Spaceport liability bill zooms to NM Senate floor

By Rob Nikolewski on January 28, 2013

UPDATE 1/30: Senate Bill 240 passed the Senate floor unanimously, 34-0. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Just six days after an agreement was announced between New Mexico legislators and executives at Virgin Galactic, a bill that would establish liability safeguards at Spaceport America (Senate Bill 240) glided through the Senate [...]

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Spaceport compromise reportedly reached in NM Legislature

By Rob Nikolewski on January 22, 2013

Concerns that Spaceport America will end up being a $209 million white elephant for New Mexico taxpayers may have been greatly put to rest on Tuesday (Jan. 22) when legislators announced that an agreement had been reportedly reached between Virgin Galactic and the state’s trial lawyers.
Virgin Galactic, the anchor tenant at the Spaceport, has made [...]

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It’s official: Mary Kay Papen is the new Pro Tem of the NM Senate

By Rob Nikolewski on January 15, 2013

Last week, Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces) first told New Mexico Watchdog that she had the votes to become the new Senate Pro Tem in New Mexico and the senators who voiced their support for her “were not rolling.”
Turns out she was absolutely right.
On Tuesday (Jan. 15) on the opening day of the 51st [...]

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Battle lines drawn early on first day of NM Legislative session, Sanchez spars with Gov Martinez

By Rob Nikolewski on January 15, 2013

Well, any “era of good feelings” for this brand new 60-day legislative session didn’t last long.
A little more than a couple hours after new Speaker of the House W. Ken Martinez told his chamber, “if we disagree it should never be disagreeable” and about a half hour after Republican Gov. Susana Martinez spoke of “the [...]

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More money slated to crack down on doping in NM horse racing

By Rob Nikolewski on January 14, 2013

After a year in which New Mexico horse racing was the target of a slew of negative stories — including the deaths of quarter horses running in high-profile races and suspensions of trainers for doping — the proposed budgets from Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislative Finance Committee have called for increased spending for the [...]

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Editorial: The other side isn’t so bad

By Rob Nikolewski on January 13, 2013

For all the talk of political polarization, I think a couple recent stories show that New Mexico Republicans aren’t nearly as extreme as liberals fear and Democrats aren’t as left-wing as conservatives suspect.
We’ll start with the decision by Gov. Susana Martinez to accept the federal government’s offer for states to expand Medicaid.
At least 10 other [...]

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EXCLUSIVE: Mary Kay Papen says she “definitely has the votes” to become the new Senate Pro Tem

By Rob Nikolewski on January 8, 2013

State Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Las Cruces) told Capitol Report New Mexico on Tuesday night (Jan. 8) that she “definitely has the votes” and and will become the next Senate Pro Tem.
“I know I’ve got the votes,” Sen. Papen said, adding, “I’m extremely confident … I think I have a minimum of 7 and as [...]

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Pete Campos is the pick for Senate pro tem … for now

By Rob Nikolewski on December 9, 2012

At the New Mexico Senate Democratic Party caucus on Sunday, Pete Campos was selected as president pro tem of the chamber to replace Sen. Tim Jennings (D-Roswell), who lost his re-election bid back in November.
But while Campos — who’s served in the state Senate for 21 years from Las Vegas — received the nod, it’s [...]

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Will the Roundhouse give the Racing Commission more money to crack down on cheaters?

By Rob Nikolewski on October 4, 2012

It seems there’s a wave of support for getting tough on cheaters in New Mexico horse racing but a question remains: Will legislators give the state Racing Commission more money to do it?
In the past two weeks, three high-profile trainers of quarter horses got the book thrown at them after horses they looked after were [...]

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Two horse racing trainers in NM get the book thrown at them

By Rob Nikolewski on October 1, 2012

As things stand now, two of the best-known quarter horse trainers in New Mexico can’t step foot on a horse racing track in the state for a long, long time.
Over the weekend, Jeffrey Heath Reed and Carlos Sedillo were found in violation of the rules and regulations for trainers by stewards working with the authority [...]

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