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Probe finds multiple wrongdoings by ex-Farmington BLM head

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A recently-released report by the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General looked into the actions of Steve Henke from when he was in charge of the Bureau of Land Management office in Farmington.

The report says the investigation initially looked into the former Farmington district manager’s move...

Obama commuted sentences of two New Mexicans this month

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In his latest batch of commutations, Barack Obama commuted the sentence of someone with New Mexico ties arrested for a drug offense, the third time he’s done so in the last 13 months.

Obama announced the commutations of sentences to 111 individuals Aug. 29, bringing his total to 673 commutations, more than the last 10 presidents combined.

This was Obama’s second big batch of commutations, largely for nonviolent drug offenses, this month.

Earlier this month, Obama commuted the sentence of Jose Carlos Arras, Jr. of Albuquerque. Arras was convicted in 2002 of transporting more than 200 pounds of marijuana with the intent to sell. He was sentenced to more than 21 years in...

Gov tells agencies to cut spending by 5 percent

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State agencies, many of which already saw big budget cuts after the most recent legislative session, will now have to cut spending even further.

A memo sent Aug. 9 by Gov. Susana Martinez says the state will “prepare for and begin reducing general fund spending” by a further five percent.

Martinez blames “persistently low global energy prices, and the resulting drop in drilling activity” for the necessary cuts but says “responsible spending, budgeting and reserve policies over the past five years” make sure the budget situation is not worse.

Senate Finance Committee Chair John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, said last month the state could face a $500 million shortfall in the...

Martinez considering a special session to address shortfall

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Reports indicate that Gov. Susana Martinez is considering calling the Legislature into a special session to deal with what looks like a large shortfall in the state’s budget.

The news comes nearly a week after Senate Finance Committee Chair John Arthur Smith said a special session would be needed. Smith made the comments during a legislative interim committee.

The Associated Press reported [July 26] that Martinez has been “working for weeks with executive agencies and a key legislative committee” on how to deal with the shortfall.

Smith, a Democrat from Deming, said he spoke to Martinez’s staff about the need for a special session.

The Santa Fe New Mexican was at the State...

NM members of Congress speak at DNC

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It wasn’t quite New Mexico Day at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, but two New Mexico elected officials addressed the delegates.

Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham, both members of Congress, spoke to the delegates July 27.

The speeches came hours ahead of scheduled speeches by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine. Earlier in the week, Democrats at the convention voted to nominate Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate.

Luján represented the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC, the group which Luján chairs, seeks to get more Democrats elected to Congress.

Luján...

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