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Where's Richardson? Denish Doesn't Know

By Politics Notebook

      Gov. Bill Richardson's office wouldn't answer Journal questions this week regarding the governor's whereabouts and whether he was working in state or traveling outside New Mexico.
    Turns out Journal reporters weren't the only people left out of the loop.
    Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who is supposed to be in charge of state government when the governor is out of state, said Wednesday morning that she didn't know where Richardson was.
    Denish said she knew the governor was on vacation for Christmas, but had only a vague idea of when he would be returning.
    The Governor's Office maintains that Richardson needs to maintain some privacy, and this is the reason it denies any request for the governor's schedule outside of public events.
    So are privacy concerns enough to keep his schedule from Denish, too?
    — Dan Boyd and Sean Olson
    NEW LAWS: New Mexico will have five new laws on its books Friday, the first day of 2010.
    While two of the new laws merely make technical updates to state code, another measure will allow 10 students per year at the University of New Mexico's School of Medicine to have their tuition waived if they agree to practice medicine in a rural part of the state upon graduation.
    The other two new laws include a requirement that cigarettes be deemed fire-safe — meaning that they will go out if they're not being puffed on — and a measure boosting the enforcement power of the state Securities Division director and increasing licensing fees for brokers and financial advisers.
    All five of the laws are bills that were approved during the legislative session that ended in March.
    — Dan Boyd
    THE INDIA CONNECTION: Secretary of State Mary Herrera is in India on an 11-day trip to promote business ties between New Mexico and the Asian nation.
    Herrera and other members of a state delegation departed Monday for the trip and will meet with various Indian elected officials before returning to New Mexico on Jan. 7.
    Discussions are expected to center on Indian investment opportunities in New Mexico, a proposed sister state relationship between New Mexico and the Indian state of Punjab, renewable energy and tourism.
    All travel costs are being paid for by Herrera, according to the Secretary of State's Office.
    — Dan Boyd




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