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Morning Word: Martinez Warms Up to Trump Administration

November 16, 2016, 7:30 am
Martinez Optimistic
Gov. Susana Martinez, according to her staff, is feeling optimistic after a productive meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence during a Republican Governors Association meeting in Orlando, Florida. A spokesman says that Martinez is “confident that the concerns of the people of New Mexico will be heard and addressed by the new administration.” 

‘The Sky’s the Limit’
Who knows what will happen during the transition and first 100 days of the Trump presidency, but the nation’s Republican governors sure seem “giddy” about the disruptive changes ahead. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says with Republicans in charge in Washington, “the sky’s the limit” and he, like many RGA members, are urging Obamacare be completely repealed.
Martinez, however, said she expected people to continue to enroll for insurance using health care exchanges as long as it's the law and that they can't just take away insurance from people who have it now. "I don't know that there will ever be a turn off the switch, wait a period of time and then turn it back on," said Martinez. "There is going to have to be a transition and not leave everyone uninsured."
Bannon's Appointment Criticized
White supremacist groups are praising Trump's appointment of Breitbart Media Executive Director Steve Bannon as chief strategist, but Democrats in New Mexico’s federal delegation are expressing concerns the president-elect's selection. Martinez, on the other hand, says Trump gets to appoint whomever he is comfortable surrounding himself with and that the real measure of the appointment will be what “he delivers.” 

Sanctuary City Status Defended
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales was a guest on Fox News yesterday to defend the city’s policy to provide sanctuary to immigrants living in Santa Fe at the same time “as more cities across the United States made pledges to remain safe places for undocumented immigrants despite Republican President-elect Donald Trump’s threat to withhold federal funding.”

Taos Lawmaker Enters Speaker Race
Rep. Brian Egolf isn’t the only Democrat interested in becoming speaker of the New Mexico House. Taos Rep. Bobby Gonzales, a Democrat and a 22-year veteran lawmaker, tells Steve Terrell he’s putting his name out there to give the caucus members a choice of who will replace Rep. Don Tripp (R-Socorro).

Courts Need Emergency Funding
Unless state courts get emergency funding, trial jurors can expect to wait up to four months to get paid for their time. Dan Boyd reports the judicial branch is also considering furloughs for appellate court employees.
The cost-saving measures, which would take effect next spring, are being considered after the Legislature cut funding for the judiciary by 3 percent – or slightly more than $4.8 million – during a recent special session called to address a massive state budget shortfall. Other state agencies and programs also face spending reductions under the special session solvency plan.
PNM Looks to Save Costs with Workforce Reduction
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the “Public Service Company of New Mexico said it would lay off 30 managers and staff members as part of an effort to reduce costs. PNM currently employs about 1,500 people in New Mexico. The eliminated positions account for 2 percent of the company’s workforce.”


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