Jan. 6: First News: Legislative Budget Calls For Public Employee and Educator Pay Raises (Listen)
The New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee is recommending a state budget totaling more than six billion dollars. The bi-partisan LFC’s spending plan contains a one-and-a-half percent pay raise for public employees and educators. A spokesman says Governor Martinez opposes that provision, drawing a response from Santa Fe State Representative Lucky Varela: *****0106 Varela-1 :16***** The Governor later today will release her budget recommendations for the legislature to consider during its upcoming session.
New Mexico State Police still haven’t released full details of the shooting a wrong-way driver on I-25 south of Las Vegas Saturday. NMSP says an officer shot the driver of the northbound vehicle in the southbound lanes around 10:40pm. Officials say the shooting occurred after repeated attempts to stop the vehicle and reportedly as the person drove aggressively toward him. The as-yet unidentified driver remains hospitalized.
An Albuquerque State Senator wants New Mexico voters to decide whether to legalize sale of recreational marijuana. Democrat Gerald Ortiz y Pino says he plans legislation for a constitutional amendment on marijuana legalization. Ortiz y Pino says the war on drugs has been what he terms a “destructive failure:” *****Ortiz y Pino-1 :21***** Ortiz y Pino says if approved, details of legalizing cannabis in New Mexico would be handled in the 2015 legislative session.
Senator Tom Udall says failure to extend unemployment benefits will hurt six-thousand New Mexicans initially, then 10-thousand if the issue isn’t quickly resolved. *****0106-Udall-2 :15***** House Republicans have stipulated that any extension of unemployment benefits must be offset with spending cuts.
Santa Fe Mayoral Candidate Javier Gonzales on Saturday picked up the endorsement of Mayor David Coss. Gonzales was asked what the support of the outgoing mayor means to his campaign: *****0106 Gonzales-1 :26***** Gonzales tonight will face-off on the issues with opponent Patti Bushee during a mayoral candidate forum at Christus-St. Vincent Hospital tonight at 6:30. Candidate Bill Dimas has opted not to participate, citing his belief that such forums are usually held by special interests.
Santa Fe Weather: Sunny today, with a high of 37. Tonight: Mostly clear with a low of 19. Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. Not as cool, with a high of 44.