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Morning Word: Another Lawmaker's Financial Disclosures Questioned

August 31, 2016, 7:30 am
Another Lawmaker’s Financial Disclosures Questioned
State Democrats want the Secretary of State’s office to investigate why up-and-coming state Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, R-Albuquerque, didn’t disclose her husband's $91,000 real estate contract with the state of New Mexico. Maestas Barnes claims that she didn’t know about it and has since corrected two years' worth of financial disclosure forms. But Barnes could potentially face criminal charges like former state senator Phil Griego, who was charged with perjury for failing to disclose his real estate earnings on the sale of a state building. 

Sign of the Times
As lawmakers figure out how to shore up the state’s budget, judges in Chaves County have disbanded the grand jury due to lack of funding. The Associated Press reports that Roswell city officials offered to help pay, but that idea was rejected.

Nonprofit Leader Encourages Public Investments
James Jimenez, the new executive director for New Mexico Voices for Children, has some ideas about how New Mexico can create thriving communities for everyone. He says the key is making public investments—not giving big box corporations huge tax breaks, delaying tax refunds to low-income residents, or fraudulently denying food stamps to eligible families. 

Lottery Scholarship Fund Boosted by Record Sales
Robert Nott reports: The New Mexico Lottery Authority has reported record sales topping $154 million over the past year, meaning an increase of more than $5 million for the Legislative Lottery Scholarship fund. But at least one leading lawmaker says the boost in scholarship money—to $46.3 million from just over $41 million last year—will have a short-term effect on the solvency of the fund, which covers a large part of the tuition costs for tens of thousands of in-state college students. 

Trump Heads to Mexico
Ahead of his big immigration policy speech today, Donald Trump is making a quick trip to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pe
ña Nieto.
But the move also carries tremendous risk. Peña Nieto has been hotly critical of Trump's rhetoric, likening him to Mussolini and Hitler earlier this year. What's more, Peña Nieto has domestic politics to manage. His approval rating has plummeted amid scandal over the last several months, dropping to a record low 23 percent in August. Almost three-quarters of Mexicans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country.
Attorney Offers Mobile Immigration Services
Allegra Love is as close to a modern-day saint as you can get. The Santa Fe lawyer is providing free legal immigration services around the state from her mobile “dream machine.” Check out SFR editor Julie Ann Grimm’s cover story today.

Bound Hounds
If you live in Santa Fe County you better think twice about leaving your dog chained up all day. Officials are considering a new ordinance to ban that abusive practice.

Albuquerque Real Estate Market Ranked 7th Worst
A new report from WalletHub reveals what we probably already knew: Albuquerque’s real estate market still isn’t doing well. In fact, it’s now ranked the 7th worst market in the country.
Compared to other metros, Albuquerque also got low marks in average number of days until a house is sold (187th); percentage of homes with negative equity (249th); and population growth rate (86th).


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