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August 14, 2014

"Report: Arts, culture have $5.6B impact in New Mexico" – Las Cruces Sun-News

A new report commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs shows more needs to be done to capitalize on the state's creative assets as art and culture markets go global and high-tech.  The report, released by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico, says the state's museums, art galleries, libraries, performance spaces, festivals and farmers markets have a combined economic impact of about $5.6 billion. – 8/13/2014


August 12, 2014

"Judge rules Ten Commandments monument must go" – Santa Fe New Mexican

A federal judge says a New Mexico city must remove a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lawn in front of Bloomfield City Hall.  Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker issued a ruling in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, saying the monument constitutes government speech and has the “principal effect of endorsing religion.”  In a 32-page opinion, Parker says the city of Bloomfield clearly violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and must take the monument down by Sept. 10. – 8/9/2014

August 8, 2014

"New Mexico consumer spending up 11%" – Santa Fe New Mexican

Consumer spending in New Mexico shortly after the Great Recession mirrored the national average with 11 percent growth, but it increased at a faster pace than in most other Western states, according to federal figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. – 8/7/2014

August 7, 2014

"NM plans to reimpose work requirement for food stamps" Albuquerque Journal

Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration proposes to reimpose and broaden work-related requirements on low-income New Mexicans to qualify for food stamps.  Starting in October, the state plans to restore a 20-hour-a-week work requirement for an estimated 26,600 childless adults to get food stamps. The mandate was suspended in 2009 because of the national recession. On-the-job training and community service also can help meet the work mandate.  The Human Services Department says it’s uncertain how many people would be affected by the proposed job search changes.


"Rail Runner Express to undergo safety review of Santa Fe crossings" Progressive Railroading

During the next 60 to 90 days, Federal Railroad Administration safety experts will join officials from the Rio Metro Regional Transit District, New Mexico Department of Transportation and other stakeholders to conduct a safety review of Sante Fe grade crossings involving the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. – 8/7/2014

August 6, 2014

"Departments blame confusion for lack of WIPP inspections" Albuquerque Business First

The U.S. Labor Department said it didn’t perform regular safety inspections at New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant because it wasn’t sure it had the authority to do so.  According to a letter sent to Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main said that the problem stems from confusion about MSHA’s authority in the facility because it is run by the Department of Energy. – 8/6/2014

August 5, 2014

"New Mexico student proficiency drops from 2010" – Santa Fe New Mexican

The percentage of students in New Mexico scoring at or above grade level in reading and math is lower now than it was in 2010.  Recently released Standards Based Assessment test scores show that 49 percent of students read at grade level or better this past spring.  That’s down 4 percentage points since 2010. – 8/5/2014

August 4, 2014

"New Mexico one of five worst states for education, study says" Albuquerque Business First

A new report by financial site WalletHub brings more bad news for our state: New Mexico is among the five worst states in education.  Using data from, among other places, the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Educational Statistics and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, WalletHub ranked New Mexico 46th overall in education.  The overall rankings were compiled using data in a number of categories, including dropout rates, math test scores and reading test scores.  New Mexico scored poorly across all three individual categories, placing 43rd in dropout rate, 47th in math test scores and 50th in reading test scores. – 8/4/2014