News Minute: Here is the latest New Mexico news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. MST
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging legislators at the outset of the state's annual legislative session to rally around new financial commitments to public education. The commitments range from a trust fund for early childhood educational to free college tuition for local residents. Lujan Grisham was scheduled to deliver her second State of the State speech at noon on Tuesday as legislators weigh pending priorities for an $800 million budget surplus tied to a booming oil sector.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Efforts to legalize recreational marijuana, fund tuition-free college and shore up pensions for state and local government workers are top priorities as the New Mexico Legislature convenes. The 30-day session convenes on Tuesday. The entire Democratic-led Legislature is up for election this year as debate ensues on issues of restricting gun access, teacher pay and new criminal penalties for acts of domestic terrorism. State government is flush with income linked to record breaking oil production in the southeast corner of the state.
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - One of Arizona's largest utilities is seeking companies to build solar plants to provide up to 400 megawatts of power, including 200 megawatts from Navajo Nation facilities. The Farmington Daily Times reported Salt River Project issued a request for proposals Jan. 15. SRP officials say the energy will be delivered to customers in central Arizona. The request from the Phoenix-based utility asks for proposals for plants that can produce between 100 and 200 megawatts. The company says Navajo Nation plants could be located anywhere within its territory that can connect to the SRP grid.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., (AP) - A new PBS documentary is exploring a little-known movement in 1960s Chicago that brought together blacks, Latinos and poor whites from Appalachia. “The First Rainbow Coalition,” scheduled to begin airing Jan. 27, on most PBS stations, shows how Black Panther Party members organized Puerto Rican radicals and Confederate flag-waving white southerners to help tackle poverty and discrimination. Filmmaker Ray Santisteban says its a project that took him 14 years to complete. In 1969, Bobby Lee as a member of the Black Panther Party, reached out to southern white migrants living in Chicago to join him in fighting poverty and police misconduct.
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