August 5 First News: Gov. Martinez Seeks To Re-Impose Work Requirements For Food Stamps (Listen)

Aug 5, 2014

Governor Susana Martinez's administration wants to re-impose work requirements on low-income New Mexicans to qualify for food stamps. Starting in October, the state plans to restore a 20-hour-a-week work requirement for childless adults to get nutritional assistance. The requirement was suspended in 2009 because of the national recession. The administration also proposes a new food stamp requirement for parents of children age six and older. Adults would have to search for a job or participate in community service. Social services advocates say the work-related requirements are a bad idea when New Mexico has been losing jobs. Human Services spokesman Matt Kennicott said the requirements are similar to what's required for other public assistance, including the state's welfare-to-work program. About 420-thousand New Mexicans receive food stamps averaging 265-dollars a month

New Mexico Search and Rescue crews found the body of a missing 75-year-old hiker on Monday afternoon north of the Santa Fe Ski Basin. According to State Police, volunteers found Audrey Kaplan of Dallas more than a mile northwest of where she was last seen on the Windsor Trail with her husband. Kaplan had been missing since Wednesday. Her husband told police they were mushroom hunting when he took a break and waited for her at the trailhead, but she never showed up. The Office of the Medical Investigator will determine her cause of death.

The percentage of students in New Mexico scoring at or above grade level in reading and math is lower now than it was five years ago. The Albuquerque Journal reports that recently released Standards Based Assessment test scores show that 49 percent of students read at grade level or better this past spring. That's down four percentage points since 2010. The drop in students on grade level in math has not been as sharp — one-point-five percentage points. But fewer than half of students were scoring at grade level in math in 2010, when 42-point-two-percent scored, compared to 40-point-seven percent this spring. Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera was encouraged that more students moved up a "proficiency level" on the last tests than those who fell backward.

Watch your mailbox!  Your ability to vote may be at stake.  KSFR's Dave Marash has details.              *****DaveMarash***** Q: std       RUNS: 00:38

TEXT:  The NM Office of the Secretary of State is sending out post cards this week to assure your eligibility to vote in state elections.  If the cards are returned as undeliverable, and you don't vote within 2 years or update your address, you could be dropped from the voter rolls starting in 2017. Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer tells the AP, she's following Federal rules to clean up voter rolls, but that these mailings will not affect anyone's ability to vote in the upcoming general election. For KSFR news, I'm Dave Marash.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King is asking New Mexico's highest court to resolve a dispute over whether his campaign accepted excessive contributions after the June primary election. King filed a lawsuit Monday asking the state Supreme Court to stop Secretary of State Dianna Duran from forcing him to give up close to 11-thousand dollars in contributions. Duran contends King improperly collected 10-thousand, 400-dollars from a Taos couple and 500-dollars too much from a Santa Fe retiree after last month's primary. Duran says King must deposit the contributions in a state fund. Individuals can donate up to 52-hundred dollars per election to a statewide candidate, but Duran says a candidate can't accept contributions for the primary after the election occurred. King maintains the contributions were permissible because they are to help retire his primary election debt.

Thanks to recent monsoon activity, New Mexico’s drought is easing. That word from Albuquerque National Weather Service Meteorologist Jennifer Palucki. *****080514-Palucki-2 :23***** Palucki says for the rest of the week, New Mexico can expect things to dry out, only to see more moisture heading our direction.

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny today with a 30-percent chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon, with a high of 79. Tonight, partly cloudy with the overnight low 56 and a 20-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tomorrow: mostly sunny with a high near 83.