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Morning Word: We're From the Government. We're Here to Help.

January 17, 2017, 7:30 am
Like Bonnaroo, but 15 Times Longer and Without All the Music
The state's 112 citizen legislators, along with hordes of support staff and legions of lobbyists, descend on the Roundhouse today. Gov. Susana Martinez will deliver her State of the State address just after the workhorse 60-day session gets underway at noon. Faced with unrelenting budget shortfalls, lawmakers will first have to patch a nearly $70 million hole in this year's budget before dealing with more declining revenues next year. Plan for lunch at your desk today—SFR will carry the New Mexico PBS live web feed of the governor's speech.

Here's Your Diploma, Now About That Job...
One day ahead of the annual lawmaking festival, the governor announced that New Mexico is graduating more high school students than ever before. Eight months ago, the state's high school graduation rate was the country's worst. The 71 percent of high school students who earn a diploma still lags the nationwide average of 83 percent, as does the number of high school graduates in New Mexico who find a job.

Amazon Warfare
Lawmakers in Santa Fe will once again consider whether imposing a tax on purchases from online retailers like Amazon is a smart way to add cash to the state's dwindling bank accounts. The effort to create a new tax has failed in recent years—and Gov. Martinez still opposes it—but an Albuquerque outdoors store is forging ahead to compete with internet sellers and doing it the old-fashioned way.

ACA Worries
As Congress moves to repeal Obamacare, many who enjoyed coverage under the Affordable Care Act wonder what the future holds for them. Democratic senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have been working to turn the repeal into political poison, though change in the law seems inevitable

Can't Have Nothin' Nice
The UNM Lobos men's basketball notched a win last weekend against Colorado State, but a second-year assistant coach couldn't walk away from a post-game confrontation with a CSU player outside the arena. The incident made national headlines. UNM will not suspended coach Terrence Rencher, who earns $100,000 a year.

Tourist Roar
The newly designated Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah could bring more tourists to the Four Corners, reports the Farmington Daily Times. The folks who run Aztec Ruins National Monument and Chaco Culture National Historical Park think the new monument ties in nicely with their destinations. Northwestern New Mexico's livelihood hinges on the sagging energy industry and a more diverse economy is always welcome.

Dare to Spare the Bears
After being attacked by a mama bear during a backcountry marathon last summer, runner Karen Williams was upset to learn the bear, which she believed was only protecting her cubs, had been killed according to state guidelines. Williams set to work crafting a proposed law that would let state wildlife experts make case-by-case decisions on how to handle animals that attack humans.

By the Hammer of Thor!
For what it's Hemsworth, Thor stopped by CJ's Si Señor in Alamogordo the other day. Actor Chris Hemsworth may have simply been jonesing for some enchiladas after a day of filming the movie "Horse Soldiers," but by the looks of the restaurant's Facebook page, the cost of his order was a photo with everyone in the place. And outside of it.

Thanks for reading! The Word appreciates you.


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