Gov. Susana Martinez's administration is proposing a 15 percent increase in premiums for health insurance covering about 73,000 state and local government workers and their dependents.
General Services Department spokesman Tim Korte said Tuesday the agency will ask the Legislature for $10 million next year to cover higher rates proposed for government agencies. Worker premiums will go up about $3 million if the rate increase is implemented in the fiscal year starting July 2013.
Korte said the proposal is contingent upon legislative approval of the $10 million.
The artwork of dozens of New Mexico students is on display at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., as part of a special exhibition.
"New Mexico: Best of the Best" will run through the end of the month. It includes photographs, paintings and drawings featuring everything from crayons and markers to chalk, oil paints and computer graphics.
State education officials say the exhibition features 66 works from students in Albuquerque, Bloomfield, Hobbs, Gadsden, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Tucumcari. The work of some charter school students is also included.
KUNM Call In Show Thu. 8/23 8a: The Mars Rover Curiosity is exploring the Martian landscape as we speak! What has the ChemCam laser discovered so far about the planet? What surprises are in store? We'll speak with Roger Wiens and Horton Newsom from the Mars Science Laboratory mission's ChemCam team. We'll also hear from Robert Edmonds, a graduate student in Las Cruces who recently received funding to study dust storms on Mars. We'd like to hear from you!
A downtown Santa Fe merchants group that feels city officials have ignored their concerns about events on the Santa Fe Plaza has filed a lawsuit contending that the city hasn't been following its own laws.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the lawsuit filed earlier this month by Santa Fe Downtown Merchants Inc. refers to public safety, access for existing businesses and the expansion of some events beyond the boundaries set in ordinance.
A former top Los Alamos County official who claimed she was wrongfully fired because of her gender will receive $800,000 to settle her case.
Diana Stepan was fired from her assistant county administrator job in early 2011 after filing a grievance against the county administrator.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined earlier this year that she had been treated differently because she was a woman and was fired for complaining about that treatment. Stepan filed a claim against the county last year.
New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman, D, was in Santa Fe today, listening to testimony about the impacts of climate change. During a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the senator heard what’s happening on the ground in New Mexico.
In his testimony, Governor Walter Dasheno of Santa Clara Pueblo pointed out that climate change contributed to last year’s Las Conchas fire. That fire burned more than 150,000 acres in the Jemez Mountains.
The Roswell-area meat processing plant that has made national headlines for its proposal to begin slaughtering horses is being fined for its handling of cattle waste.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Valley Meat Co. is being fined $86,4000 for failing to register a composting facility next to the slaughterhouse and for failing to properly dispose of solid waste. One federal inspector wrote that one pile of rotting cow renderings stood about 15 feet tall.
Gov. Susana Martinez's administration is seeking federal approval for a revised plan to overhaul a program providing health care for a fourth of New Mexico's population.
The Human Services Department forwarded its Medicaid proposal to the federal government on Friday, nearly six months after initially unveiling a blueprint to improve health care for needy New Mexicans while slowing the growth rate of a program costing nearly $4 billion a year.
The state hopes to implement the Medicaid overhaul in January 2014.
For years, federal land managers in New Mexico have allowed many forest fires to burn to keep the land from growing into a tangled mess. This season is different.
Now firefighters are trekking deep into the Gila National Forest with pack horses and one overriding goal: snuffing out all fires, no matter how small or remote. The U.S. Forest Service says its decision is a temporary move to save money because it's cheaper to put out fires than to spend weeks monitoring them as they burn.
A scandal over a fake audit is raising questions about oversight of the New Mexico Finance Authority, and attendance records for the authority's 11-member governing board show several of Gov. Susana Martinez's cabinet secretaries regularly missed meetings but sent staffers to represent them on the board.
Nearly all of the board is appointed by the governor or serve in her cabinet.
An Albuquerque police officer is facing battery charges for using a stun gun on one suspect and punching another after he had surrendered.
Police Chief Ray Schultz said Thursday the charges were filed after investigators reviewed video from the lapel cameras of officers involved in a May 31 drug bust. He announced the charges the same time he publicly released the video.
Albuquerque police say efforts to solve the 2009 West Mesa serial killings are helping police find evidence in other serious cold cases.
KRQE-TV reports that police say calls to a tip line about the mystery are encouraging people to provide new information.
For example, thanks to new tips investigators have linked a slew of rape test kits to the same serial rapist who preyed on Albuquerque women in the 1990s. Police do not know who he is, but now his DNA profile is in a national database.
By The Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican
Gov. Susana Martinez has begun posting the names and salaries of classified state employees at a new online location after a judge ruled last month that she remove the names from the online New Mexico Sunshine Portal.
Martinez added the names of classified workers, their titles and salaries to the Sunshine Portal last year. That added to a previously available list of employees exempt from civil service protection.
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — City commissioners in the southeastern New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences have approved a year-long moratorium on well drilling while experts study whether an increase in wells is causing the town's famed hot springs to dry up.
State officials say they are complying with the National Voter Registration Act with recent mailings sent by the Secretary of State's office to over 177,000 registered voters in New Mexico. The federal law requires states to maintain voter registration information. Critics are calling it voter suppression.
The Executive Director for New Mexico County Clerks, Daniel Ivey-Soto, says mailings like these are done as a normal course of business for Secretaries of State across the country.
Although the wind energy industry in the United States is below the peak it hit three years ago, 2011 was still a pretty good year.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s annual market report, last year, wind power accounted for about one-third of the nation’s new sources of electricity. And much of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms last year came from domestic factories.
Almost three-quarters of the wind turbines, towers, blades, and generators were made within the U.S. That number is double what it was in 2005.
Rio Rancho officials will be looking to a new bulk water filling station to cut down on water thefts from hydrants.
The filling station is also aimed at providing a more convenient source of water for residents who live in neighborhoods without water lines and regular service. The filling station will open Monday. The cost: $10 for 1,000 gallons.
The land of enchantment is rich in many natural resources. Water, however, isn't one of them. And while higher prices have a way of persuading people to consume less, would raising water rates cause New Mexicans to turn off their spigots?
By The Albuquerque Journal and The Associated Press
A few Democrats serving in the New Mexico Senate have launched political action committees to counter Gov. Susana Martinez's financial clout.
Democratic Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque tells The Albuquerque Journal that PACs were created after Democrats saw the amount of cash raised this year by a pair of groups headed by Martinez's political adviser, Jay McCleskey.
At least four organizations were created in recent months by Senate Democrats who are unopposed in the November election.
KUNM Call In Show 8/16 8a: Secretary of State Dianna Duran is following through on a U.S. Department of Justice letter calling for New Mexico's record of registered voters to be cleaned up for the first time since 2005. But critics are accusing her of voter suppression. Why the voter roll "purge" now? And what does it mean for New Mexico voters? Secretary Duran will join our panel live in the studio for the show.