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Morning Word: You'll Have Nothing and Like It

April 10, 2017, 7:30 am

Gov zeroes out state universities, Legislature in budget
We're not sure who saw this one coming, but the "balanced" budget signed by Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday completely defunds the state's higher education institutions and the Legislature next year. The governor revealed the thumb-in-your-eye move as an apparent motivator for lawmakers to to pass a budget she won't have to approve a tax or fee to balance. A special session is promised, but not before what sounds like closed-door negotiating over the $6 billion budget.

The vetoes cometh
The governor nixed more than half the bills that arrived on her desk this session, as her relationship with the Legislature further deteriorated. It's a performance reminiscent of former governor Gary Johnson, renowned for his reluctance to sign any spending measure or what he viewed as an unnecessary regulation.

Big Soda, Bloomberg pour money into sugary beverage tax election
The American Beverage Association popped the top on its campaign war chest over the last couple of weeks, wiring $700,000 to the group set up to oppose Santa Fe's sugary-beverage tax. The pro-tax group took in less than $1,000 in cash contributions, though former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg provided more than $200,000 in digital media buys and research for the effort. Voters go to the polls on May 2. Early voting starts Wednesday.

Anti-tax group caves on campaign report
One of those outside organizations appears to have had a change of heart about filing a finance report. The head of Smart Progress New Mexico told a group of supporters last night that he plans to file campaign finance documents with the city today. Most of the group's money comes from the local Coca-Cola bottling franchise.

'Lunch-shaming' bill gets national attention
One of the bills the governor did sign will stop schools from denying students lunch, or forcing them to do embarrassing tasks to "earn" their meal, just because they or their families haven't paid their lunch debt. It's been getting steady national attention since last week. Any school that takes federal money would have to abide by the law and work with parents to set up a payment schedule or sign them up for assistance.

The suit continues
Laura Paskus follows up a fascinating story about a group of kids who have sued fossil fuel producers and the federal government for neglecting the environment. This is kids, people, suing Exxon, Koch Industries and the like. The suit is set for trial later this year.

Thanks, but uh...
Looks like the Lobos' search for a new mens basketball coach just took a hit. New Mexico product and NBA assistant coach James Borrego has reportedly told the school  he's no longer interested. The coach for the upstart University of Texas Arlington program is also denying he's in the mix for the job.

Better Set Your DVR
The Breaking Bad quasi-prequel Better Call Saul premieres its third season tonight on AMC. The slow-burn style of the show is a different kind of television, one that's been recognized by all sorts of critics and fans and academies. Plus it's not Albuquerque doubling for someplace else; it's the Duke City in all its glory. 

Thanks for reading! The Word would like to proudly note that the chile license plate will soon be available, free of charge, to all New Mexicans. Time for a road trip to Colorado! 

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