Wednesday News Roundup: NM Court Asked To Expedite Gay Marriage Ruling

Aug 21, 2013

NM Court Asked To Expedite Gay Marriage Ruling - Associated Press

A same-sex couple from Santa Fe wants the New Mexico Supreme Court to streamline the handling of lawsuits seeking to legalize gay marriage in the state.

The couple's lawyer, Rep. Brian Egolf, said Tuesday the justices are being asked to consolidate all cases involving the gay marriage issue and assign them to a district court judge in Santa Fe.

The goal is to get a quick lower court decision and clear the way for an expedited ruling by the state's highest court.

Two cases are pending — one in Santa Fe brought by two men who were denied a marriage license and a lawsuit in Albuquerque brought on behalf of several same-sex couples by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico.

NM Lawmakers To Get Updated Revenue Forecast - Associated Press

New Mexico lawmakers are to receive a preview of how much money will be available next year for spending increases and to offset tax cuts.A new revenue forecast is to be presented Wednesday to the Legislative Finance Committee, which is meeting in the northern New Mexico community of Chama.The report will update projections for revenue collections in the current fiscal year, which started in July and runs through June 2014.Legislators also will get a preliminary forecast of revenue expected in the upcoming budget year. That estimate will be critical for lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez as they work on a budget to finance public education and general government programs next year.The state will spend nearly $5.9 billion in the current budget year. 

Rio Rancho Voters Reject Sales Tax Decrease - Associated Press

Rio Rancho voters have rejected a proposal to reduce a city sales tax for education facilities by roughly a 3-to-2 margin.

Unofficial results from Tuesday's special election indicate that 3,611 votes were cast against reducing the gross receipts tax while 2,480 votes were cast to reduce it.

The ballot measure would have reduced the current tax of one-quarter of a percentage point to one-eighth of a percentage point.

The tax was approved by Rio Rancho voters in 2008.

Election officials say approximately 11 percent of the city's nearly 57,000 registered voters cast ballots in the special election.

Martinez To Announce NM Effort On Alzheimer's - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez wants the state to do more to help New Mexicans cope with Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia.

Martinez's office says the governor will announce a new state effort during a speech Wednesday in Albuquerque during a speech to an annual conference for seniors and caregivers.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and irreversible neurological disorder that mostly strikers older people.

Martinez's office says more than 31,000 New Mexicans have Alzheimer's disease and that the number is projected to expand to 43,000 by 2025 as baby boomers age.

USDA To Meet With NM Residents Hurt By Hail Storm - Associated Press

Federal officials have announced that USDA staff will meet with Santa Rosa residents whose homes were damaged by a massive hail storm last month.

USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner says his staff will hold an office day Aug. 27.

The office day will include two short presentations to explain the application process for the agency's Section 504 housing loan and grant program. That housing program will provide a $7,500 grant to those who are 62 years old or older.

The July 3 hail storm caused massive damage to homes and vehicles in the area.