April 11 First News: President's budget allocates funding increase for LANL. (listen)

Under President Obama's budget proposal, the national lab at Los Alamos would get  more funds for overall operations and for radioactive waste cleanup.  But the cleanup proposal contains less funding than advocates had hoped for.  The federal plan would also cut the budget at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, where the Los Alamos waste is sent.  Meanwhile, Sandia National Laboratories in Los Alamos would see a budget for next year equal to this year's spending plan.  

Religious opponents of marriage equality converged on Santa Fe City Hall last night to criticize a proposed resolution that would hold same-sex marriage to be lawful in New Mexico and asking that county clerks begin issuing licenses. The matter is set to receive a vote on April 24th. Meanwhile, city council moved to set in motion two related proposals. One would have the City officially extend domestic partner benefits to same sex partners of fulltime city employees.  The other would stipulate that Santa Fe only make purchase contracts with businesses that do not discriminate on the basis of spousal affiliation, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Santa Fe Association of Realtors says homes sales inside city limits were up in the first quarter of this year while the median price dropped by 17 percent.  In the rest of the county, both sales and prices showed a drop.  The association says the median price of homes sold in the city during the period was $245,000 and in the county it was $379,000.  

Meanwhile, a notable piece of Santa Fe real estate is on the market for $8.4 million. The 101- year-old Scottish Rite Masonic Center has also just been added to the endangered properties list of the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance.  

State officials say an appeals court ruling to restore energy-efficient building codes will not be enforced -- just yet. They say the court only requires that the issue go back to the Building Industries Commission for reconsideration of their decision to eliminate the rules. The issue went to court because the Martinez administration decided to eliminate the efficiency rules for new building standards that had been adopted before she took office.  But the appeals court agreed with supporters of the old rules that the decision to eliminate them was reached without reviewing the same evidence used to adopt them.   

A national family advocacy group says more than 190,000 New Mexicans will be eligible for federal tax credits under the Affordable Care act next year.  Ron Pollock of Families USA says that includes some 14,000 people in the Santa Fe-Los Alamos area. *** The tax credits will help qualifying families offset the cost of health insurance.  

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny today and temperatures climbing back toward seasonal norms.  Today’s high near 55 and there’s a 10% chance for a passing thundershower each day through Saturday.  Lows tonight in the low 30s.  Friday should see temperatures rise into the low 60s with overnight lows near 40.