Wednesday News Roundup: 3 More NM Counties To Issue Same-Sex Licenses

Aug 28, 2013

3 More NM Counties To Issue Same-Sex Licenses  - Associated Press

Three more New Mexico counties say they plan to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The clerks in San Miguel, Valencia and Taos counties said Tuesday they would begin issuing the licenses, joining Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Dona Ana counties.

In Albuquerque, dozens of gay couples gathered at a plaza for wedding ceremonies. The ceremony came just a few hours after the Bernalillo County clerk opened her door to a line of more than 100 people waiting to get same-sex marriage licenses.

A group of Republican legislators is planning to file a lawsuit to stop clerks from issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

State Sen. William Sharer of Farmington says it is up to the state Legislature, not the county clerks or district judges, to make the laws.

NM Gets $1M For Carbon Dioxide Production - Associated Press

The State Land Office says it's received $1.2 million in royalties from a company for carbon dioxide production in northeastern New Mexico.

Land Commissioner Ray Powell said the payment from the Hess Corp. covers production since 2010 on state trust land in Harding County in a carbon dioxide gas field known as the West Bravo Dome.

Powell said the carbon dioxide is sent by pipeline to West Texas where it's injected in oil reservoirs to help increase production.

Public schools, universities and state hospitals benefit from revenues collected on oil and gas production on state trust lands.

The Land Office received about $487 million in royalties from oil and gas production in the last budget year.

Santa Fe District Court Judge Is Retiring - Associated Press

District Court Judge Stephen Pfeffer in Santa Fe is retiring, giving Republican Gov. Susana Martinez a chance to appoint a replacement in heavily Democratic northern New Mexico.

A judicial nominating commission said Tuesday lawyers can apply until Sept. 13 for a vacancy created by Pfeffer's retirement in October.

The commission will meet in Santa Fe on Sept. 19 to interview applicants and recommend candidates to the governor for appointment to the 1st Judicial District Court.

Pfeffer has served on the court since 1996.

The governor's appointee must win in next year's partisan elections to hold onto the judgeship and then would face periodic nonpartisan retention elections.

Nine Republicans appointed by the governor to district and appellate court judgeships lost to Democratic challengers in 2012.