Martinez still wants to repeal driver's license law

From - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Word of a possible compromise on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants may be a little bit premature. Governor Susana Martinez said Wednesday she still wants the legislature to repeal the state law that allows the licenses, after talking about a possible compromise on Tuesday.
At a news conference on Tuesday Martinez said she might consider signing a bill creating a driving permit for illegal immigrants as long as it couldn't be used for I.D. or to get another license in another state.
"If we have something that proposes that and takes care of public safety, I'm certainly willing to take a look at it," Martinez said. Fast forward to Wednesday: Another news conference, same issue.
"Everywhere I travel throughout this state, I'll tell you the number one issue has been are you going to fight for the repeal of this law - and yes - I'm going to continue to fight for the repeal of this law," Martinez said.
The problem is the growing black market trade of racketeers peddling New Mexico licenses to illegal immigrants for thousands of dollars - and many of the buyers don't even live in the state. Martinez has said repeatedly that getting rid of the law is the way to stop it. But in her latest comments Wednesday she didn't slam the door all the way shut.
"That doesn't mean that we won't get various versions of this law from various different legislators that will actually pass both sides of the House and the Senate," Martinez said. "So I can get various versions and then choose from those versions."
Mixed message? Maybe. But legislative leaders are pretty good at understanding where the Governor is coming from at this point, and what they are hearing is probably not as important as what they're not hearing.
What they're not hearing is "My way or no way." Read more

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Senator introduces non citizen voting bill

Bill Payne

 A Republican lawmaker wants New Mexico elections officials to check to ensure that noncitizens aren't registered to vote. 
Senate GOP Whip William Payne of Albuquerque, the No. 2 GOP Senate leader, has introduced legislation requiring the secretary of state to periodically check the state's voter registration rolls for noncitizens, who aren't allowed to vote. 
Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a Republican, has said she planned to ask the federal Department of Homeland Security for access to a database that has information on immigrants who are legally living in the country. 
In 2011, Duran's office said it found at least 100 people who appeared to be noncitizens. Her office compared voter registration files with driver's license data for foreign nationals and Social Security information.


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Gov. announces new teaching initiative
Worforce Solutions still dealing with claimants 
Supreme court asks for more judges


Gov. announces $2 million teacher initiative

Gov. Martinez
Gov. Susana Martinez has announced a $2 million initiative to hire math and sciences teachers in low income and rural schools in New Mexico
Martinez outlined her plan at a news conference Tuesday in Albuquerque
She says the effort will include multiple components to increase the hiring of math and science teachers in hard-to-staff areas throughout the state. That will include a loan forgiveness program and pay incentives for teachers who move to certain schools. T
he governor also proposes up to a $5,000 pay bonus for the best 125 highly effective math and science teachers who move to underserved schools. Eligible teachers would be those who are determined to be the most effective in helping students under the state's new teacher evaluation program.


NM Supreme Court asks Legislature for more judges

The chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court says the state's court system needs more judges to deal with a backlog of cases. 

 In a speech Tuesday to a joint session of the Legislature, Chief Justice Petra Jimenez Maes said a lack of judges and a budget squeeze has caused delays in resolving civil and domestic cases. 
A study of the court system's workload indicates a need for 23 judges statewide, she said, but the judiciary is asking the Legislature to approve nine in next year's budget. The cost is $3.5 million, which includes judges and support staff.


NM graduation rates far below national average

The federal government reports that New Mexico's graduation rate for the 2009-2010 was 67.3 percent. 

That's below the national average of 78.2 percent. 
The so-called "average freshman graduation rates" indicate the percentage of 9th graders who go on to graduate within four years. 
The rates are being reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education. 
States' rates ranged from 57.8 percent in Nevada at the low end to 91.4 percent in Vermont at the high end.


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Spaceport legislation deal reached
Griego held without bond
NM graduation rate far below national average