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NM served two million meals to children in need

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SANTE FE – Gov. Susana Martinez announced Sept. 23 that the state served more than two million nutritious meals to low-income children over the summer. The Children, Youth, and Families Department, through its partnership with the US Department of Agriculture, provides free nutritious meals during the summer months to...

Legislators hoping to ‘ban the box’ in NM

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A national conversation about criminal justice reform and employing convicted criminals is making its way back to New Mexico.

After an unsuccessful attempt to pass legislation that would prohibit asking applicants about past criminal convictions, Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Alb., brought the discussion to an interim legislative committee Sept. 22.

O’Neill and Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, fielded questions and concerns from the committee. Rep. Rick Little, R-Chaparral, said he was concerned about the hiring of teachers and faculty who might be working with children. He cited the recent Albuquerque Public School scandal involving a former deputy superintendent.

Baldonado assured...

Heinrich urges National Guard to fully compensate state service members

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WASHINGTON, D.C.–US Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is urging the National Guard Bureau near Washington D.C. to conduct an audit. This is to ensure all New Mexico National Guardsmen are being properly compensated for their service. After a New Mexico National Guardsman, who said he wasn’t fully compensated for his re-enlistment bonus, contacted Heinrich’s office. Heinrich received confirmation that there was no record of his payment being processed. In response, Heinrich sent a letter to the National Guard asking that it immediately rectify the situation.

“My staff inquired about the status of this payment and we have since received confirmation from the Army National Guard that...

SOS pleads not guilty

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Secretary of State Dianna Duran plead not guilty to 64 counts Sept. 15. The charges related to using campaign finance money for her personal use: including fraud and money laundering.

Duran appeared in person in district court in Santa Fe. She was released on her own recognizance.

The courtroom filled with a small crowd of about 15 people, mostly media, watching from monitors in the hallway.

Duran’s attorney asked the court to dismiss 15, of the 64 charges, for on a variety of reasons ranging from the location of the hearing to how the New Mexico Attorney General filed the charges.

First Judicial District Court Judge Glenn Ellington denied the motions to dismiss the charges.

An...

NM special ed funding issues run deep

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As a report from the New Mexico State Auditor’s Office reaffirmed, New Mexico has had serious problems with funding special education in recent years.

But the state’s ongoing struggles with special education go deeper than the audit, which found the state underfunded the program by $110 million from 2010-2012.

Throughout the years, state lawmakers have clashed with Gov. Susana Martinez on how to fix the problem.

The issue goes back to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act, a landmark federal law passed in the 1970s that mandated public education access to special-needs students. Part of the law requires that every state increase special education money each year, or keep...

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