New Mexico Republican Leader Lauds Driver's License Compromise

15 hours ago
Senator Stuart Ingle - (R)

  Commentary:  The New Mexico State Senate passed a compromise bill to resolve the driver’s license  issue confronting the state for a number of years; and the bill meets requirements of what the federal government is requiring of all 50 states to better protect the nation.

Full Senate Approves New Mexico Driver's License Compromise

15 hours ago

  Commentary:  The New Mexico Senate tonight unanimously approved House Bill 99, as amended, an historic, bipartisan compromise to bring the state’s driver’s licenses into compliance with federal REAL ID requirements. The bill now advances to the House of Representatives for concurrence with the Senate’s amendments. The measure would make New Mexico driver’s licenses compliant with the federal REAL ID Act if it is approved by the House, and signed by the Governor.

New Mexico Auditor: Unspent Funds Are Opportunity To Help State

19 hours ago
Tim Keller, New Mexico Auditor

  More than $4 billion sits idle as little progress has been made to spend down accumulated money stashed away in state coffers earmarked for infrastructure and other state projects.

New Mexico Auditor Tim Keller issued a report on the unspent money Friday morning, suggesting that spending the dollars could create thousands of jobs and give the economy a boost.

Senate Passes Bill To Return Tax Overpayments

19 hours ago

Commentary: SB 166 allows a New Mexico taxpayer to take a tax credit the following tax year for taxes on personal income that were overstated and overpaid.  The bill passed the Senate 37-0 and now goes to the House.

“People have lost out on overpayment of their state taxes, now we will fix that,” bill sponsor Senator Sue Wilson Beffort said.

The overpayment of taxes could have resulted from overstated amounts of  such things as personal income, social security, Medicaid, Workers Compensation.

Senate Rules Approves Measure to Raise the Minimum Wage

19 hours ago
State Senator Bill Soules

 Commentary: The Senate Rules Committee voted a do-pass Saturday on Senate Joint Resolution 18 (SJR 18) that would let voters decide in the November general election whether to raise the statewide minimum wage.

SJR 18, sponsored by Senator Bill Soules (D-37- Doña Ana), would base the wage increase on the annual rate of inflation and each increase could not exceed 4%. The minimum wage in New Mexico hasn’t changed since 2009 when it increased to $7.50 an hour, despite price increases across the board for housing, food and other essential items.

Senate Passes Bill to Protect Young Athletes from Brain Injuries

19 hours ago
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).


  Commentary:  The State Senate passed a bill Saturday that expands guidelines for treating head injuries suffered by student athletes by lengthening the rest period after a suspected concussion, and calls for these procedures to cover non-school related youth athletic programs.

Senate Bill 137 (SB 137), Student Athlete Brain Injury Protocols, which passed the Senate on a 35-4 vote, amends the protocols that were enacted in 2010.

DA Weighs Appeal In Case Of Teen Who Killed Family Members

Feb 12, 2016

A New Mexico district attorney says she's disappointed a teen who pleaded guilty to killing his parents and three younger siblings will be sentenced as a juvenile, and her office is considering an appeal.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg says a final decision on an appeal hadn't been reached Friday, a day after a children's court judge ruled lawyers for 18-year-old Nehemiah Griego had shown he is receptive to psychological treatment.


Compromise Paves Way For New Mexico REAL ID Compliant Driver's License

Feb 12, 2016

  Commentary:  A key committee in the New Mexico Senate tonight unanimously approved House Bill 99, a bipartisan- compromise legislation to make the state’s driver’s licenses compliant with federal REAL ID requirements. The bill now advances to the floor for a full vote of Senate. The amended bill would make New Mexico driver’s licenses compliant with the federal REAL ID Act if approved by the House of Representatives and signed by the Governor.

  February 12, 2016 – Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra meets with President of the Friends of the Taylor Family Monument, Cynthia Garrett; and Las Cruces Spanish Market Entertainment Chair, Erlinda Portillo.

