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Morning Word: PNM Warns of Layoffs

August 17, 2016, 7:30 am
PNM Spins Financial Risks 
Public Service Company of New Mexico officials claim they could have to lay off 300 employees if commissioners accept a hearing examiners recommendations to decrease their rate increase request. But Marial Nanasi, the president of New Energy Economy, a Santa Fe renewable energy advocacy group, tells the Morning Word, via email, that she thinks that claim is just “spin.”
Remember when PNM said if you don't support our coal and nuclear plan in the San Juan case the PRC will be responsible for job losses at the Four Corners. Not more than two months later—in time for amnesia to set in—Westmoreland laid off nearly 100 workers. So much for the compassion of PNM.
Facebook Facility Plan Stung in Beehive State
A competitive plan to lure Facebook’s new data center to Utah has hit a snag after the Salt Lake City council said they’ll vote against offering the social media giant tax breaks. That could be good news for New Mexico, which is also competing to bring the company to Los Lunas.

Two years after Santa Fe decriminalized marijuana, SFR’s Steven Hsieh reports police officers in the City Different are still busting people for possessing small quantities of the drug.

Health Department Sued over Cannabis Plant Limits
At the same time, the city’s police chief’s wife, New Mexico Health Department Secretary-Designate Lynn Gallagher, is being sued by the mother of an 8-month-old cannabis patient and a medical cannabis producer. After reading a state cannabis market study prepared by Kelly O’Donnell, Bill Richardson’s former Regulation and Licensing secretary the plaintiffs want a judge to order Gallagher to change a rule that limits licensed growers to 450 plants. O’Donnell’s report suggests strict plant restrictions could lead to a nearly 7-ton shortage of the medication by early 2018.

Inmate Settlements Order Released
“A District Court judge ruled in favor of the public’s right to know Tuesday, ordering prison health firm Corizon to release settlement agreements it made with New Mexico inmates who filed lawsuits against the company,” reports Phaedra Haywood.
The Santa Fe New Mexican, the Albuquerque Journal and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government jointly sued Corizon over its refusal to release the settlements, saying the company and the state Corrections Department couldn’t dodge New Mexico’s public records law through contract provisions. Judge Raymond Ortiz agreed.
Bunks Removed at Grants Prison
Meanwhile, the New Mexico Corrections Department got violating a court decree for double-celling prisoners in Grants, but has now agreed to remove bunks that were installed any time after 1991. The Grants prison has a total capacity of 376 inmates

Martinez Jeered at Pence Rally
Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican candidate for vice president, did something during his campaign stop in New Mexico Tuesday that his running mate didn’t: praised Gov. Susana Martinez. But Pence’s shoutout didn’t sit well with some people, who booed Martinez for not backing Trump.

Ginsberg Reads to Santa Fe Student
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is in Santa Fe to make a speech and attend the opera, spent part of Tuesday reading with children and parents at Agua Fría Elementary school. The 83-year-old justice was invited to participate by United Way of Santa Fe’s early childhood education and care programs.


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