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Dec. 5 First News: Two Santa Fe Mayoral Candidates Seek To Halt Flow Of $ To Opponent. (Listen)

  Two Santa Fe Mayoral candidates are seeking to halt the flow of public campaign finance money to opponent Patti Bushee until a city review board hears a complaint filed by a woman who’d briefly worked as Bushee’s campaign chief. The issue involves Bushee paying the former employee an 18-hundred dollar check from a personal account. The candidates—Javier Gonzales and Rebecca Wurzburger—have asked the Ethics and Campaign Review Board to hold an expedited hearing on the matter. Bushee maintains the payment occurred in June, when she was still running on private funds.

Governor Susana Martinez will once again push to repeal the law that allows the state to issue driver’s licenses to immigrants who are living in the country illegally. The New Mexican reports that a Martinez Administration official has indicated that the Governor has pledged to keep trying to pass the driver’s license bill as long as she is governor. It has failed in the Legislature during the past three regular sessions. When passed a decade ago, New Mexico was one of only three states to issue licenses to undocumented residents, but since then eight other states and Washington, D-C have adopted similar legislation.

First District Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham on Wednesday announced a one-point-five-percent boost/ for veterans, their families and survivors who receive disability compensation and pension benefits from the U-S Department of Veterans Affairs. The Democrat said, quote: “New Mexico’s veterans, their families and their survivors have sacrificed a great deal in service to our country, and they deserve the added financial stability that next year’s cost-of-living increase will provide.”  The beneficiaries’ hike in monthly payments takes effect with the New Year.

The recent report that New Mexico’s homeless population has declined 18-percent and that less than three-thousand New Mexicans are homeless has advocates raising questions. KOB-TV reports they point to the fact that Albuquerque Public Schools alone reports serving served some six-thousand homeless students in 2011, when the Housing and Urban Development Department surveyed the state. Advocates for the homeless also point to those HUD numbers being gathered by the agency taking a random sample on one day a year.

Governor Susana Martinez announced this week that General Dynamics Information Technology in Las Cruces is expanding. The firm is planning to fill 200 jobs and add space to its Las Cruces operations. The I-T systems contractor for the defense and other industries is seeking full-time back-office support representative positions ranging from entry-level to management. Martinez says the company will be conducting interviews through the end of January.

According to the Department of Finance and Administration, state government agencies returned almost 66 million dollars to the New Mexico general fund during the last fiscal year.  The D-F-A says the Health Department reverted more than 16- million, largely from employee pay and benefits. And the Public Education Department sent back more than 13-million dollars, mostly because it received more federal dollars than expected after the P-E-D determined how much it would distribute to school districts and charter schools.

Santa Fe Police are searching for a 74-year old man who suffers from multiple medical ailments including depression and diabetes. Orlando Baca was last seen in the 32-hundred block of Jemez Street in Santa Fe on Thanksgiving. Police say his family is worried that he may need immediate medical help. They also say Baca may be living out of an older-model Ford Taurus.

Santa Fe Weather: Snow likely today—expect mostly cloudy skies with a high near 26. There’s a  70-percent chance of precipitation, and daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. 

Tonight: A 30 percent chance of snow, with mostly cloudy skies and a low of 13. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, with a high near 32.