Feb. 21 First News: New Mexico Lawmakers Adjourn 2014 (Listen)
State Lawmakers have adjourned the 2014 30-day legislative session after agreeing on a plan to try to head off cutbacks in the New Mexico lottery college scholarship program. In the final hours before the Legislature adjourned on Thursday, the House and Senate agreed to a proposal that shore up the scholarship program temporarily with liquor tax money. Cutbacks in scholarships have been looming because the program is running short of cash. Lottery proceeds aren't keeping pace with college tuition increases.
Two veteran New Mexico State Representatives have announced they won’t seek re-election in November. House Minority Whip Tom Taylor of Farmington says he’s been an elected official for 32 years, saying it’s time to retire and spend more time with family and on his business interests. And Albuquerque State Representative “Kiki” Saavedra is retiring after 38 years in the House, many of them as chairman of the powerful Appropriations and Finance Committee.
Governor Susana Martinez is in the nation's capital to meet with governors from other states. The Republican is attending winter conference events sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association. Martinez left for Washington, D.C. after the Legislature adjourned.
The Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization, which serves as a forum for local transportation decision-making, is seeking public opinion through a brief survey available on its website, Santa Fe-m-p-o-dot-o-r-g. MPO Transportation Planner Erick Aune says every five years the local community provides input on major transportation initiatives, plans and policies that are included in the Transportation Metropolitan Plan. *****022114-Aune-2 :19***** Aune says the survey is part of an 18-month effort to update the plan developed in 2010.
The U-S Attorney's office says a 32-year-old Los Alamos man has pleaded guilty to robbing an Albuquerque bank, then trying to evade border patrol. A news release says Anthony Chavez entered the plea Thursday, admitting that he robbed a Wells Fargo branch in June 2013. The next morning, he fled at high speeds from U.S. border patrol officers on Interstate 10 near Deming. When arrested, Chavez told officers he robbed the Albuquerque bank the day before. Chavez faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the two charges.
The magistrate judges in southeastern New Mexico's Chaves and Eddy counties say they will no longer officiate weddings after the state's high court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that the judges recently announced they won't officiate marriage ceremonies for straight or same-sex couples. In December, the New Mexico Supreme Court decided it was unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Santa Fe Weather: Sunny today, with a high near 50. Partly cloudy tonight, with a low around 26. Tomorrow: Sunny, with a high near 55.