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Morning Word: Johnson Gains Momentum in New Mexico

New poll also shows Democrat leading in secretary of state race

August 24, 2016, 7:10 am
Poll Shows Johnson at 16 Percent in New Mexico
Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign has been gaining lots of momentum this summer, and it looks like he’s on track to do well on New Mexico’s ballot in November. New Mexico Political Report commissioned a public opinion poll that shows Johnson is favored by 16 percent of registered voters. Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 40 to 31 percent in the same poll.
In New Mexico’s biggest statewide race this fall, Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver leads Republican Nora Espinoza 42 percent to 35 percent. Still, 23 percent of New Mexico registered voters haven’t made up their minds in the Secretary of State race, more than twice the number of undecideds in the presidential race.
ID Realities
“Military installations in New Mexico, including Kirtland Air Force Base, will stop accepting some driver’s licenses for base access as early as Sept. 15 as implementation of the federal Real ID Act approaches,” military officials told the Albuquerque Journal
While New Mexico-issued licenses and IDs are valid under Real ID criteria in some aspects until October 2020, at this point they won’t be accepted for Kirtland access after Oct. 10 of this year absent another extension – which is considered likely.

Meanwhile, state officials said Tuesday they hope to begin issuing new Real ID compliant licenses later this year. Under the new system, undocumented immigrants would be eligible only for driving authorization cards that are not valid for purposes of federal identification.
Utah Pulls the Plug on Facebook
It looks like the Facebook's data center site is New Mexico’s to lose after officials in Utah pulled the plug on a hefty tax-incentive package worth up to $260 million over 20 years.

Jurors Impacted by Belt Tightening
“New Mexico jurors and court interpreters are the latest group to feel the pinch of a budget crunch that has all of state government tightening its belt,” the Associated Press reports.
A fund that pays jurors and interpreters has been struggling for several years and the shortfall is now approaching $1 million. Legislative analysts say the gap could be lessened if the courts slash juror pay rates to $4.25 an hour. State statute calls for minimum wage. The Legislature has authorized the state Supreme Court to adjust the payments to cope with underfunding.
Garcia Optimistic at Start of School Year
The new interim Santa Fe Public Schools superintendent sat down with SFR’s Elizabeth Miller to talk about her priorities as school gets underway. Veronica Garcia says she’s focused on “ensuring teachers, staff, students and the community feel a sense of stability despite a change in leadership.” 

Dream Center
A nonprofit faith-based group wants to buy the old Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque and turn it into a center to house and help people struggling with drug addictions, homelessness and victims of human trafficking.

Space Cadets
The Washington Post has an interesting feature about the billionaires pioneering space tourism.

Zozobra Stuffed
Old man gloom won’t go down in a blaze of fire for another week, but Santa Fe residents are already stuffing the cranky bastard with papers documenting their personal frustrations and gloom. Santa Fe police and the sheriff's department give a lot of shredded paper for the cause, including old reports, search warrants and other gloom and doom.

 

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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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