Mar. 13: First News Senators Udall and Heinrich Call For Climate Change Legislation (Listen)

Mar 13, 2014

The so-called U-S Senate “Climate Caucus,” of which New Mexico Democrats Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall are members, participated in a 15-hour Senate Floor discussion this week on the urgent need for legislation to address climate change. Udall and Heinrich both brought-up New Mexico's recent patterns of severe weather. Udall spoke of the state's efforts on renewable energy over coal reliance and was optimistic about the future, despite forecasts of global warming's dire impact here. *****031314-Udall-2 :14 *****Senator Heinrich implored Congress to act immediately: *****031314-Heinrich-1 :14*****Climate caucus members hope to raise the urgency of global warming and build toward a time when the political landscape may have shifted enough that a renewable energy standard bill could pass. They argue that there are signs that the political winds may already be changing.

Santa Fe City Councilors have approved the demolition of the Defouri Street Bridge in downtown Santa Fe and okayed a new span in its place that will feature two 14-foot-wide traffic lanes with the two 4-foot sidewalks. The Council acted on the issue Wednesday night. The bridge had been recommended for replacement by the State Department of Transportation. The new bridge will comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Governor Susana Martinez on Wednesday vetoed a measure passed by the Legislature that would have overhauled the membership of the Water Trust Board, which recommends funding for some water projects. The proposal would have stripped the governor of her power to appoint public members of the board and assigned that responsibility to the Legislature. Martinez also vetoed a measure that would have taken away power of the governor-appointed State Racing Commission to decide penalties for some horse racing violations, such as administering illegal drugs to horses.

The Governor also signed a measure into law Wednesday to shore up the finances of the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship Program. The scholarship program will receive liquor tax money for two years starting in 2015. Until then the state budget provides extra money to keep the program solvent. Scholarships reductions have been looming because lottery proceeds aren’t keeping pace with college tuition increases.

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny today, with a high near 57. Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32 and a slight chance of rain and snow showers before midnight, then a slight chance of snow showers. Friday: Cloudy, with a high near 53 with scattered rain and snow showers before noon, then rain showers likely with the chance of precipitation at 60-percent.