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Morning Word: Martinez Signs Two Budget-Fixing Bills

October 20, 2016, 7:40 am
State Still Faces Funding Problems Despite Budget Fixes
Gov. Susana Martinez signed two bills to shore up the state budget, but still has three bills to consider. Not everyone is happy with her line item veto to language that would have specifically allocated money for a home parenting training program aimed at reducing child abuse and neglect.

Johnson: "Really, it just sucks"
There were lots of presidential debate watch parties around the state last night, but Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson wasn’t attending any of them. He was in Los Angeles and told supporters, “Really, it just sucks” that he wasn’t on the stage debating the issues since he’s the only third party candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.

Republicans Criticized for Direct Mailer Sent to School District Staff
Andy Lyman reports, “Some staff and faculty of a school district in northern New Mexico are questioning how and why the House Republican caucus sent a mass email criticizing a Democratic lawmaker."
Two days into the 2016 special session, a number of teachers and staff with Los Alamos Public Schools received a press release from GOP leaders at the state House of Representatives in their work email inboxes. The press release appeared to come from House Republicans and admonished Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, for a vote she made the night before. “Stephanie Garcia Richard voted to raid $25 million from New Mexico school district savings accounts last night,” the press release read.
Teachers Protest Evaluations
A group of teachers in Albuquerque set their annual evaluations on fire to protest the program that they say is driving educators away from careers in the classroom.

Oil Industry Downturn Impacts Schools
Meanwhile, in oil patch towns like Hobbs, Jal, Eunice and Tatum, school funding could be cut due to declining enrollments as people get laid off and move away.
The declining enrollment numbers come as cities and towns in southeastern New Mexico are seeing drops in gross tax receipts due to falling oil prices. The oil downturn also has affected the state budget and recently forced state lawmakers into a special session to enact a spending plan.
Zozobra Merchandise Stolen
TS Last over at the Albuquerque Journal North writes people in Santa Fe and surrounding communities, “Be on the lookout for purloined bobble-head dolls, T-shirts and other goods depicting a strange, big-eared man wearing a bow tie and what looks like a long, white dress.”
A horse trailer containing about $35,000 of Zozobra merchandise was stolen in Santa Fe sometime within the past few weeks, a crime that could make children of Santa Fe especially gloomy this year.

“Whoever did this is really stealing from the kids,” said Ray Sandoval, who organizes the annual burning of Zozobra — or “Old Man Gloom,” as he’s known — on behalf of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe.


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