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Morning Word: Defense Contractor Laying Off Hundreds in New Mexico

September 15, 2016, 7:30 am
Lockheed Martin Plans Massive Layoffs
Officials are celebrating Facebook’s decision to build its data site in Los Lunas, but the 50 jobs being created there will be offset by a huge layoff at Kirtland Air Force Base. Lockheed Martin plans to cut 300 employees there by the end of the month, and some longtime employees, who have already received their pink slips, claim they’re being “left in the dark.”
Albuquerque Business First says Lockheed Martin is cutting the jobs because it’s expected to lose an Air Force contract. A spokesperson with Lockheed Martin also said the layoffs were because of a U.S. Air Force decision.
Deming Approves Med Pot Dispensary
City councilors in Deming have approved a special permit to allow New Mexico Top Organics – Ultra Health, Inc. to sell medical cannabis to patients in Southern New Mexico.

Unwise Tax Strategy
The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department wants to shut down Wise Pies Franchise Services, a New Mexico pizza and salad restaurant management group, for failure to pay taxes and workers compensation insurance or agree to an payment installment plan. 

No Tuition Hike at NMSU
Students at New Mexico State University won’t see another tuition hike this year, even if lawmakers cut higher education budgets to trim the state’s growing budget deficit, according to Heath Haussamen.

Variety is the Spice of Life
The general election ballots are finally set to be printed, and Matthew Reichbach reports New Mexicans will have eight presidential candidates to consider voting for. Gary Johnson hopes to pick up a lot of them. A new poll shows him at 13 percent nationallyonly two percentage points short of being allowed to join the debate stage later this month.

New Mexico Truth Ads Face Ethics Complaint
“The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office is reviewing an ethics complaint by a Republican state representative who alleges a Catholic charity behind the controversial New Mexico Truth advertisements broke state law by failing to report spending on the ads as lobbying activity,” reports Justin Hayworth.
State Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque, says the satirical ads by Albuquerque-based St. Joseph’s Children, which point out grim statistics regarding child welfare in the state, were primarily advocating for legislation while lawmakers were in session.

But Allen Sánchez, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Children, an affiliate of Catholic Health Initiatives, on Wednesday said he’s confident the nonprofit hasn’t broken the state’s lobbying law because the advertisements were educational and do not mention legislation.
State Election Code Affirmed
The New Mexico Supreme Court has affirmed an amendment ending discriminatory voting language, including a ban on women and ‘idiot’ voters, according to Andrew Oxford.

Hagel Talks World Order at Domenici Conference
Former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told attendees at the Pete Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces on Wednesday that the decline of America’s complete world dominance is mostly due to the rise of other countries' influence, including China, which he says will be a dominant power for a long time.


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