Tuesday News Roundup: Friday Hearing Set On Horse Slaughter

Dec 31, 2013

  Friday Hearing Set On Horse SlaughterThe Associated Press

A Friday court hearing is set on the latest effort to stop a Roswell plant from resuming domestic horse slaughter.

State District Judge Matthew Wilson in Santa Fe will hear New Mexico Attorney General Gary King's request for a temporary restraining order to block Valley Meat Co. from opening its doors in the coming days.

King's suit says Valley Meat stands to violate state laws related to food safety, water quality and unfair business practices.

An attorney for Valley Meat calls the lawsuit frivolous.

It's the latest in a series of legal challenges to the plant, which has been trying for nearly two years to open its doors.

Valley and a Missouri company won federal permits to become the first horse slaughterhouses to operate in the U.S. since 2007.

New Mexico Proposal Would Ban Pocket Vetoes By GovernorsThe Associated Press

A legislator is proposing that New Mexico voters change the state constitution to prohibit governors from killing legislation through pocket vetoes.

Pocket vetoes occur when bills approved by the Legislature die when a governor doesn't act on a bill by the deadline for signings or vetoes after a legislative session's end.

There's no requirement that governors explain pocket vetoes.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Democratic Sen. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque says his proposed constitutional amendment would correct a situation in which too much power is vested in one branch of government.

The proposed constitutional change would require the governor to either approve or veto legislation within the 20-day deadline that applies to all bills passed in the last three days of a session.

Vetoes would have to be explained.

Arizona Policy Change Benefits Navajo Students The Associated Press

Navajo Nation students who live in New Mexico or Utah stand to benefit from a policy change approved by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Under the policy change, Native American students who are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe whose reservation lies entirely or partially in Arizona will be eligible for in-state tuition rates at Arizona's three state universities.

The Navajo Reservation is located in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah.

The Daily Times of Farmington reports that the change takes effect in the spring semester.

Non-resident students attending Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona pay tuition rates that are higher than the rates paid by state residents.

Albuquerque's Minimum Wage Increases Tomorrow Albuquerque Journal

Most of Albuquerque’s minimum-wage workers will get a boost in pay starting tomorrow.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that beginning on the first day of 2014, the minimum wage for most employees will climb to $8.60 an hour, a 1.2 percent increase from this year’s $8.50 and hour requirement.

Employers who provide certain health care benefits get a $1 break on the wage. The minimum for tipped employees will increase to $5.16 an hour.

Previously, the city’s minimum wage was $7.50, set by the City Council in 2006. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

The newest increases are the result of a November 2012 city referendum in which about 66 percent of city voters supported an increase in the minimum wage.

DOD Wants 'Protocell' To Protect SoldiersAlbuquerque Journal

Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories have created a particle that could one day protect against potential chemical and biological warfare

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Sandia Labs created the nanoparticle known as the “protocell,” as a drug-delivery system to boost the effectiveness of disease-fighting therapies. It’s already being adapted for use against some cancers in partnership with the University of New Mexico.

The tiny nanoparticle is one-thousandth the width of a human hair.

The U.S Department of Defense now wants the lab to develop it into an antibiotic delivery system in order to effectively vaccinate against chemical and biological weapons.

The concept of using nanoparticles to deliver drugs to targeted cells emerged 10 to 15 years ago and is now being widely researched at universities and laboratories nationwide.