
- Las Cruces will repeal a law that would have imposed impact fees on developers.
The action comes after the council was told by Public Works Director Loretta Reyes earlier this week that the fees won’t be enough to pay for improvements.
“We’ll repeal the ordinance,” Mayor Ken Miyagishima said. “We could have gone back through the entire process again, and come up with a new method, but that would be too lengthy and more expensive for the city in the long run.”
- The mayor of Las Vegas spent $9,500 on travel. The mayor, Alfonso Ortiz, is facing a recall effort.
- The city of Raton is looking at putting a $6 surcharge on electric bills to help close a budget gap.
- Albuquerque is looking for public comment on a bus rapid transit idea that would provide bus-only lanes on Central Avenue.
- The Navajo Nation named a new Poet Laureate. New Mexico In Depth has the details.
- A judge delayed unsealing pre-trial motions in the Levi Chavez case. Chavez is accused of killing his wife.
From New Mexico Compass:
One court document was made available to the public during yesterday’s hearing. Judge George Eichwald also reversed his position and lifted a blanket seal he had ordered on all future motions filed before the trial begins.
Another six sealed court documents will be considered on Wednesday, May 22, after lawyers have had a chance to comb through hundreds of questionnaires given to potential jurors. Defense attorney David Serna said a random sampling of 47 questionnaires showed 24 people had a fixed, negative opinion of the case. He read examples out loud one by one.
- Oil and gas interests are not happy with new rules on the controversial practice known as “fracking.” Capitol Report New Mexico writes about it.
- The Raton Range looks at Raton’s ties to the space travel industry in New Mexico. While I’ve never been a fan of the Spaceport, the typing “the space travel industry in New Mexico” is pretty cool.
- The Alamogordo city council failed to pass a ban on texting and driving as well as one that would stop talking on the phone while driving.
Some commissioners have objected to language that exempted emergency workers from following the law. Others have only wanted texting while driving banned.
The ordinance was called unenforceable by some and unnecessary by others because there are already laws in the books that deal with distracted drivers.
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