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Morning Word: Teachers Are Human Too

March 10, 2017, 7:15 am

It's Friday, March 10, 2017.

Bad News for Substitute Teachers
And yeah, for full-time teachers, too. Just days after Republican lawmakers touted the benefits of the "Teachers are Human, Too" bill, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it. The bill would have let teachers take the sick days they are promised in their contracts—usually 10—without having the absences affect their annual evaluation. Now, teachers get docked on their review after missing three days due to illness. Here's the veto message.

Behind Bars: Rookie Move?
The former deputy cabinet secretary at the Department of Corrections had been working at the state agency just three months when it looks like she waived at least $20,000 in fees for her old bosses, the production company that produced the reality TV show "Behind Bars: Rookie Year." Alex Sanchez left her job as public information officer for the department to take the TV gig, then returned to the deputy secretary's position with a six-figure salary. The state auditor discovered the waiver.

House Approves Ethics Commission
Oh hey, look at this! Legislation that would ask voters to enshrine an ethics commission in the state Constitution passed the House unanimously last night. The commission could investigate such things as waiving TV production fees for your former bosses, funneling campaign contributions to your bank account or setting up the sale of a state building to earn a real estate commission. Nine days remain for the measure to clear the Senate.

Senate Passes Coyote-Killing Contest Ban
Two urban senators say contests that offer cash, prizes and guns to the folks who kill the most coyotes not only looks bad, but is inhumane. SFR recently detailed the aftermath of such large-scale kills. Over the objection of rural senators who see coyotes as a menace to ranchers, the Senate passed the ban.
Coyotes, like legislative bills, are unprotected species and can "be killed at any time and in any number." No word on whether the governor would sign the ban.

A Tax Loophole By Any Other Name
Let's face it: New Mexico needs more money or less government. The governor has sworn off any new tax increases—at least ones created by the state, not local government. So, the legislature is looking to package a House plan that closes loopholes in the state's gross receipts tax with a Senate plan that, well, increases taxes.

Broadband Boost Bills Find Favor
Have some alliteration with your toast. The governor signed a package of bills that hopes to improve New Mexico's problematic relationship with broadband internet access. The legislation would make it easier for broadband providers to install the cables needed to get broadband. Bills would also leverage broadband in public schools to get wider access and give incentive for companies to expand internet access on Native land.

OMG y'all! Tim Riggins!
Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch will be in town filming Waco. As you guessed even as the Word typed it, the project is based on the Branch Davidian tragedy outside of the Texas city. Michael Shannon, who is also awesome, will be involved in the project.

Hi, Welcome to City Limits Soda and Sweet Shack!
Wednesday's marathon city council meeting to set an election date for the proposed 2-cents-an-ounce tax on sugary beverages was filled with fervor and favor over fizzing and flavor. The one councilor who voted against the plan was Ron Trujillo. And Ron Trujillo doesn't vote unprepared, people. Trujillo unleashed a diatribe against unintended consequences of enacting the tax (such as fleeing the city to do your grocery shopping). SFR runs down the highlights of Trujillo's sweet speech.

Thanks for reading! The Word knows a guy who can get you free soda refills at a couple spots downtown. Shhhh...

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