Fri November 8, 2013
Nov. 8 First News: “Nation’s Report Card” is out and it's not good for New Mexico students. (Listen)
The so-called “nation’s report card” is out and it shows that New Mexico fourth and eighth-graders trail national proficiencies in reading and math. The newly-released National Assessment of Educational Progress report shows just 31-percent of our state’s fourth-graders are proficient in math and only 21-percent are reading at target levels. For eighth-graders, 23 percent are proficient in math and 22 percent are proficient in reading. Those results have New Mexico among 18 states scoring below national averages for both reading and math.
U.S. Senators Udall and Heinrich have voted in favor of ENDA, the legislation that bans workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure passed the Senate with a bi-partisan majority of 64 votes. Meanwhile, Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham, both co-sponsors of the House version, now urge Republican leaders to allow a vote on the measure. Representative Steve Pearce is said to be reviewing the differences between this bill and the 2007 version he opposed.
(Meantime) Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham and former Governor Gary Johnson are among the leaders of a new coalition supporting same-sex marriage. KSFR asked Lujan-Grisham, a Democrat, the significance of her alliance with Johnson, a Libertarian and former Republican, becoming allies on the marriage issue: *****Nov. 8 MLG-1 :18***** Backers say the New Mexico Unites for Marriage Campaign will build support for the freedom to marry and will work to defend against any legislative attempts to deny that freedom.
The New Mexico Tourism industry is reporting a successful 2012 tourism season. The state Tourism Department’s Jolene Mauer says the all of the industry’s numbers rose last year as opposed to 2011, including an overall increase in visitors to the state. Mauer says this translates to jobs for New Mexicans: *****Mauer-1 :12*****Mauer says tourism is the second-largest industry, behind only the state’s oil and gas trade.
New Mexico’s state colleges and universities have agreed to adopt a common nursing curriculum to make it easier for students to complete their degrees. Governor Susana Martinez and leaders of the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium announced the change on Thursday. The Governor’s office says the use of a common curriculum will make it easier and less expensive for students to transfer from one school to another. It will also allow nursing students at colleges in rural areas to be able to earn bachelor’s degrees without having to leave their communities.
State legislators have heard that many New Mexicans shopping for individual health insurance coverage are being thwarted by computer glitches. A member of the governing board of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, Jason Sandel, on Thursday told a legislative committee that a formal complaint has been sent to Washington. Computer troubles could hamper the state's goal of having 84-thousand state residents enroll in health plans in 2014. Our state's exchange is a hybrid, with businesses serviced by New Mexico and individuals enrolled by the federal government.
Newly-appointed State Representative Vickie Perea tells KSFR she’s honored to be the Governor’s appointment to replace the late Representative Stephen Easley in District 50. Perea had been nominated by Torrance and Valencia County Commissions and Governor Martinez announced Perea’s appointment last week: *****Nov. 8-Perea-1 :13***** Perea is a former Democrat turned Republican who has been an Albuquerque City Councilor and served in finance positions in Albuquerque city government.
NBCUniversal announced today it will televise the inaugural flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two next year, live from New Mexico's Spaceport America. A specific date has not yet been given. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, will be joined by his two adult children as the first private passengers to travel into space. The launch will be the subject of 3-hour live event presented by NBC's "Today" show.
A reminder, Veterans Day is Monday. City, County, State, and Federal, offices will be closed. Santa Fe Trails buses and the Rail Runner will operate on a Saturday schedule. North Central Regional Blue buses will not run at all.
Weather for Santa Fe – Sunny and dry today and into the weekend and beyond. Highs today in the mid 50s warm to the low 60s for Saturday and Sunday. Overnight lows in the low 30s. No precipitation expected until the middle of next week.