Law requiring 3rd graders to read before promotion proposed

From - During their 10:00 p.m. broadcast, Albuquerque CBS affiliate, KRQE News 13, reported that a bill is being proposed in the New Mexico legislature that would require third grade public school students to read at grade level or face being held back. The bill, proposed by Representative Mary Helen Garcia , which is receiving mixed reviews, is designed to address poor reading skills, which are a primary reason for students not graduating. Of particular concern to some parents is that they would lose their right to approve whether or not their child is held back. In addition to addressing reading gaps at an early age, lack of knowledge of basic math facts is another major reason for students not graduating. Students who cannot add, subtract, multiply, and divide are not armed with the skills necessary to be successful at high school level math. If New Mexico legislators can get reading and math proficiency standards addressed at earlier ages, there is no doubt that New Mexico’s graduation rates will improve, which will greatly affect many lives. Read more

NM Offers Grants For Off-Road Vehicle Projects

From -New Mexico is accepting applications for grants for off-road vehicle projects. The grants are limited to $10,000 from the state's off-highway vehicle program, which is operated by the Game and Fish Department. State, federal and local government agencies along with tribal governments and nonprofit groups can apply for money. The application deadline is April 15. Grants are financed by registration fees on off-road vehicles. In the current fiscal year, grant recipients included the town of Red River for snowmobile trail grooming and the U.S. Forest Service for trail rerouting and signs.

Martinez Plans to Cut Subsidies For Filmmakers

Governor Martinez
From - Is subsidizing moviemakers with taxpayers' money a sound investment or a government giveaway? Neither New Mexico legislators nor economists can agree on an answer.
Perhaps the only certainty is that Gov. Susana Martinez has picked a fight with Hollywood as one of her first actions, proposing to cut subsidies for moviemakers in a state whose film industry has exploded during the last decade. Martinez, a Republican, wants to reduce tax credits for film productions from 25 percent to 15 percent. She said the change would save state taxpayers $25 million this year.
Numerous other governors, such as Republican Rick Snyder of Michigan, also want to cut money for the movie industry. Michigan has had the nation's most generous movie subsidy since 2008, but a state study said the cost of the program outweighed the benefits.  Studies in New Mexico have reached differing conclusions on whether taxpayer support for moviemakers has paid off through more jobs and revenue.  But New Mexico state Rep. Dennis Kintigh said using tax money to help the movie industry is bad public policy. He has reintroduced a bill to kill the moviemaker subsidy altogether. Kintigh, R-Roswell, said the benefits of the film industry are exaggerated and the subsidy for Hollywood puts a burden on taxpayers. "If film producers spend $1,000 to feed people on a set, they receive a check from the state for $250 because food is a production cost. No other industry gets that," Kintigh said.  More here

BLM Sets Lease Sale Wednesday

From -The Bureau of Land Management plans an oil and gas lease sale on federal lands in New Mexico and two other states on Wednesday. The sale of oil and gas mineral rights will take place at the BLM office in Santa Fe. The minimum bid per acre is $2. The agency says 32 parcels of federal land totaling just over 12,000 acres in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma will be offered.
Leases will be awarded for 10 years or for as long afterward that there is production in paying quantities. The federal government receives 12-and-a-half percent royalties on production on those leases. Fifty-two percent of the revenues from federal lease sales is returned to the federal government and 48 percent goes to the state where the lease occurs.

FCC vs. ATT :What's at Stake

From -You may not have heard about it, but there’s a tremendously important case that will be argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday. It’s the Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T, Inc. — and if decided wrongly, it has the potential to transform the federal government’s Freedom of Information Act into a powerful anti-business weapon in the hands of the left. By way of background, the case stems from a 2004 incident in which AT&T discovered it was overcharging the federal government on work related to E-Rate. The company voluntarily reported itself to the FCC, which then opened an investigation. David Johnson recounts what happened next:
During the course of the investigation, the FCC ordered AT&T to produce invoices, internal emails and billing information, responses to interrogatories, names of employees involved in the alleged overbilling, and AT&T’s own assessment of the extent to which its employees’ actions violated its internal code of conduct. Therein lay the cause of the trouble. Once this information was in the FCC’s hands, a trade association called CompTel — comprised of AT&T’s competitors — filed a FOIA request for all the hitherto-proprietary AT&T info in the FCC’s possession.  More here

The Secret Ballot Protection Act: It’s Time to Make it Law.

