March 12 First News: Governor Signs State Budget With Line-Item Vetoes (Listen)
Governor Susana Martinez has signed a six-billion dollar state budget but used her line-item veto power to reduce about 27 million-dollars from the spending plan. Vetoed were more than two-million dollars that would have provided pay raises for judges, district attorneys and appointed government workers. The Governor also eliminated 15-million dollars in school funding and four-million dollars for a college endowment fund.
The Governor also signed the capital outlay bill Tuesday that includes 89-million dollars for water infrastructure projects, which was about 21-million dollars less than she requested. State lawmakers complained during the legislative session that the Governor didn't provide specifics on those water projects. Martinez signed the capital outlay measure in Las Vegas, which will receive ten-million dollars to expand the city's reservoir.
Tuesday's deadline for candidates to file for to run for state representative seats has left three Santa Fe legislators without opposition. Democratic Representatives Lucky Varela, Jim Trujillo and Brian Egolf will run unopposed in both the June primary and November general election. Two area lawmakers—Democrat Carl Trujillo and Republican Vickie Perea—will defend their seats. Carl Trujillo will run against Algin Mendez in the District 46 primary race, and Perea, who Governor Martinez appointed to fill the District 50 seat following the death last year of Democratic State Representative Stephen Easley, will be opposed by Democrat Matthew McQueen of Lamy in November.
In Santa Fe County races, Sheriff Robert Garcia will run unopposed. Two County Commissioners face primary opposition. District One Commissioner Danny Mayfield will defend his seat against Kenneth Borrego and Henry Roybal. And District three incumbent Robert Anaya will face Camilla Bustamante.
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A group of cadets say they feared the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy was encouraging them to cheat after the director and other instructors gave cadets answers to exams. KOB-TV reports that the letter sent by anonymous cadets in 2013 says they were routinely given answers to exams before taking them and the cadets were concerned about being seen as cheating. Department of Public Safety spokesman Tony Lynn says everything on tests is taught. The story comes in the wake of the academy being scrutinized over recent proposed changes to its curriculum that critics say gives officer more leeway on using deadly force.
Newly elected Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales says he'll remain a member of the New Mexico State University Board of Regents -- at least for now. Javier Gonzales was sworn in Monday night as Santa Fe's mayor. He says he'll remain on the NMSU board at least through the summer. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that's when Mayor Gonzales will determine how much time each position requires. Gonzales indicated he wants to serve as an NMSU regent until his term expires at the end of this year.
Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today with a high of 47. Partly cloudy tonight, the low down to 25. For tomorrow, expect partly sunny skies and a high of 54.