New Mexico to receive new veterans cemeteries

From - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - New Mexico is finally in line for four new veterans cemeteries in far-flung corners of the state. Here’s the deal. We have two national cemeteries already. One of them is filling up rapidly and the other is a long way from just about everywhere but Silver City. Just about everybody agrees we need more, especially veterans and their families.
     The big one is in Santa Fe it’s just about full to capacity. The other one is way down near Silver City at Fort Bayard and it’s smaller. The U.S. Veterans Administration wants states to run their own veterans cemeteries, but they’ll help set them up. Gov. Susana Martinez announced down payments on four new ones Tuesday afternoon.
      “We are a very large state and no one should have to drive more than 75 miles to visit their loved ones,” Martinez said at a gathering at the Veterans Memorial in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights. “To all of the veterans and current servicer members here today, thank you for your service. Thank you every day for your sacrifice.”
     The proposed cemeteries are in Carlsbad, Fort Stanton, Gallup and Angel Fire, which is already home to the nation’s first Vietnam veterans’ memorial. Well, they don’t have them yet, exactly. The state has $600,000 for down payments. If the feds approve, they’ll pay the rest – about 90 percent of the total price, and then the state will manage and maintain the new cemeteries. Gov. Martinez said New Mexico will be in line for even more veterans cemeteries after the first four are established. More

Group of judges suing Gov. over pay raise

A group of New Mexico judges are seeking to overturn a veto by Gov. Susana Martinez that denied them an eight percent raise. 
The judges filed a lawsuit Monday against Martinez in New Mexico State Supreme Court to reverse the governor's line-item veto. 
Martinez said last month she vetoed the proposed raise because she felt an eight percent salary increase was too much. The Republican said she might have supported a 3 percent raise like all other state employees but lawmakers didn't give her that option. 
Attorney Ray Vargas, who is representing the judges, says Martinez "ignored the system of checks and balances" when she vetoed the raises for judges. 
The governor's office says Martinez has to right to veto any line item.


Gov. has raised 1.5 million for re-election

Gov. Martinez
Gov. Susana Martinez has raised $1.5 million for her re-election in the past six months, giving her big fundraising advantage over Democratic challengers. 
 Martinez reported cash-on-hand of $4.2 million as of last week. Monday was the deadline for candidates to file campaign finance disclosures with the secretary of state's office.
 Five Democrats are running for their party's gubernatorial nomination in the June 2 primary election. 
Santa Fe businessman Alan Webber was the leading Democratic fundraiser. He collected about $837,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. That included $450,000 in personal loans and contributions. Webber's campaign reported a cash balance of nearly $440,000.


Court recognizes Fort Sill Apache as NM tribe

New Mexico's highest court has ordered Gov. Susana Martinez to recognize the Fort Sill Apache as a New Mexico tribe. 
The state Supreme Court unanimously made the decision Monday after hearing from lawyers in the case.
 Tribal chairman Jeff Haozous told reporters after the ruling that state recognition will give the Apaches a "seat at the table" with New Mexico's other 22 tribes and pueblos. The governor must invite the tribe to a yearly tribal-state summit. The federal government designated a 30-acre parcel in southern New Mexico as the tribe's reservation in 2011, but the Apache governmental offices are in Oklahoma
There's a restaurant and smoke shop on the land near Deming, but tribal efforts to open a casino have been blocked. 
The tribe acquired the land in 1998.