The Decider

Javier Gonzales quit again. After declaring he was done running for office after a single term as mayor, Gonzales declared he saw an opening for the progressive agenda in the lieutenant governor's race. Yesterday, he declared that opening filled. It's the second political race Gonzales has stepped away from in the past six months.

I choo-choo-choose you 

SFR's Valentine's Day issue hit the stands this morning. It's a love letter to a few candidates for city office, as the paper has endorsed its picks. No one-and-done for these ranked-choice endorsements; the ballot is filled out all the way to the end. Early voting starts today, and SFR also has a primer on what to expect both at the polls and on Election Night.

A quick tweak

Over at the Capitol, it may not be a love fest, but members of the House and Senate are hopeful they can make a few final changes to the budget bill. The session ends at noon tomorrow. Last night, the House refused to accept changes made in the upper chamber. The differences were largely over a $26 million Senate cut to road construction and maintenance proposed by the House. As it stands, spending would increase about 4 percent over the current year's budget. The governor has traditionally cut some spending once the bill arrives on her desk.

Partly sunny outlook

New Mexico's solar tax credits expired in 2016. The industry says it's taken a hit since then, cutting jobs as the 10 percent income tax credit disappeared. While efforts to renew the credit died on the governor's desk last year, a pair of bills currently sits in a House committee, one step from a vote that would once more send them to the fourth floor for a chance at reinstatement.

 It’s taken care of

While New Mexico's pension funds for teachers and other government employees have languished at dangerously low levels in the past decades, lawmakers have seen their pension fund balloon to 151 percent of what's needed to meet obligations. While no one's getting rich off the perk, lawmakers only have to kick in $600 a year to leverage much more than that once they exit office. It's an unusual arrangement.

Not so fast

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that state educators have to wait for certification from the federal government before they can cut funding to school districts based on how much they get from the feds. The Zuni school district sued the state in 2010 when New Mexico cut monthly payments before knowing how much money Zuni schools would get. The court denied the district's request for additional funding, ruling that the schools were actually allotted more than they would have otherwise received.

Regents reject Davie’s appeal

The University of New Mexico Board of Regents says it won't hear an appeal of a 30-day suspension of Lobo football coach Bob Davie. The schools suspended the coach after a pair of investigations found questionable behavior with respect to both school policies and civil rights. Interim President Chaouki Abdallah, who is fond of saying "each of us defines all of us," has stood by the Athletic Department through some controversies, but decided to suspend Davie without pay after the reports.

My stormy valentine

We're getting some love from the Pacific today, as a storm system moves into the state with the potential to drop some moisture. Higher elevations could see an inch or two of snow, and there's a chance of rain and a bit more snow if we can coax it into staying a while. Temps will cool tomorrow and fall off a cliff on Friday before rebounding this weekend.

Thanks for reading! The Word wishes you a happy Valentine's Day, and invites you to check out the Academy of American Poets' special archive of love poems. They're for lovers, friends, the heartbroken and the randy … or those who are all of the above.

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