Posted by Michael Swickard on Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Posted by AHD
Albuquerque Journal - State legislators who also work for Albuquerque Public Schools will no longer receive their APS salaries for time spent serving in Santa Fe. The APS board’s policy committee voted 4-2 Tuesday evening to adopt a new board policy, which specifies that employee legislators must take unpaid leave to attend legislative sessions and interim committee meetings. The new policy must still be approved by the full board when it meets tonight, but all APS board members serve on the committee, and all attended Tuesday’s meeting. Board member David Peercy abstained because he leads the policy committee and votes only in the event of a tie. The board considered three options: One would not have allowed employees to serve in the Legislature at all, and one would have allowed them to continue serving with pay, although it would have required them to give their state per diem to APS. The option they ultimately chose — allowing employees to serve with unpaid leave — was a compromise between the two. Board member Lorenzo Garcia, who backed the compromise from the outset, said it would be bad policy for APS to pay employees for their time in Santa Fe when budgets are tight. “I strongly support the idea of a citizen Legislature,” Garcia said. “I think in these budget times, however, we cannot afford to pay somebody to be in the Legislature. And we should allow people, if they want to be in the Legislature, to do so, but not with pay.” Read More News New Mexico (Subscription)
Posted by AHD
New Mexico Business Weekly - The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is adding two express trains and quiet cars to its schedule, as well as ticketing via mobile phones. It is also implementing a new fare structure, according to the Rio Metro Transit District. Fares for one-way trips and day passes are set to increase by $1 to $2, while monthly passes will increase by $4 to $11. This is the first time the Rail Runner Express has implemented a fare increase and the changes follow meetings last fall to address a funding shortfall for the train. The cost for the two new trains and other services will be covered by the fare increase as well as new federal clean air grant funds of about $4.8 million, said Jay Faught, marketing manager with Rio Metro. The district saved about $1.2 million by renegotiating its contract with Herzog Transit Services, which operates the Rail Runner under contract with Rio Metro. Read More News New Mexico
shot dead by a group of suspected drug cartel along the Mexican border in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales, Arizona. The guns used to kill Brian Terry were traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. In September 2011 the Attorney General of Mexico confirmed 200 murders happened in Mexico as a direct result of Operation Fast and Furious. Now another murder connected to Operation Fast and Furious has surfaced. According to a congressional report released, Mario González Rodríguez, brother of the state attorney general of Chihuahua at the time, was also murdered by guns traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. The U.S. withheld this information from Mexican authorities for eight months. Read more here.
Posted by AHD
CNBC-The horse racing industry Wednesday lined up behind a proposal to adopt tougher oversight and penalties at New Mexico's tracks, which were recently identified as having the worst safety record in the nation. Horse and track owners and a jockey's union were among those who spoke in support of a New Mexico Racing Commission proposal to adopt model regulations developed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. No one spoke against the reforms. The meeting Wednesday focused on penalties and restrictions for the illegal doping of horses, but Commission Chairman Rob Doughty said it is just " the first step in a long series of reforms" the commission would like to make "to send a message that the state of New Mexico does not allow cheaters." The move comes after a New York Times story described New Mexico as having the worst horse safety record in the United States. The report blamed lax regulations for New Mexico's poor record. Laura Bonar, program director for Animal Protection of New Mexico, said the proposal is a good first step, but emphasized changed needs to be implemented quickly to address what she described as horrific and chronic issues with safety and integrity at the tracks. Read More News New Mexico
Posted by AHD
KRQE - Carrying a concealed weapon in New Mexico comes with a long list of requirements. You need to be 21, a U.S. citizen, pass a criminal background check and be properly trained to use the weapon safely. "I believe New Mexico has a really strong concealed carry law," said Gorden Eden, the Department of Public Safety cabinet secretary. "Some states don't." Not every state has all of those requirements. Alabama, for example, doesn't have a mandatory fingerprint-based criminal background check. Montana and several other states give licenses to those who are 18 and older, instead of 21. Texas, Colorado and Arizona issue concealed permits to resident aliens. According to state law, New Mexico can only accept concealed weapons permits from states that are "at least as stringent and substantially similar" to New Mexico's own licensing laws. Although New Mexico accepts permits from and has agreements with 19 other states, only six states actually meet the legal requirement: Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Included in the other 13 states are neighbors Texas, Colorado and Arizona, but DPS says current agreements to accept permits from those states are still valid. Read More News New Mexico
Posted by Jim Spence
Posted by Jim Spence
Recently, it was reported that a single national labor union has already spent almost $200,000 attacking me and our agenda in just the past few months. Another radical left-wing group funded by national liberals is secretly spending big sums of money, as well. Now, these groups are promising to focus their attention on conservative candidates for the state legislature. I formed Susana-PAC to help promote our agenda and elect more Republicans to office. And we've made great progress. We took on the culture of entitlement and waste by the powerful and got rid ofexpensive government perks like private jets and chefs. We balanced the budget in our very first year by cutting spending and without raising taxes. This year, we cut taxes for small businesses by over $100 million to help create jobs.We ended the dangerous "sanctuary" policy for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. We instituted reforms to stop corruption and get the lobbyists hands out of the state cookie jar. We are creating a business-friendly climate and Forbes magazine recently ranked New Mexico #4 in potential job growth. And, our education reform initiatives have led to New Mexico being one of only eleven states in the country to receive a waiver that frees us from federalregulations. These victories, and many others, occurred because of your strong support. But success, as they say, does not come without a price. And the price for our success is the anger of liberal politicians and special interests threatened by our reforms and desperate to get back the power they lost. National left-wing groups are going to spend a massive amount of money this year to block our reforms, including our efforts to repeal the law that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. But with your help, we can level the playing field and continue to move New Mexico forward. One national union has already spent $190,000 attacking me and my agenda. They are now promising to turn their sights on conservative candidates running for the legislature.