Republicans Vote to Stop Consumer Protection Bill

Feb 12, 2016
Rep. Jeff Steinborn

  Commentary:  Republicans in the New Mexico House of Representative Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee (RPAC) voted today on a party line vote to stop legislation to establish a “vehicle insurance advisory committee.” The legislation, House Memorial 90, would have established a consumer driven advisory committee within the state office of Superintendent of Insurance to provide consumer protection and oversight ideas for vehicle insurance industry policies in the State of New Mexico.

Man Charged in Arson Case Receives 21-Year Sentence

Feb 12, 2016


  A man charged in three cases involving arson and home burglaries has been sentenced to 21 years behind bars.

Reuben Armijo, 41, was sentenced to 21 years in prison and five years of probation by Chief District Judge Fernando Macias. 

District Attorney Mark D'Antonio applauded the judge's decision and said, "The victims in this case either lost their home or were displaced. They lost their peace of mind and sense of security. However, today's sentence gives those affected the justice and safety they needed."

New Mexico Legislators Reach Deal On Bail Reform

Feb 12, 2016

New Mexico House Republicans and Senate Democrats say they have reached a compromise on a bail reform proposal.

Both sides spoke Friday at a press conference, with Republican Rep. David Adkins saying the bill crafted by Sen. Peter Wirth, a Santa Fe Democrat, is the "right piece of legislation to support."

Wirth's bill allows judges to deny bail to defendants deemed a danger to the public, while granting non-violent defendants pretrial release if the sole reason they are being held in jail is because they are too poor to make bail.

A powerful Republican lawmaker is demanding that Texas health officials explain why two state employees co-authored a study suggesting that cuts to Planned Parenthood are curbing access to women's health services.

State Sen. Jane Nelson sent a letter Friday to Texas Health Commissioner Chris Traylor. Her request is the latest fallout from a New England Journal of Medicine study that has angered Republicans, who say the findings are flawed and biased.

Firearm Background Checks Unanimously Passes New Mexico Senate

Feb 12, 2016
Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto

  Commentary:  Senate Bill 331, (SB 118), the “Background Check Reporting for Firearms” sponsored by Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-15- Bernalillo), today unanimously passed the Senate.  The bill requires the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to electronically transmit information about people who are adjudicated mentally ill or committed to a mental institution to the FBI’s instant criminal background system.

Las Cruces Home Care Worker Suspected of Swindling $11,000 from Client

Feb 12, 2016

  Police are looking for a former home care worker suspected of accepting an $11 check from an 85-year-old client and altering the check to read $11,000 before depositing it into her account.

Christina M. Mendez, 29, of the 2100 block of Lester Avenue, is charged with one count of forgery over $2,500. The charge is a third-degree felony count.

A warrant has been issued for Mendez’s arrest. A cash-only bond has been set at $10,000.

  The University of Texas System Wednesday presented tuition and fee increase proposals from System institutions, including proposed modest increases from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Legislature Must Take Balanced Approach to Budget, Revenue Crisis

Feb 12, 2016

  Commentary:   Veronica C. García, Ed.D., executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, which advocates on behalf of the state’s low-income children, released the following statement regarding the current budget crisis:

New Mexico House Committee Kills Capital Outlay Overhaul

Feb 12, 2016

  Expressing concerns that rural communities would no longer receive infrastructure funding, a House committee killed a capital outlay reform bill Friday morning.

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee voted 5-4 against favorably recommending House Bill 307, then voted 5-5 to forward the bill to another House committee with no recommendation. That effectively halts the bill.

Think New Mexico spearheaded the effort to turn funding from the Legislature to an appointed commission similar to the process for funding public education infrastructure.

Painted Sky Elementary


Downtown Events Set For Las Cruces

Feb 12, 2016
  •   Main St:

o   Downtown Las Cruces Charrette – February 16-19 at Branigan Cultural Center. More information and full schedule

  • Farmers and Crafts Market:

o   February 17 & 20, 8:30 to 1 p.m.

  • Museums and Cultural Center:

o   Branigan Cultural Center – Love of Art Month Member Exhibit for February,

o   Reflections from the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection –On display through April 2. 5 – 7 p.m.

Las Cruces Mother of Three Indicted on Child Abuse

Feb 12, 2016

  Today, District Attorney Mark D’Antonio announced that a grand jury has indicted a Las Cruces mother of three charged with child abuse. 

