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Morning Word: Is Tax-free Online Shopping Going the Way of the Dinosaur?

February 8, 2017, 7:30 am

Closing a Loophole or Raising a Tax
Depends on whom you ask, but the House Business and Industry Committee just voted to charge gross receipts tax on stuff you buy from online retailers like Amazon. Those purchases are tax-free now unless the retailer has a physical presence in the state. Republicans who typically oppose tax hikes say it's closing a loophole that levels the playing field for local retailers, not raising a tax. It's uncertain if the governor will veto it because of her no-new-taxes stance.

Senate Authors New Chapter in Emergency Court-Funding Soap Opera 
One day after the House unanimously approved a bill that would inject more than $600,000 into the depleted accounts of the court system, the Senate gave the measure two committee assignments that will slow its progress. That means the state Board of Finance, chaired by the governor, will consider a funding request at a special meeting today. The board rejected the courts' last emergency funding request and said the Legislature should handle the matter. But the governor vetoed two attempts to include that money in the bill that pays for the legislative session. And then the funding bill's evil twin showed up and SHE WAS PREGNANT! 

Bear-Saving Bill Stalls
A bill designed to give state officials some wiggle room in a state law that mandates they kill wild animals that attack humans is stuck in a House committee. The measure grew out the bear attack during a backcountry marathon last year. The woman who was attacked supports the bill and said she felt the bear that attacked her was just trying to protect her cubs.

SFPS Bond Levy Passes
Amid what passes for heavy turnout in a school election - 10 percent - voters approved a $100 million bond levy by Santa Fe Public Schools. The measure passed by better than a 2-to-1 margin and will add $80 to the property tax bill of a home valued at $300,000 by the county assessor. George Gamble defeated Pablo Sedillo for a seat on board of Santa Fe Community College. 

Senate Passes Hemp Research Bill
The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow hemp cultivation for industrial research. The hemp plant is similar to marijuana, although not as potent because of lower levels of THC. The governor previously vetoed such a bill. Two similar measures are making their way through House committees.

What Does That Degree Mean?
Changes to the degree structure at public universities in New Mexico have some academics wondering if the goal is to develop critical thinkers or turn out as many degrees as possible. The New Mexico Political Report digs in.

Happy Valentine's Day, SFR-style
The Reporter's Love & Sex issue hits the newsstands today, with explorations into everything from how Spider-Man would fare on Tinder to a buying guide for adventure. Grab one! You might learn something.

We Keep Failing Tests
Specifically, the ones where you find out if you have an STD. When it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, New Mexico is the fifth most diseased state, according to If it's any consolation, our gonorrhea score actually isn't that bad. Chlamydia burned our ranking.

Thanks for reading! The Word reminds you that you better at least buy a card for Valentine's Day.

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