Santa Fe, NM – Author and poet N. Scott Momaday will read stories and poems and answer questions Friday evening at Saint John's College in Santa Fe. The Pulitzer-Prize-winning Native American author, who turns 67 on Sunday, continues to write, and inspire others to do the same. KUNM's Jim Williams spoke with him from his home in Santa Fe.
Santa Fe, NM – Democrats in the state Senate were united Monday in opposition to attempts to end the process of giving drivers' licenses to undocumented people in the state. Senate Republicans tried three times, through amendments, to reverse the drivers' license law that was put in place in 2003. Farmington Republican Bill Sharer argued it's a public safety issue.
Santa Fe, NM – It's official. New Mexico will lose one of the longest-serving U-S Senators in the state's history at the end of next year. Democrat Jeff Bingaman put an end to weeks of speculation today, announcing that he will not seek a sixth term in the Senate.
Santa Fe, NM – Some state lawmakers are still trying to find a way to overturn greenhouse gas cap regulations put in place by the Environmental Improvement Board, or EIB, last year. The debate came to the Senate floor Wednesday after a bill to repeal most of those regulations was introduced in that chamber.
The measure is nearly identical to one that just died in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Democratic Senator David Ulibarri of Grants objected after his bill was assigned to the same committee. ]
Santa Fe, NM – At least two new state regulations Governor Susana Martinez had hoped to delay will take effect immediately after a New Mexico Supreme Court decision issued today. The court's decision is the opening shot in the fight between environmental groups and industry. And at the same time, court documents show industry groups helped write Martinez's executive order earlier this month.
January 24, 2011 – Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a Republican, says former Secretary of State Mary Hererra left far less than half of the budget for the remaining half of the fiscal year between now and July. She told KUNM that other things appear to be missing as well.
Santa Fe, NM – Trip Jennings is a legislative reporter for the KUNM Government Project, and capitol reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican. Jennings has an informative post on our blog about the committee changes at www.kunm.net/blog . Steve Terrell at the New Mexican also has comprehensive posts on this on his Roundhouse Roundup blog.
Santa Fe, NM – Governor Susana Martinez has called for a one point five percent cut to education in New Mexico. She has said she wants the cut to impact only the administration in school districts around the state. But some education advocates, and some state lawmakers, are expressing their concern that the impact of the cuts would reach into the classrooms of smaller districts. KUNM's Jim Williams reports.
Santa Fe, NM – The 50th New Mexico legislature is off to a colorful start. Governor Susana Martinez addressed lawmakers this (Tuesday) afternoon to start the session, but not before a vote in the House that had many people guessing about who the next Speaker would be. From our capitol newsroom, KUNM's Jim Williams had this report.
"It is my privilege to stand before you as New Mexico's twenty seventh governor."
Santa Fe, NM – On Monday, Governor Susana Martinez released her proposals for balancing the state's next fiscal year budget. Overall, the plan includes a 3 percent reduction in spending. There are cuts to education in the package, but Medicaid remains relatively intact. Martinez suggests cutting about 1 point 5 percent from K through 12 education. While the governor can't mandate how school districts make the cuts, Martinez says her office will issue a directive to ensure the money is taken from administration only.
Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico lawmakers will gather in Santa Fe next week for a legislative session that's sure to be contentious, especially around the issue of spending and taxes. The state budget is once again in the red, and legislators will have a tough time cutting enough spending to balance it. But some lawmakers are aiming at film industry tax credits that were increased recently. At the same time, opponents of that idea call it a smokescreen. KUNM's Jim Williams reports.
Albuquerque, NM – The 112th Congress convenes Wednesday, January 5, 2011, and Republican members of the House already have plans to repeal the nation's new health care law.
A full repeal is expected to pass with support from the new Republican House majority but the effort is largely a symbolic one. The measure has little chance in the Democratic controlled Senate and it would surely be vetoed by President Obama.
Albuquerque, NM – New regulations just established for the dairy industry in New Mexico may prove to be one of the first battles of the incoming administration of Governor-elect Susana Martinez. Martinez, in her campaign and after the election, spoke often about regulations in the state needing to be based on, in her words, "sound science". But as KUNM's Jim Williams reports, clean water advocates say rolling back these new regulations would be contradictory.
Santa Fe, NM – Governor Bill Richardson says he's planning to stay in Santa Fe after he ends his second term next month and hands over the reigns to Republican Susana Martinez. The Democrat Richardson, who just returned from a diplomatic trip to North Korea, says he'll make Santa Fe a base to expand his work on international relations.
December 20, 2010 – The week before Christmas isn't likely to bring sugar plums to the U-S Senate. Partisanship continued last week and into this past weekend as lawmakers couldn't agree on a long-term budget and other major pieces of legislation. One of the issues remaining is the re-ratification of the START Treaty between the U-S and Russia.
Santa Fe, NM – When state lawmakers convene in January for a sixty-day legislative session, they'll have a lot on their minds. At the top of their worry list will be an estimated 400-million-dollar budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year. As KUNM's Jim Williams reports, legislators will once again have a tough battle over whether the state's two biggest programs, education and Medicaid, will be cut, and whether tax increases will be on the table.
Santa Fe, NM – It's been eighty years since New Mexico had a Republican secretary of state. That changes next month as State Senator Dianna Duran will be sworn in to the office after handily winning the November election over incumbent Secretary Mary Herrera. Duran is looking ahead to January for other reasons, as well. As KUNM's Jim Williams reports, she's likely to pursue some policy changes on elections and voting that Republicans have been after for years in New Mexico.
Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico's First and Third District representatives voted Thursday, December 9, to reject President Obama's tax cut compromise he struck earlier this week with Senate Republicans. In a voice vote in a private caucus meeting, a majority of House Democrats expressed their desire to keep the compromise from coming to the floor for consideration. KUNM's Jim Williams reports.
Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico US Senator Jeff Bingaman confirmed today that he is undecided about a re-election bid in 2012. He told KUNM's Jim Williams that partisanship in the Senate is playing a role in his decision.