In today's feature items: We hear from the crowd waiting in anticipation of today's hearing on marriage equality before the New Mexico Supreme Court; we also eavesdrop on a few exchanges within court chambers. Also, Progress Now New Mexico talks about the recent doing away with on on-campus polling site for UNM students. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe Mayor David Coss delivered his final “state of the city” address Tuesday evening at the convention center. Coss spoke of notable accomplishments during his eight-year tenure, highlighting our city’s minimum wage law and the push for marriage equality. He also spoke about immigration and recalled that when he first took office, federal agents were actively conducting raids in Santa Fe. The mayor spoke of the City’s intervention in curtailing such activity and the need for comprehensive, national immigration reform….****
In features after today's news headlines: A conversation with ACLU of NM Executive Director Peter Simonson ahead of tomorrow's state Supreme Court hearing on marriage equality. We also talk about sources of venture capital moving into New Mexico to assist up-and-running businesses. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe's police chief, Ray Rael, says some officers could be using sick leave to oppose the force's move back to an 8 hour, 5 day work-shift. Until mid 2011, officers had worked 10 hour, 4 day shifts, a change credited with saving overtime costs and helping to blunt crime. The new schedule is not popular with the police union. At Monday's Santa Fe Finance Committee meeting, Chief Rael says a recent 30-percent uptick in sick leave is likely intentional and a form of protest.
In features after today's local news headlines: New Mexico Attorney General Gary King talks about his release of a redacted Human Services Department audit as his office continues investigation of fraud allegations against multiple mental health & substance abuse service providers. We also catch up with Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and his thoughts about his tenure as he prepares to deliver his 8th & final "state of the city" address. These items and more plus 60 seconds with Christopher Hagen.
New Mexico's Supreme Court takes up the marriage equality issue on Wednesday. The high court is being asked to provide a state-wide, binding resolution on the question of whether same-sex couples can legally wed. The ACLU of New Mexico says it hopes the justices will issue a writ to resolve all claims on constitutional grounds. A number of county clerks have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying nothing in the state constitution prohibits them from doing so. All 33 county clerks in New Mexico have petitioned for a state Supreme Court ruling.
Among today's features after local news headlines: We hear about the UNM and NM Health Insurance Exchange campaign to make college students aware of affordable healthcare insurance options available to them. We also speak with the founder of a new initiative to ensure New mexico's public buildings are not "sick." Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Los Alamos National Laboratory employees are getting back to normal routine today in the wake of the re-opening of the federal government. However, LANL’s Fred de Sousa says resumption of all Lab operations will take several days to perform in a safe, deliberate and methodical manner. De Sousa expressed relief to KSFR that Lab employees will be spared the hardship of a closure, at least for the time being. De Sousa says while no regular Lab employees were furloughed during the government shutdown, nearly 300 environmental contractors were.
In features after our local news headlines: We catch up with Congressman Ben Ray Luján in Washington, DC for his thoughts post-shutdown. We also speak with Santa Fe Community College's Scott Whitaker about the worsening rate of student loan default. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Furlough plans at-the-ready for thousands of employees at our state’s Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories can now be set aside as the U-S government re-opens. That after both the Senate and House approved funding through January 15th and lifted the debt ceiling until February 7th. Thousands of federal civilian employees at our state’s military installations will now be among those returning to work. All four democrats from New Mexico’s congressional delegation voted to end the stalemate in Washington.
In today's features after local news headlines: A conversation with former West Virginia governor Bob Wise, now with the Alliance for Excellent Education. Wise talks about how improving New Mexico's high school graduation would boost the state economy.
Santa Fe Police say the switch from officers working four ten-hour days to five eight-hour shifts is paying off and helping cut crime. Numbers released by SFPD show savings of 106-thousand dollars. Police spokeswoman Celina Westervelt adds the change ensures there are about eight more officers on the street during a 24-hour period and that there is more coverage during shift changes when criminals are most likely to strike.
In features after local news: Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham speaks with KSFR about activity and inaction in Washington. And a spokesperson for Health Action New Mexico talks about the health insurance exchange in our state and some of its glitches. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Despite the lack of progress in Washington, there will be no furlough of 55 civilian state workers for the New Mexico National Guard. Governor Susana Martinez's administration is halting any such furlough by using state dollars to cover their salaries this week while the federal government shutdown goes on. A National Guard spokesman says the state will pay more than 53-thousand dollars to cover the federal share of salaries. Should the shutdown continue into next week, funding sources will be reviewed.
Santa Fe City Council holds a special meeting tomorrow to review proposed city charter amendments. Such changes are likely to be the focus of a special election held concurrently with the March 2014 municipal election. Among changes being considered is an expansion of mayoral power along with designating the post a fulltime position with higher pay and barring other employment. Another meeting at the end of the month will seek to codify the final charter amendment questions to be put before voters.