February 4, 2014 First News: Senate Majority Leader Comments on Proposed Amendments (Listen)

Feb 4, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez says while New Mexico needs to be very careful about what we put in the State Constitution, he favors at least two Senate Joint Resolutions introduced during the current legislative session. Sanchez, a Democrat from Belen, says voters should decide on a proposal regarding early-childhood education. *****020414-Sanchez-2 :23***** Sanchez also favors a proposed amendment calling for annual adjustments to the state's minimum wage. Twenty-one Senate Joint Resolutions have been introduced this legislative session.

The House Education Committee has approved a bill to spend 12 million-dollars to enhance the state school funding formula to provide services to students deemed “at risk” to improve educational outcomes. The measure is sponsored by Santa Fe Representative Lucky Varela and would take effect for the 2015 through 2016 school years. Varela's bill would also implement increased reporting requirements for school districts and charter schools on how they use the increased at-risk funding to close the achievement gap and improve student outcomes.

A bill sponsored by Santa Fe State Representative Jim Trujillo that would provide funding to enhance or expand senior services passed the House unanimously Monday. Trujillo's House Bill 57 provides for an optional designation for tax refund contributions. The refunds would be paid to the North Central Economic Development District that will disburse the proceeds to various senior services programs. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Last March, President Obama designated the 240-thousand-plus-acre Rio Grande del Norte National Monument that lies mostly in Taos County. Tonight in Santa Fe, the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, holds a scoping meeting on the Monument's development plan that's being formulated. Sam DesGeorges (des-george-iss), manager of the BLM's Taos field office, says the meeting, from 6-8 at the BLM State Office at 301 Dinasaur Trail begins with an open house.*****020414-DesGeorges-3 :23***** DesGeorges says the plan will take two years to finalize and that public comment will be taken at future opportunities similar to tonight's meeting.

The Journal North reports that Los Alamos County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers, a Republican, announced Monday that he will run for the state House of Representatives District 43 seat. Democrat Stephanie Garcia-Richard is the incumbent. She became the first Democrat to win the district for decades when she defeated incumbent Republican Jim Hall in 2012. As for Rodgers, in addition to years on the County Council, he was Transportation Director for Los Alamos Schools and has served on the North Central Regional Transit Distinct.

The Santa Fe Police Department is working on a new recruitment and marketing commercial -campaign. Police say the effort seeks to attract new recruits to the City Different and show the community the diverse duties officers preform daily. The spot, which features the Department's new community slogans, will begin airing in a couple of weeks. 

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers and a high of 36, with a 40-percent chance of precipitation. For tonight, Mostly cloudy with a low of 14 and a 20-percent chance of snow showers. Tomorrow, mostly cloudy with a high near 33 and a 10-percent chance for snow showers.