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Morning Word: Money For You and You and You

April 11, 2017, 7:30 am

Now hear this
In a hastily called news conference, Gov. Susana Martinez said that her veto of the entire higher education budget was not a stunt, before saying that she expected lawmakers to give her a budget that restores higher ed funding and giving no hint of a further veto. The governor again promised a special session and somewhat quietly voiced support for taxing internet sales. It was a delicate dance, with the governor insisting that taxing something that had not previously been taxed was not a new tax. 

2018 gubernatorial race hits first milepost
Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham claimed nearly $900,000 in contributions to her campaign for governor. That's a hefty chunk of change, and Grisham's strategy seems to be to crowd out other candidates by announcing early and raising big. Attorney General Hector Balderas, who has not announced, has a lot of money in the bank that he could use for reelection or for a governor's race. Rep. Joe Cervantes has roughly a quarter of a million dollars on hand, and Republican Lt. Gov. John Sanchez has a similar amount—though only Lujan Grisham has announced her candidacy.

Is anyone still inside at Intel?
The chip maker's annual report to Sandoval County revealed that the company continues to cut jobs at its Rio Rancho plant. About 700 employees have left due to retirement, buyouts or other reasons.

Gun battle at border checkpoint
Sunday night, US Customs and Border Protection officers say they shot a man at a checkpoint. The CBP says its officers ordered the man to a secondary screening area. He drew a gun, they say, and fired at them. They shot back, sending the man to the hospital where he apparently remains. The FBI is investigating and the CBP has not released the man's identity. 

WIPP it good
Or bad, we suppose, depending on your view of storing low-level nuclear waste underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. Either way, the first waste shipment in three years rolled into the facility yesterday. The plant shut down in 2014 following a radiation release from a waste drum. Two shipments a week will begin this week, eventually ramping up to four a week by year's end.

Third soda tax group files report
The anti-tax Smart Progress New Mexico political committee filed its first campaign finance report with the city yesterday. The group is primarily funded by the local Coca-Cola bottler and Boxcar (the bar and restaurant in the Railyard). Its $11,300 is chump change compared to the $800,000 dumped into the race by Big Soda, but it's a sign of local activism and boots on the ground.

Coach poach
The University of New Mexico, which as you may have noticed has neither two new regents nor a budget for next year, is also minus a mens basketball coach. That might be a less-than-comfortable situation for a potential head coach. But what if you could just take the coach from the state's other big basketball program? UNM is talking to New Mexico State's Paul Weir. NMSU also has no budget and Weir is at least familiar with the state's political scene. Nothing's official.

Warmth and rain
Two generally good things here in the Land of Enchantment. Both are on tap today, though there's a better chance of rain if you're standing east of the central mountain chain.

Thanks for reading! The Word envisions an entirely in-state basketball coaching shift where everyone moves up a seat. Although, if Española's left without a coach, it all collapses.

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