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Morning Word: Lawmakers Will Convene Without a Budget Deal

September 30, 2016, 7:30 am
Still No Budget Deal Ahead of Special Session
Lawmakers will convene in a special session this afternoon to figure out how to reduce the state’s budget deficits. Republicans say everything is on the table, including slashing film incentives, trimming back on tax breaks, making hard program spending cuts and considering the revenue potential from legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use. Journalist Andrew Oxford put together a good preview piece on the bipartisan negotiations and the governor’s tough-on-crime agenda. 

Corrections Department Needs Supplemental Funding
While most state agencies are looking for ways to cut their budget by at least five percent, the New Mexico Corrections Department says it needs at least $10 million more in supplemental funding to operate efficiently, recruit more guards and avoid the potential for another bloody riot.

Sanchez Denies He Violated Tax Law
Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, is denying Republican accusations that he violated state tax laws for claiming head of household on two separate homes. Steve Terrell reports, “The GOP hit came a day after an Albuquerque-based liberal activist group, Progress Now New Mexico, made a similar accusation against Sanchez’s Republican opponent in the Senate election, Greg Baca of Belen.”

Griego Trial Scheduled
Former state senator Phil Griego’s corruption trial has been scheduled more than a year from now in October 2017, reports Andy Lyman.

White House Celebrates State’s Growth 
New numbers from the US Census Bureau show New Mexico is making gains decreasing poverty and getting more residents health insurance. Still, the growth in New Mexico, which is being celebrated by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, is smaller than that of other states.
The median household income grew by 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 in the United States as a whole from $53,718 to $56,516 according to the Census Bureau numbers. In New Mexico, that growth was 1.2 percent, to $45,119 from $44,968 in 2014. […] 
The Santa Fe metro area saw a 5.3 percent increase in median household income, while the Albuquerque metro area saw a 2.7 percent increase between 2014 and 2015.
Fair Attendance Rises
New Mexico State Fair attendance was up 8 percent, according to New Mexico Expo officials. KOB reports, “The fair drew 497,306 attendees, around 36,500 more people than the previous year. Paid attendance jumped from 414,923 in 2015 to 423,095 in 2016.”

Bad Timing for Street Construction
If you’re coming to Albuquerque for Balloon Fiesta, you might want to avoid Central Avenue west of the Nob Hill neighborhood. Construction on the city’s new bus transit lines has traffic backed up and drivers upset.

Fall Colors Peaking
After watching the opening weekend’s ascensions, you might want to head to the up to Ski Santa Fe and check out the changing fall colors, which are just as vibrant as the hot air balloons.

 

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