KUNM

Bernalillo County Commission

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Tiny homes are being praised around the country as an affordable solution to homelessness. Voters in Bernalillo County approved 2 million dollars a year ago to launch a tiny home village project for people experiencing homelessness in the Albuquerque area.

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

Bernalillo County is joining a growing number of state and local governments in taking drug companies to court over the opioid epidemic. The county's decision to sue the drug companies comes just a week after Mora County filed its own suit in district court. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Advocates have been trying to get a question on the ballot about whether all businesses in Albuquerque should be required to offer paid sick leave to workers. They faced a setback in court on Monday night.

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A judge decided Friday afternoon that Bernalillo County’s ballots for the November election can’t be printed until the issue of paid sick leave is sorted out. Advocates filed a lawsuit after the initiative failed at a Bernalillo County Commission meeting. 

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Advocates wanted voters to make the call about whether all businesses in Albuquerque should be required to offer paid sick leave to their workers. The measure died before the Bernalillo County Commission on Thursday.

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The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday night to put a measure that would continue funding treatment for low-income and uninsured patients at UNM Hospital on November’s ballot.

UNM Hospital has been getting around $90 million a year in taxpayer dollars to pay for medical care for patients who can’t afford it. Now voters here will be asked to choose if they want to keep that money coming.

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The planned Santolina suburb on Albuquerque’s West Mesa has hit a potential snag: There is no agreement in place between the developers and the Water Authority, a mandatory pre-requisite for the next phase of the project. Without that agreement in place, Bernalillo County planners are hesitant to send up the second stage of Santolina’s plan for approval before the County Commission.  

Bernalillo County Fights Capital Outlay Dysfunction

May 20, 2016

New Mexico’s unique way of paying for public infrastructure projects has been under fire lately. Critics say lawmakers often divert money as political pork, at the expense of statewide construction projects. 

Now some  government officials are taking steps to address the problem at the local level. 

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Bernalillo County Commissioners are declaring an emergency over the county’s high level of opioid overdoses. 

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Bernalillo County is facing a $19 million dollar budget shortfall next year, and jobs and grants to nonprofits could take a hit.

Bernalillo County Commissioners voted to approve the Santolina development agreement in a contentious meeting Wednesday. The plan could bring about 40,000 new homes to a privately owned development on the West Mesa outside of Albuquerque.

The 3-to-2 vote to approve Santolina came after hours of debate over the language in the agreement. 

Protesters and acequia farmers sat through the hearing with tape over their mouths—a symbolic objection to the commission’s decision not to allow public comment.

Bernalillo County Commission Approves Santolina

Jun 16, 2015
Kaveh Mowahed

Bernalillo County commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve the Santolina Master Plan and zoning. The huge development west of Albuquerque is to include 38,000 homes, plus commercial and open space.

Commissioners spent a lot of time discussing Santolina’s jobs forecasts – developers say the plan would bring two jobs for each home built. This sparked a debate on the definition of the word “job.”

But critics say the jobs predictions are inflated.

Commission To Consider Santolina Appeals

May 11, 2015
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Santolina developers and their opponents will appeal parts of the master plan for the 22-square-mile suburb at the Bernalillo County Commission meeting tonight.

Santolina was recommended for approval in December of 2014 by the planning commission.

Water A Concern For Santolina Critics, Hearing To Continue In May

Mar 26, 2015

Bernalillo County commissioners did not vote on whether to approve a controversial development plan at a hearing Thursday, instead scheduling additional time for public comments later this year.

Developers say the Santolina Master Plan community could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

Opponents spoke at a hearing this week in an effort to convince commissioners to vote down the plan. Many said Santolina would take away needed water resources in Albuquerque's South Valley.

Santolina Opponents Rally As Hearing Begins

Mar 26, 2015
Rita Daniels

The Bernalillo County Commission kicked off hearings Wednesday on a huge proposed development southwest of Albuquerque.

Tractors cruised through downtown Albuquerque on their way to city hall where the commission began hearing testimony on the Santolina plan to build 38,000 new homes over the next four or five decades.

County To Hold Hearing On Santolina Plan

Mar 24, 2015
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The Bernalillo County Commission will hear testimony this week about a controversial proposal to build a huge planned community west of Albuquerque.

If approved, Santolina developers would turn about 14,000 acres of sprawling sand dunes into a mini-city complete with industrial parks and schools.

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The Bernalillo County Commission voted last night to postpone a tax hike for a special session that will likely happen next week. The one-quarter of 1 percent tax increase on goods and services would be divided up as follows: Half of it would go to mental health and substance abuse treatment services, and half of it would go to the county’s operational budget.

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Bernalillo Commissioners will vote Tuesday night on whether to increase taxes and increase mental health care in the county.

The gross receipts tax increase of one-eighth of a percent would generate $15 to $20 million. At the top of a mental health care wish list? A crisis center where people could go to be stabilized and plugged into services, instead of being arrested and sent to jail.  

Santolina Plan Advances Despite Opposition

Dec 4, 2014
WALH Master Plan

The Bernalillo County Planning Commission has voted to move a plan for a massive development up the chain of command for consideration. 

Bernalillo County To Consider Huge Development

Dec 2, 2014
Contra Santolina

 

The Bernalillo County Planning Commission is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to approve a massive development on Albuquerque’s West Mesa.

The proposed Santolina development would spread out across 21 square miles of sand dunes just off Interstate-40, about 5 miles west of the Rio Grande.

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Bernalillo County Commissioners voted 3-2 today to include two questions on the November ballot. One will ask whether voters support decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. The other will ask whether voters support a tax increase to fund mental health services. The non-binding measures passed on a party line vote.

Commissioners voting in support of including the mental health question on the ballot said a current lack of behavioral health services in New Mexico is a growing problem for the state.

Bernalillo County OKs Decriminalize Pot Question

Sep 8, 2014
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Commissioners in New Mexico's most populous county have approved a measure that would allow voters to voice their opinion on decriminalizing marijuana.

Bernalillo County commissioners voted 3-2 on Monday on a proposal that would place the marijuana question on the November ballot.

The results of the ballot wouldn't be binding or change any policy. The questions would poll public opinion.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry last month vetoed a measure that would have allowed voters to decide whether to decriminalize marijuana possession in the state's largest city.

People's Choice: Decriminalize Marijuana?

Sep 8, 2014
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KUNM Call In Show Thu. 9/11 8a

The Santa Fe City Council approved a measure decriminalizing marijuana. Albuquerque's Mayor Richard Berry vetoed a similar proposal. And now the Bernalillo County Commission is planning to ask voters if they think possession of small amounts of marijuana should mean fines instead of jail sentences.

We'll ask what decriminalization means for individuals and government agencies in New Mexico. Is decriminalization a stepping stone to legalization on a statewide level? What are the benefits? What are potential pitfalls?