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Morning Word: Electoral College Vote Set

December 19, 2016, 7:30 am
Electoral College Convenes to Elect Trump Today 
At least 37 Republican electors would have to switch their vote today to change the outcome of the presidential election, an unlikely scenario as Donald Trump prepares to move into the White House.

Wilson Tells Staff She’d Considered Intelligence Post
New Mexico Political Report posted a copy of the letter Heather Wilson sent to her colleagues at the South Dakota School of Mines after she met with Donald Trump’s transition team to talk about the Director of National Intelligence post. Wilson told staff she isn’t looking for a new job, but “when a President or President-elect asks you to consider whether your gifts could be used in the service of the nation, you have to be willing to consider it.” Carly Fiorina, who ran for the Republican nomination, is considered the frontrunner for the job.

Unemployment Rate Up
No one likes to be out of a job during the holidays, but the percentage of unemployed New Mexicans is rising. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions reports the unemployment rate in November was 6.7 percent, up from 6.6 percent a year ago.
Labor officials say goods-producing industries in New Mexico have seen a decrease of more than 5 percent — or 5,100 jobs — over the last year. Bright spots include education and health services, the fastest-growing private industry sector with a 6,000-job increase since November 2015.
The national rate was 4.6 percent.

Six Years of Controversy
After New Mexico Tax and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla’s resignation “jolted” state government last week, Steve Terrell decided to look back on other controversies that have caused headaches for Gov. Susana Martinez over the past six years.

Additional Roundhouse Security Measures Proposed
The Capitol Security Subcommittee is recommending spending $275,000 on card key access, surveillance cameras and other security upgrades at the Roundhouse ahead of the 2017 Legislature, which convenes in Santa Fe in less than a month.

Higher Education Secretary Could Lead UNM
New Mexico Higher Education Department Secretary Barbara Damron’s name is being floated as a potential candidate to replace University of New Mexico President Bob Frank. She has, according to blogger Joe Monahan, “received kudos for promising a reform report in September of next year to resolve the dysfunction of higher education in the state which has too many institutions, too many governing boards and a shortage of money to fund them.” Damron would be the university’s first woman president.

Cyber Sales Tax Considered
Andrew Oxford reports, “Cyberspace may not be a tax haven for New Mexico shoppers much longer."
As bipartisan support grows among state lawmakers for tax collections on internet sales to bring in more revenue and help level the playing field for local businesses, major internet companies are becoming increasingly willing to comply and judges are warming to the concept.
Dallas Fans Smiling Today
Dallas Cowboys' fans are celebrating their team’s comeback win Sunday Night. After beating Tampa Bay 26-20, the Cowboys are now 12-2. Denver fans are not in a celebratory mood after the New England Patriots beat the Broncos 16-3.


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