From -Let’s put this whole debate about card-check to bed once and for all. It’s time to pass the Secret Ballot Protection Act. On Friday, the union-controlled National Labor Relations Board threatened to sue the states of Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah, if any (or all) of them attempt to enforce the recent voter-approved measures in their states that guarantee workers the right to a secret-ballot election. The states were also advised that the Board has authorized the Acting General Counsel to file lawsuits in federal court, if necessary, to enjoin them from enforcing the laws.  As unions have spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying Democrat politicians to pass the job-killing and hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act, it is natural that the union-controlled NLRB would come down against the states for trying to ensure secret-ballots for workers. However, as the NLRB recently affirmed that it is legal for a union and employer to bargain even before a union is recognized in exchange for card-check, workers’ rights are being seriously eroded under the current regime. There is, however, a way in which this entire issue can be ended once and for all for the entire nation…That is through the passage of the Secret Ballot Protection Act. Here is the entire bill. It is as simple as it is short.  More here

John Edwards Target of Federal Grand Jury

John Edwards
From -Last we heard in October, the Department of Justice had prepared a flurry of subpoenas to delve into the handling of campaign finances in John Edwards’ presidential run, with a specific eye towards the use of some funds to keep the Rielle Hunter scandal under wraps.  Today, the Associated Press reports that the grand jury has targeted Edwards in its probe, and not just Edwards.  Subpoenas have been issued for Alliance For a New America (AFNA) and linked organizations, where millions of dollars got spent with no public accounting: A federal criminal investigation targeting John Edwards is examining how much the two-time presidential candidate knew about money used to cover up his extramarital affair and out-of-wedlock child and whether he had other practices that pushed the bounds of campaign finance laws, people involved in the case have told The Associated Press.  More here

Rep. Pence to Reintroduce Broadcaster Freedom Act

From -Former House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) said today that he would soon reintroduce the Broadcaster Freedom Act, and that Congress should reject the idea of regulating political speech in the wake of the Arizona shooting over the weekend. Pence, who spoke on C-SPAN this morning, said his bill would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from regulating content on the airwaves. In the last Congress, Pence introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009, which would have prevented the FCC from requiring broadcasters to present opposing points of view, a concept known as the Fairness Doctrine. Pence said he does not want free political discourse to be "another casualty" of the Arizona shootings.


NY Times Issues an "Apology" For Blaming Conservatives for Gifford Shooting

From - context was problematic. C. Wenk, a reader in Alexandria, Va., criticized “an egregious rush to judgment in the Times coverage of the Arizona shooting, specifically aimed at linking the shooting to various conservative or Republican political rhetoric.” A second reader, Kevin O’Donnell of Greenbrae, Calif., saw it as a case of The Times jumping too quickly: “I understand the larger point about coarse speech raising the potential for violence. By offering that debate within hours of events, doesn’t The Times risk starting at the conclusion end of the argument?” The Times had a lot of company, as news organizations, commentators and political figures shouldered into an unruly scrum battling over whether the political environment was to blame. Meanwhile, opportunities were missed to pick up on evidence — quite apparent as early as that first day — that Jared Lee Loughner, who is charged with the shootings, had a mental disorder and might not have been motivated by politics at all.  More here

Off Reservation Casino Push Puts City of Sunland Park, N.M. and Employers in Anthony, N.M. in Jeopardy

A very questionable column written by an elected official in Anthony, New Mexico that supported the allowing a Jemez gambling casino to operate there appeared on a few weeks ago. There are so many reasons why the proposed off-reservation casino in Anthony is a bad idea it is hard to find space to list them all.

First, the intent of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was to support economic development and job creation for Native Americans. A gambling casino located 300 miles south of the reservation violates the very intent of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act because it will not create jobs for tribe members. More important, even the THREAT of the approval of an off-reservation casino will disrupt further investment by taxpayers in an area that cannot tolerate disinvestment. Read full column here: