KSFR First News For February 6th: Education Chief Defends Martinez Education Budget (Listen)

Feb 6, 2014

Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera says the Martinez Administration has done a “good job” of investing in education in New Mexico, but maintains it hasn't been doing a good job of expecting different results. Skandera telling KSFR New Mexico needs to invest education- dollars in proven programs that hold the state accountable for the outcomes for our kids. Skandera also says Governor Martinez is opposed to a proposed constitutional amendment that if approved by voters, would dip into the New Mexico Land Grant Permanent Fund to pay for pre-kindergarten programs.*****020614 -Skandera-3 :29***** Skandera maintains that New Mexico's kids won't remain ranked last among states in education for long.

 Meantime, a Senate committee endorsed that proposed constitutional amendment, which would provide more than 100 million-dollars for early childhood education. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, a Belen Democrat, proposed to increase yearly payouts from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to help finance early childhood programs. The Rules Committee approved the measure on a 5-4 party-line vote Wednesday. Voters will decide whether to adopt the proposal if lawmakers agree to place it on the general election ballot.

The House Judiciary Committee passed a measure Wednesday to ban firearms, except by law enforcement officers or people with concealed handgun licenses, in the House chambers, galleries and committee rooms. The proposal would establish the ban as a rule of the House, rather than changing state law. House Resolution Three was sponsored by Santa Fe State Representative Brian Egolf, who explained one of the reasons for his proposal:*****020614-Egolf-1 :27***** While the House Resolution moves on to another Committee, a similar effort died in the Senate Wednesday as the Rules Committee voted 4-2 against a proposed ban on guns in the Senate chambers and its committee rooms. Santa Fe Senator Peter Wirth sponsored Senate Resolution One.

 Rio Rancho has chosen a new police chief. The city says that out of 70 applicants, Mike Geier, a long time Albuquerque police officer, has been chosen for the job. He’s signed a tentative agreement that agrees to pays him 117-thousand dollars a year. The city council will vote on the choice next week. Police Chief Robert Boone announced in September that he was retiring. He held the post for nearly nine years.

U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces has been named one of seven, first-ever, national “Climate Hubs” to address risks such as droughts, floods, fires and invasive pests.  The move is taking place by executive action and will not go to Congress for approval. The hubs will represent a broad swath of the country’s rural regions and besides New Mexico will include Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Oregon. The Southwest hub in Las Cruces will provide critical information to rural communities in New Mexico, California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona.

 Santa Fe Weather: Today: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32, and a 10- percent chance of snow. Tonight: Cloudy with a low around 18 and a 20 percent chance of snow. Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38 and a 20 percent chance of snow.