Authorities said Stacy Adams, 29, was arrested after police found her home filled with trash and dirty diapers. According to investigators, the defendant’s children – ages 8, 6 and 1 – had not bathed since early January and appeared to have lice in their hair.  

“It’s a disturbing case,” D'Antonio said “I don’t want to think about what would have happened if the CYFD worker and Las Cruces police did not intervene.”

Push For Open Primaries In New Mexico

Feb 12, 2016

Host Intro: Open Primaries, a national leader on election reform, the group is working on a campaign to build support in the state House Judiciary Committee to approve HJR 12, the Open Primary Elections Constitutional Amendment. Edmundo Resendez spoke to former New Mexico State Representative and founder of New Mexico Open Primaries Bob Perls about the latest efforts in the legislature.

Cut: Interviews

Host Outro: That was Bob Perls with New Mexico Open Primaries speaking with Edmundo Resendez.

Las Cruces Spanish Market Includes Lecture Series

Feb 12, 2016

  11:00AM-1:00PM, Saturday, February 13

La Posta De Mesilla

The Art of Painting Saints

Joseph Chávez

Spanish Market Artist

Tickets $21/person (Cost includes a buffet lunch)

9:00-9:45AM, Saturday, February 20

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces

How Local Hispanic Artists Can Participate in Spanish Market

Charlie Carrillo and Carlos Otero

Spanish Market Artists

Free to the Public

1:30-2:30PM, Saturday, February 20

Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces

Audit Finds New Mexico Has Billions In Unspent Funds

Feb 12, 2016
Tim Keller, New Mexico Auditor

  The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) released the second annual Fund Balance Report that tallies unspent funds in government accounts from the most recent financial audits. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) at OSA reviewed 398 business and enterprise, capital outlay, special revenue and other funds of 86 state agencies, and put forward best practices to get these dollars moving.

Auditor Report: New Mexico Has $4.4 Billion In Unused Funds

Feb 12, 2016

New Mexico's state auditor has found $4.4 billion in unspent funds tucked away in hundreds of agency accounts.

The report released Friday by State Auditor Tim Keller looked at fund balances as of July 1, 2015, and seeks to identify money that is sitting unnecessarily idle when it might otherwise be used to stimulate the economy and employment.

The funds cited in the report do not include employee salaries, operating costs or retirement and permanent trust funds. A report from the previous year found $4.2 billion in unspent funds.

University of New Mexico basketball coach Craig Neal says his son, who also plays as a point guard on his father's team, has been harassed and threatened online.

At a news conference Thursday, Neal said his son Cullen Neal has had to change his phone number twice, shut down his Twitter account and deactivate Facebook as a result of threats.

Police Flight Turns Up No New Evidence Of Missing Treasure Hunter

Feb 12, 2016

Authorities have yet to uncover any new clues to the whereabouts of a Colorado man who went missing in northern New Mexico while looking for a $2 million cache of gold, jewels and artifacts.

A helicopter flight this week by New Mexico State Police and the state's search and rescue team turned up nothing, but Randy Bilyeu's relatives say they're not giving up.

A father and grandfather, Bilyeu has been missing for more than a month since he set out in January in search of author Forrest Fenn's treasure.

Las Cruces Bishop To Represent U.S. During Pope's Visit To Mexico

Feb 12, 2016

Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu will represent U.S. during the pope's historical visit to Mexico.

Cantu will be one of two bishops from the U.S. and will accompany Pope Francis in Mexico from Friday to Wednesday.

Cantu and Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas received the appointment from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's President Archbishop Joseph Kurtz.

Cantu says he expects the pope to touch on immigration.

New Mexico Lawmakers Back Campaign Finance Database

Feb 11, 2016

A proposal to overhaul New Mexico's online clearinghouse for campaign finance information has been approved by the state House of Representatives.

The House voted 65-0 on Thursday to send the bipartisan bill to the Senate. The plan would standardize electronic reporting so that filings by candidates, lobbyists and political committees can be searched, cross-referenced or downloaded for analysis.

It also would require all lobbyists to file regular reports, as candidates already do.