State spends $100k on Governor's mansion kitchen

Governor's Mansion

The state spent more than $100,000 last summer to renovate the public kitchen at the governor’s mansion in Santa Fe, according to officials and purchase orders. 
While the upgrades included new countertops, floors and appliances, the project also included a $2,700 built-in, state-of-the-art coffeemaker the governor’s office later decided will be paid for with private donations rather than with taxpayer funds. 
The governor’s residence was built in the 1950s and features a public wing and private wing. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and her husband live in the smaller, cozier private wing that has its own kitchen, living room and bedrooms.
 The public side of the mansion plays host to state dinners honoring visiting leaders and dignitaries, as well as private events put on by non-profit organizations.
 Caterers mainly use the kitchen. 


Lawmakers approve 17 year old voters

Some 17-year-old New Mexicans could vote in primary elections under a proposal approved by the House. 
The measure will allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election — or a political party's caucus or other contest for selecting a presidential nominee — if they will be 18 by the time of the November general election. 
Democratic Rep. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces said 19 other states have similar provisions. The state's June primary election decides party nominees for elective offices. 
The bill passed the House on a 44-24 vote on Monday, and goes to the Senate.


House approves more funding for horse drug testing

New Mexico lawmakers have approved a proposal to finance more testing of race horses to detect illegal drug use. 
The House unanimously approved a measure on Monday to pay for stricter testing with revenue from a tax on pari-mutuel wagering at horse racing tracks.
The proposal, which goes to the Senate, will provide about $700,000 a year for testing by the State Racing Commission. The measure will tap revenue that's helped finance improvements at the state fairgrounds, which is the site of a race track. 
The fairgrounds money ends in 2014 under current law and the legislation shifts it to drug testing in 2015. The push for more testing came after a New York Times story described New Mexico as having the nation's worst horse safety record.