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Morning Word: Immigration Raids Reach New Mexico

February 16, 2017, 7:30 am

ICE Raid in Las Cruces
Immigration officials say Wednesday morning's roundup of what the agency calls deportable immigrants was routine. Some of those on the ground say the agency went door-to-door in one neighborhood asking to see proof of legal status, even stopping a car to question the occupants. The agency offered no details about its tactics, which sparked a protest that at one point blocked a street but continued to a peaceful end.

The State of Santa Fe
If you ask Javier Gonzales, it's strong. The mayor used his State of the City address to trumpet Santa Fe's $4.5 million surplus and propose a 5 percent raise for city employees. Gonzales also spent considerable time defending his proposal to tax sugary drinks to help fund early childhood education. And he likened Santa Fe's decision to be a sanctuary city to standing up to a bully—President Donald Trump, who threatened to yank federal dollars from such cities—all while not using the word "sanctuary."

Senate Passes Dark Money Bill
The state Senate passed a measure yesterday that campaign finance reformers view as a bit of a mixed bag. The bill would double the amount of money an individual can give to a candidate, but would also introduce disclosure rules for political expenditure groups that currently can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in elections without having to reveal much about where they're getting the money and how they're spending it.

State Revenue Outlook Stabilizes ...
... But about all you can say about an expected revenue projection for the state is that it hopefully won't get any worse. Lawmakers are still facing a deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars next year and myriad proposals to not just cut costs but raise money are circulating in the Legislature.

State's Largest School District Grapples With Cuts
Albuquerque Public Schools says it could save $10 million by laying off 750 people or shutting down the entire school system for four days. The district says it will try to use cash reserves to hold back any potential cuts, and yesterday a group of teachers gathered at district headquarters to urge APS to hold fast to the reserve fund spending plan. Lawmakers in Santa Fe have targeted school district reserve funds as a major source of money to shore up the state budget.

Eastern NM Power Project Scaled Back
The Tres Amigas project was supposed to link three independent power grids and more easily zip to market electricity generated from renewable sources. The whopping $1.5 billion price tag promised public revenue through a long-term lease with the State Land Office. The project has been scaled back considerably, but developers insist it's still in the works despite the fact that they've relinquished the lease.

MMA's Holm Appeals Loss
Albuquerque's Holly Holm, who rose to local fame with her boxing career and vaulted to international celebrity after defeating then-unbeatable MMA superstar Ronda Rousey, is appealing her weekend loss. Through her attorneys (one of whom is politico and former Attorney General Paul Bardacke), Holm says punches thrown after the end of the round cost her a fair shot at the MMA's first women's featherweight title.

Where Thoughts Serenely Sweet Express
Lastly, we just crossed the threshold into the final two weeks to enter SFR's poetry contest. You could win a few bucks or a gift certificate to someplace cool in town, but more importantly, you can get some eyes on your work as you muse about all that's best of dark and bright.

Thanks for reading! The Word's happy you're up and at it today.

Subscribe to the Morning Word at And don't forget to nominate your favorites in this year's Best of Santa Fe poll!


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