KUNM News Update
7:22 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Lawmaker Wants Judicial Finance Statements Online

Lawmaker Wants Judicial Finance Statements OnlineThe Associated Press

 A state lawmaker is proposing that financial disclosure statements of New Mexico's judges be posted online.

Democratic Sen. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque said his measure would increase governmental transparency.

Judges and other government officials must file annual financial statements with the secretary of state disclosing sources of income and business interests.

A spokesman for the secretary of state's office said the agency stopped online posting of all financial disclosures after some officials voiced security concerns because the forms listed residential addresses and personal identifying information. The disclosures can be obtained through a public records request.

Candelaria's legislation calls for posting disclosures of judges on the secretary of state's web site and the state's online "sunshine portal."

 

Texas To Proceed With Water Lawsuit Against NMThe Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court says Texas can proceed with its lawsuit against New Mexico over management of the Rio Grande.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he's looking forward to telling New Mexico's side of the story. The court has given the state 60 days to file a motion to dismiss the case.

Texas accuses New Mexico of allowing illegal diversions of surface and underground water of the Rio Grande near the state line.

Texas officials say those diversions take away water from farmers and residents around El Paso, a drought-stricken area that gets about half of its drinking water and most of its irrigation water from the Rio Grande.

New Mexico is also struggling with drought and argues that Texas is getting what's required under a compact between the two states.

New Mexico State University To Teach Prevention Of Sexual Volence - The Associated Press

Students and staff at New Mexico State University will have to undergo mandatory training this fall on how to prevent acts of sexual violence.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports university officials are developing training in light of a new federal law known as the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act.

NMSU Police Chief Stephen Lopez is leading a task force on the matter.

The training will include prevention and awareness programs related to crimes such as rape, harassment, domestic violence and stalking.

It will also extend to high school students taking dual-credit courses, families living on campus and private on-campus employees.

The act states universities must provide data on stalking and dating violence that takes place on or near camps and at off-campus housing.

Backlog Of Governor's Appointees Not Yet ConfirmedThe Associated Press

A state Senate committee has yet to confirm a growing backlog of people nominated by Gov. Susana Martinez for state agency positions.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 133 of Martinez's appointees for various state agencies and commissions haven't received confirmation hearings by the Senate Rules Committee.

The committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting of the year today.

Sen. Linda Lopez, the committee's chairwoman and who is pursuing the Democratic nomination for governor, says the panel will not rush to confirm anyone, including Public Education Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera and two State Fair commissioners.

Enrique Knell, a spokesman for the governor, says Lopez should focus on holding swift but fair hearings in light of the large number of appointees.

Appointees can continue to serve while they await Senate confirmation.

Governor Martinez To Add $9 Million For School TextbooksThe Associated Press

ov. Susana Martinez is pushing to get new textbooks for New Mexico's public schools.

Martinez announced a proposal Saturday to add another $9 million to her budget for updated textbooks and other instructional materials for next year.

She made the announcement while visiting Bernalillo Elementary School, where she said there are numerous books between 10 and 30 years old.

This year's budget shows about $30 million for new books.

Rep. Mimi Stewart, who sits on the House Education Committee, tells KOB-TV that Martinez should have requested the funding last year. Stewart says the state rotates which subjects to buy books for annually. She says next year's rotation doesn't include subjects such as history and science.