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Morning Word: Governor Opposes Tax Increases

August 23, 2016, 12:00 am
Martinez Won’t Support Tax Increase
Gov. Susana Martinez says she won’t consider any tax increases as the state seeks to close a projected budget shortfall during an upcoming special session of the Legislature. Instead, “Martinez has instructed state agencies under her control to trim general-fund spending by 5 percent during the budget year that began in July, with some exceptions for matters of health and public safety.”

Voters Support Death Penalty
Martinez may be bucking a national trend where most states are moving away from imposing death sentences, but it looks like a majority of New Mexico voters support her call to reinstate the ultimate penalty in New Mexico, according to a Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by the New Mexico Political Report.
Republicans are most likely to support reinstatement of the death penalty—78 percent say they support the effort, to just 15 percent who oppose it. On the other hand, a slim plurality of Democrats oppose bringing back the death penalty, with 47 percent opposed compared to the 45 percent who support it. Independents more widely support the proposal, at 58 percent to 34 percent.

‘Junk Report’
John Hendry, the business agent for state film and television crews, disputes a University of Southern California report that claims the state is wasting its money by offering Hollywood production tax incentives. Last year, producers pumped in $385 million into the state’s economy.

Monsoons Return to State
We’ll be spending part of the morning weeding our yard. They seemed to have popped up overnight after the monsoon returned to New Mexico over the weekend. The good news, is the wet weather will continue for most of the week, according to forecasters. 

Vigil Named Medical Cannabis Program Director
The moisture is helping the state’s outside medical marijuana grow too. Speaking of pot, the communication director at the New Mexico Department of Health, who recommended patients essentially go back on to pharmaceutical drugs if their medical cannabis program cards expired before the department could process their renewals, got a big new promotion. Kenny Vigil, who also claimed there was no way to predict a 81 percent surge in patient registrations between June 2015 and June 2016, is now the Medical Cannabis Program director. His boss, Health Secretary-Designate Lynn Gallagher, spent Monday defending the administration of the program to lawmakers in Taos.

Trump Insists Mexico Will Pay for Wall
Donald Trump is spending more on campaign apparel like hats and t-shirts than on campaign payrolls. Maybe that’s why the 12-year-old Colorado middle schooler signed up to be the real-life co-chair of the Republican’s campaign in Jefferson County, Colorado. Last night, Trump told a mostly white crowd in Ohio that his plans to build a wall along the Mexican border hasn’t changed.

Coal Industry Billionaire Won’t Back Hillary
We’ve reported on high-ranking Republicans who say they won’t vote for Trump, but now we’re hearing that Jim Justice, the Democratic candidate for governor in West Virginia (and billionaire coal mine business owner), says he won’t be casting his ballot for Hillary Clinton.

Uber Offers Spanish-Speaking Service
Finally, Uber, the popular ridesharing service, is going to expand its Spanish-speaking driver services around the state, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.


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