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Morning Word: Broke(n) Justice

February 6, 2017, 7:30 am

Emergency Hearing Set For Court Funding 
After another veto of last-minute funds to keep the New Mexico court system out of what state Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels called a constitutional crisis, a state Board of Finance meeting has been set for Wednesday to inject $600,000 into a fund that pays jurors for their service. Without it, the constitutionally guaranteed right to a trial by jury is in jeopardy.

Pass on Grass. Sort Of.
A legislative committee advanced a proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The bill, which passed out of committee without a recommendation, would generate millions in revenue if the state taxed the drug, but the governor has already signaled a likely veto.

Bond. General Obligation Bond.
Santa Fe's school bond vote just got a little more interesting. The election is on Tuesday, and over the weekend someone started distributing fliers urging a "no" vote on the $100 million bond issue. The fliers are anonymous and Santa Fe's superintendent says they contain inaccurate information meant to tank the measure, which would increase property taxes by about $80 per year on a $300,000 home. 

UNM Tennis Racket
Departed chief operating officer for Lobo athletics Tim Cass is still earning $24,000 a year as a consultant. That's old news. But the upstart NM Fishbowl reports that because of the way Cass' contract is structured, he's technically still a UNM employee earning credit toward retirement. That small distinction could earn him a six-figure bump in public retirement benefits.

Immigration Policy Impact
What happens if we do build that wall? What about the rest of the White House's stance on immigration? Laura Paskus takes a closer look at the impact of President Trump's immigration policy and a legislative effort to block construction of a border wall.

Camel Rocked
It happens to all of us at some point: Age takes its toll. That doesn't usually mean our mouth falls off, but KOB-TV is reporting that's what happened to the familiar Camel Rock formation along US 84/285 north of Santa Fe. The station says it "reached out to the Pueblo of Tesuque to see if anything could be done to fix or repair it." 

This Isn't a Popularity Contest
But it could be! Albuquerque state senator Mimi Stewart's plan to add New Mexico to an interstate compact that would bind presidential electors to the national popular vote passed out of committee. New Mexico voted for both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, who won the national popular vote, but not the presidency. 

Is February Spring Now?
Sure feels like it. Expect a windy day and a warm week, including what may be a shot at some record high temperatures near the end of the week. Ski areas enjoyed a snowy January, but this could be an unkind month for skiers.

Thanks for reading! The Word appreciates you.

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