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Morning Word: Budget Showdown Looms

October 5, 2016, 7:35 am
Budget Showdown Looms
“State House members are headed for a showdown with the Senate over cuts to higher education and public health programs when they return to the Capitol on Wednesday to resume a special session of the New Mexico Legislature to deal with a budget crisis,” reports Andrew Oxford.
Virtually all House members agree they will have to lop the 2017 spending plan to address an unconstitutional gap between spending and projected revenues, but dueling proposals have set up a debate over what to slash and how deep to cut.

Unclear is whether Republicans and Democrats can come together in the heat of an election season to give a series of budget bills the two-thirds support in both chambers needed for the legislation to take effect immediately and address the $600 million shortfall.
Poll: Majority Think State is Headed in the Wrong Direction
A majority of New Mexicans say they don’t think the state is headed in the right direction. A new poll conducted by the Albuquerque Journal shows residents are concerned about high crime rates, quality of public education and the sluggish economy and job market.

Death Penalty Unpopular with Juries
Legislation to reinstate the death penalty in New Mexico appears to have the support of a majority of residents surveyed, but Joline Gutierrez Kruger, a crime reporter and “Up Front” columnist, writes that juries here in the Land of Enchantment have been reluctant to condemn convicts with the ultimate punishment in the past. The New Mexico House is expected to discuss and vote on the issue today.

Acoma Plans Huge MedPot Greenhouse
It looks like Acoma Pueblo will become the state’s first tribe to enter the medical cannabis market. The Bright Green Group of Companies’ website shows the company is partnering with Acoma to develop a massive $160 million greenhouse and research facility on 150 acres. Once it’s built, they claim they’ll be able to grow up to 40 million plants a year.

Latinos Face Health Disparities
Latino communities face an elevated risk of cancer and an increased burden from childhood asthma attacks and lost school days attributed to some of the 9 million tons of methane and toxic pollutants emitted from oil and gas wells each year. SFR’s Elizabeth Miller reports on the new research results.

Clinton has Double-Digit Lead in New Mexico
So much for being a swing state. A new day and a new presidential campaign poll and it looks like Hillary Clinton is up 13 percent over Republican candidate Donald Trump in New Mexico, 46 percent to 33 percent. Gary Johnson is at 14 percent. Only 2 percent of respondents support Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

 

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Morning Word: Declining Revenues Could Mean More State Budget Cuts

Morning Word State government officials may have to do some more belt-tightening as economists estimate a $69 million deficit in current fiscal year and $300 million less revenue in 2017. ... More

Dec. 06, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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