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Morning Word: Sanctuary Standoff

March 28, 2017, 7:30 am

Sessions Doubles Down on Sanctuary Threat
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeated a Trump promise that sanctuary cities will lose funding if they don't toe the line and work with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. In response, Santa Fe signed on to a lawsuit saying the threat to pull funding is unconstitutional.

Governor Threatens Forced Days Off for State Workers
Citing a current-year budget that's too thin, Gov. Susana Martinez once again threatened to close state parks and museums and to start instituting furloughs for state workers. Martinez made the threats in a speech to business leaders yesterday. Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature complained that they didn't hear anything about current-year troubles from the governor after they passed a budget fix for the current year early in the session.

Bill Could Boost Turnout for Lagging Elections
School board elections, conservancy district elections, all the little-noticed chances to exercise your vote could get lumped onto the same ballot for an odd-year November election if the governor signs a bill on her desk. It's designed to boost turnout and save the boards the money it takes to pay for elections that traditionally have only a meager turnout.

Trinity Demonstration
This Saturday is one of two days a year that the public can visit the Trinity Site. As usual, the grim journey will include a peaceful protest from the Tularosa Basin Downwinders, who've been asking the federal government to pay them for what they believe are lasting effects from the world's first atomic bomb detonation.

Not Quite Like a Phoenix
Flights from Phoenix to Santa Fe aren't exactly off to a soaring start. The planes are only about 60 percent full, which means that an association of tourist groups will have to kick in hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a guarantee to fill the planes to a level that's acceptable to American Airlines. The contract signed with the air carrier limits make-good payments to $400,000 during the first year of the flight, which started just before Christmas.

Charter School Oversight
In New Mexico, 60 percent of the state's charter schools report not to a school district, but to the state. While the Public Education Commission has the authority to grant—or pull—a school's charter, it doesn't have money to hire its own oversight staff. That's up to the Public Education Department. The commission and the department continue to butt heads over how best to monitor public money that pours into charter schools.

Lobos Men's Basketball Exodus Continues
Sam Logwood, the team's No. 3 scorer, announced he's leaving the Lobos next year. Logwood is the third player to leave the team this offseason—and there may be more. The Lobos failed to make a postseason tournament and unless they land a transfer of their own, next year's team won't have anyone on it who averaged more than six points a game.

Finally
After spurning winter for most of February and March, Mother Nature continues to do New Mexico a solid. More storms are on the way, pumping snow onto higher elevations and giving ski areas one last shot at a more lucrative winter.

Thanks for reading! The Word often wonders if Tom Waits' throat hurts because he sounds like that, or if he sounds like that because his throat hurts. 

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