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Morning Word: PNM Questioned about Rate Increase

June 28, 2016, 7:30 am
New Questions in PNM Rate Case
Regulators are questioning a rate increase sought by the Public Service Company of New Mexico. The investor-owned utility, Rebecca Moss reports, claims it “needs the money to offset the purchase of electricity from a nuclear power plant in Arizona and its investments in alternative energy.”

Lawmakers Ordered to Testify in Griego Corruption Case
On Monday, State District Judge Brett Loveless decided that lawmakers subpoenaed to testify at former Senator Phil Griego’s preliminary hearing will have to take the stand. Loveless wants to review an audio transcript before deciding if this journalist will also have to testify about confidential conversations we had before publishing a series of investigative reports that led to his resignation and corruption charges.

Toulouse Oliver Faces Ethics Complaint
Deborah Baker reports, “Republicans have filed a complaint against Democratic Secretary of State nominee Maggie Toulouse Oliver for a contribution that one political action committee gave another two years ago, alleging she violated campaign finance laws – a claim Toulouse Oliver says is baseless.”

Espinoza Associated with Church of Scientology
Meanwhile, Andy Lyman reports Republican secretary of state candidate Nora Espinoza “appeared in two promotional videos for a group closely associated with the Church of Scientology that is critical of prescription drug companies. Months later, Espinoza received a large campaign contribution from a pharmaceutical company that clashed with the controversial religious group in the past.”

NMSU Cuts Employee Benefits
As expected, New Mexico State University regents voted to cut employee benefits to shore up their budget. Heath Haussamen reports, “Current and future New Mexico State University employees will see reductions in annual leave, most employees will lose their sick leave payout benefit, and future employees working less than 30 hours a week won’t be eligible for health and other insurance.

At the same time, Mexican students attending NMSU are now eligible for a tuition discount that is about half the rate for other out-of-state students.

Johnson Support Mixed
Public opinion polls show former Gov. Gary Johnson’s presidential bid has a range of popular support. He’ll need to get to 15 percent in five national polls before being allowed into the presidential debates ahead of the general election this fall.

Fish OK for Now
Brett Berntsen reports that new studies reveal the fish population in the Animas River have not suffered immediate impacts from last year’s toxic mine spill, but “experts say more work is needed to determine the long-term impacts the heavy metals released during the disaster could have on aquatic life.” 

Monsoon Season Ahead
It looks like we’ll have good weather for the 4th of July, but after that, weather forecasters say get ready for the summer monsoon to rumble by next week.

Bregman Heads to Fresno 
Major League Baseball reports that Albuquerque native Alex Bregman, who signed a multimillion-dollar contract with the Houston Astros last year, is moving up to the team’s Triple A squad in Fresno after he plays in the Texas League All-Star Game tonight. Bregman racked up 14 home runs, including this powerful grand slam, in just 62 games this year.


 

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Morning Word: Death Penalty Reinstatement Would Cost State Millions

Morning Word At the same time New Mexico lawmakers are trying to shore up the state’s budget, the New Mexico Public Defender's Office is questioning the costs associated with reinstating the death penalty.  ... More

Sept. 22, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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