Santa Fe Mayor David Coss delivered his final “state of the city” address Tuesday evening at the convention center. Coss spoke of notable accomplishments during his eight-year tenure, highlighting our city’s minimum wage law and the push for marriage equality. He also spoke about immigration and recalled that when he first took office, federal agents were actively conducting raids in Santa Fe. The mayor spoke of the City’s intervention in curtailing such activity and the need for comprehensive, national immigration reform….****
New Mexico’s Supreme Court is in the local and national spotlight today as the high court hears oral arguments on marriage equality. All 33 county clerks in our state have asked for definitive legal statement of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. A few months ago, some county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, asserting that nothing in the state constitution prohibited them from doing so. A lower court judge concurred. Though arguments for and against the matter will take place today, it’s not yet known when the state Supreme Court will render its decision.
The New Mexico Municipal League—which lobbies the Legislature on behalf of our state’s cities—is seeking a return of the state sales tax on food. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the idea has the backing of New Mexico’s cities, whose revenues have suffered since the tax on food was done-away with in 2004. Governor Martinez has vowed to veto any new taxes, and the proposal is thought likely to generate opposition from lawmakers concerned about the impact taxing groceries would have on lower-income New Mexicans.
Placing prisoners in solitary confinement is costly, ineffective and inhumane. That’s one of the conclusions of “Inside the Box,” a new study from the ACLU and the Center on Law and Poverty. The Center’s Gail Evans says more than a thousand New Mexico inmates are in solitary confinement at any one time. ****clip. Evans says solitary confinement, even for short periods, has lasting negative psychological impacts.
There's officially a third New Mexico Democratic candidate for governor as State Senator Howie Morales of Silver City on Tuesday joined the race. Morales launched his candidacy in his southwest New Mexico hometown, saying he was ready to challenge, quote, "a political system that no longer works for our people." Morales says improving the state's education system and its economy are his top priorities. He was appointed to the state Senate in 2008 and later won election that year and in 2012.
A toxic algae bloom was the likely culprit in the deaths of more than 100 elk in late August on a private ranch in eastern New Mexico, according to the Department of Game and Fish. A hunter found the animals scattered across less than a mile on the Buena Vista Ranch. Diagnostic labs studied tissue and water samples from the area and found Anabaena, a naturally occurring blue-green algae that blooms in standing water, producing a deadly neurotoxin that kills animals within four to 12 hours. Agency officials think the elk may have ingested the toxic algae when drinking at a water tank.
Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today and Thursday with highs in the mid 60s. Overnight lows in the upper 30s. A 40% chance for showers arrives for Friday.