Thu October 24, 2013
Oct. 24 First News: The wait is on for high court ruling on same-sex marriage. (Listen)
With Wednesday’s arguments both for and against marriage equality made before the state Supreme Court, the wait is on for the justice’s decision. The high court is not bound to a timetable and, thus, an announcement could come at any time. Meanwhile, Republican State Senator Bill Sharer, a leading voice against same-sex marriage, says New Mexico voters have the final say regardless of the legal decision.*****
Bullying, mental health issues and gun violence in schools are the focus of today’s Safe School Summit in Albuquerque, sponsored by Attorney General Gary King. The event is expected to draw school administrators, teachers, parents and students, as well as law-enforcement officials. The nationally-renowned ‘Bully Coach’ and author Dr. Joel Haber is the keynote speaker at the event.
The Bernalillo County Commission has made its nomination for the State House District 50 Seat left vacant by the death of Representative Stephen Easley. The County is sending to Governor Martinez the name of Ann Jenkins, a Democrat from Eldorado, after a 3-2 party-line vote. Commissioner Maggie Hart-Stebbins was among the majority voting for Jenkins. ***** District 50 covers parts of Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Torrance and Valencia counties. Each discrete County Commission is required to submit a nominee with Governor Martinez to ultimately decide on an appointee.
The New Mexico courts’ share of traffic ticket revenue will be cut back in the next fiscal year because the Taxation and Revenue Department gave them too great a share in the previous fiscal period. The Legislative Finance Committee says the department has notified the Administrative Office of the Courts that in fiscal year 2013 it credited the courts for revenue that should have gone to cities. The department is fixing the error by reducing the amounts for this year by an as-yet-unspecified sum.
The New Mexico Public Education Department, in concert with major non-profit groups, has distributed some 2000 backpacks to students in 39 school districts statewide. It’s the sixth annual such distribution in partnership with the Feed the Children organization.
In that time, thousands of New Mexico schoolchildren classified as homeless have received over 10,000 backpacks filled with ready-to-eat meals, hygiene products, and age appropriate books.
A “heads up” to motorists along I-25 both today and tomorrow. The Department of Transportation will have a right lane closure for south bound traffic at La Bajada as road crews perform shoulder stabilization work. The closure will be in effect from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m with speed limits reduced to 55 MPH.
Santa Fe County is weighing its options for the future of the old district courthouse. The New Mexican reports that the county has been presented several choices for the building, vacant since the new courthouse opened in June, that include selling the downtown edifice, using it for parking, or expanding and leasing it. However, given the low demand for office space downtown, another option--using it for County offices--may be most appealing.
New Mexico Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham has introduced the Veterans’ Independent Living Enhancement Act that would help disabled veterans live independently and participate in family and community life. Lujan-Grisham says the bill removes an arbitrary cap on the number of veterans eligible to participate. The program provides services to maximize independence in daily living for veterans who are too severely disabled to pursue employment. Lujan-Grisham says the bill has bi-partisan support.
Today, the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende becomes Santa Fe's 9th "sister city." A noontime signing ceremony at the Convention Center will formalize an agreement to promote and broaden tourism, economic, educational and cultural exchanges. San Miguel de Allende’s Mayor Mauricio Trejo Pureco will be in attendance along with other visiting Mexican officials.
Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny and warm today ahead of some unsettled weather arriving tonight. Highs today in the mid 60s. Cloudy tonight with a 30% chance for showers, lows near 40 degrees