Oct. 1 First News: Gov't shutdown will bring federal furloughs for many in NM. (listen)

Congressman Ben Ray Luján is decrying the federal government shutdown forced by Republican resistance to the nation's Affordable Care Act. Luján's statement says in part, "The longer the Tea Party shutdown lasts, the longer the people of New Mexico will pay the price."  Effects of the shutdown will be felt immediately here in New Mexico with its many military installations as half of all federal civilian employees are furloughed. Kirtland Air Force Base alone has more than 37-hundred federal civilian workers.

New Mexico’s health insurance exchange is up and running today, October 1st. Individuals and small businesses can now begin enrollment into the plan of their choosing from among multiple offerings with different levels of coverage. The U-S Department of Health and Human Services says that the cost of health premiums in our state are, for the most part, below or on par with national averages. Any coverage chosen from the exchange will become effective January 1st. But Dr. J-R Damron, the chairman of New Mexico's Health Insurance Exchange, says that for small businesses, implementation arrives sooner....****clip

According to an advocacy group for New Mexicans with disabilities, the state is not meeting its legal obligations for disabled people who receive Medicaid. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Disability Rights New Mexico presented a letter to the state Human Services Department claiming the state has an inadequate provider network for disabled New Mexicans and that the state isn’t providing the services promptly. An HSD attorney had no immediate comment on the letter.

Santa Fe’s Immigration Committee meets this afternoon.  There will be continuation of a previous discussion of same-sex marriage and its ramifications for immigrant gay couples. Recognition of such unions for non-citizens remains in nebulous territory here in New Mexico without clear cut legal status defined by state statute. New Mexico’s Attorney General has previously stated that same-sex marriages performed in states and countries that grant that right must likely be recognized here.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is recognizing the passing of the institution’s 3rd director, Harold Agnew, who died Sunday. He was at the helm of LANL from 1970 through 1979.  He first came to Los Alamos as graduate student in 1943 to work on the Manhattan Project. He later worked in the Weapons Nuclear Engineering division and is credited with developing fail-safe methods for nuclear weapons that are still used today. 

Final numbers are in on viewership for the series finale of the made-in-New Mexico cable series Breaking Bad. More than 10.3 million people watched the concluding episode of AMC’s wildly popular five-season show using Albuquerque as its main location. Though only available to cable TV subscribers, the show easily bested all of Sunday’s broadcast network programs.

Weather for Santa Fe – sunny and dry today and tomorrow.  Highs both days in the upper 70s with overnight lows in the mid 40s.