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Morning Word: Ethical Dilemma

March 7, 2017, 7:30 am

Ethics Commission Proposal Moves to the House Floor
Faced with a seemingly endless string of news reports about politicians illegally using campaign contributions to fuel gambling addictions or to line their pockets with real estate commissions, the voting public is overwhelmingly behind the trying to ensure ethical behavior from elected officials (except, arguably, when it comes to simply not reelecting them). What seems to be the most likely measure to pass, a proposed constitutional amendment, will finally get a floor vote. Speaker of the House Brian Egolf says he'll expedite a vote so the Senate can have a chance at passing the measure with less than two weeks left in the session. 

'What Can We Invent That Will Make Kids Fat?'
Among the many insightful thoughts Cornell University's John Cawley shared with SFR's Steven Hsieh is this gem (which he says is not likely to have been uttered by the soda industry). The economist studies soda taxes, how they came about, whether they work, and why we can't help but drink soda.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia
We know, that's such an old line. But it just keeps seeming appropriate. The City of Brotherly Love passed its own sugary drinks tax to fund pre-K initiatives. It went into effect in January and now the beverage industry says it hurts. One local distributor says he's laid off 30 employees. Philadelphia's mayor says employees have become pawns and that the industry has sunk to a new low.

House Votes to Keep Obamacare Contraceptive Provisions
The state House of Representatives voted last night to make no-cost contraceptive options part of state law. It's one of the key pieces of the Affordable Care Act that is currently being repealed and potentially replaced by Republicans in Washington DC. Democrats picked up two Republican votes, from Rebecca Dow and Sarah Maestas Barnes. The bill goes to the Senate.

Good News for Substitute Teachers
Okay, that's debatable—can there ever really be good news for substitute teachers?—but at least they'll get more work. The Senate unanimously approved a bill that lets teachers take contractually approved sick days without having it count against their effectiveness evaluation. The "Teachers Are Humans, Too" bill is on its way to the governor, who isn't guaranteed to sign it.

Hey, Speaking of Unexplained Absences
So, while the Senate passed the teacher absence bill Monday, the secretaries of education and higher education, Hanna Skandera and Barbara Damron, skipped a scheduled briefing with the Senate Finance Committee. That's what the skinny-suit-wearing political operatives call "bad optics."

Española Puts Superintendent on Leave
After a series of missteps and repeated concerns about financial mismanagement voiced by the public education department, the Española school board suspended schools chief Eric Martinez. The board, which has two new members, will wait to see if the PED bars Martinez from being an administrator, or otherwise disciplines him.

Nice Shirt. Wait a Minute.
We're a forgiving bunch here in New Mexico. So, when J Crew starts selling a 40-dollar t-shirt featuring New Mexico landmarks, we're pleased. Yeah, Shiprock is where the Sandias are and Balloon Fiesta appears to be in Lordsburg. But this is fashion, people. Get fabulous.

Thanks for reading! The Word reminds you that fringes on your clothes is still a risky proposition. Few can pull it off.

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Morning Word: Soda Tax Campaign Gets Sticky

Morning Word The head of a pro-tax political group is apologizing after distributing a flier that didn't say who paid for the blast. ... More

March 23, 2017 by Matt Grubs

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