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Sen. Heinrich endorses Keller for Albuquerque mayor

Albuquerque mayoral candidate Tim Keller has received another endorsement, this time from Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.

Sen. Martin Heinrich

Sen. Martin Heinrich

“Tim has the right vision for Albuquerque, but more importantly, he has the experience to make his vision a reality for our city,” Heinrich said in a statement released Thursday by the Keller campaign. Heinrich is a former Albuquerque city councilor.

“Tim’s vision starts with ensuring the safety of our city,” Heinrich said. “Tim will put more police officers on the ground to help rebuild our community.”

He also touted Keller’s vision for creating better, higher-paying jobs, and his plan to provide before- and after-school programs for students and programs that cover winter and summer breaks.

Keller, the current state auditor, has received a number of endorsements from individuals and organizations, including the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, the city firefighters union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 18.

He will face City Councilor Dan Lewis in a runoff Nov. 14.

minimum wage: We’ve already reported that Bernalillo County commissioners voted Tuesday night to raise the minimum wage in the unincorporated areas of the county from $8.70 to $8.85, effective Jan. 1.

Commissioners didn’t have much to say before voting on the matter, but Commission Chairwoman Debbie O’Malley issued a statement after the vote.

“Bernalillo County families work hard and they deserve a raise,” O’Malley said. “I acknowledge this is far from a living wage, but this is a good start.”

Behavioral health: At that same meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to consolidate the Department of Addiction Treatment Services into the Department of Behavioral Health Services. They also approved 19 new full-time positions for the newly consolidated department. The 19 positions will be funded from the behavioral health tax that went into effect in July 2015 and through grants.

Katrina Hotrum, the county’s behavioral health director, said the cost of the new positions “will roughly be about 5 percent of the overall budget, bringing us to no more than $1.5 million.”

“I think this is really going to allow the program to take off,” said Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins.

Martin Salazar: