April 23, 2017
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Take off, ye state workers

April 20, 2017, 7:30 am

It's Thursday, April 20, 2017.


Gov furthers furlough plan
Susana Martinez has told her cabinet secretaries to ready plans for forced days off in an effort to bolster the state's reserves. The governor said yesterday the furloughs could start next week, but could also be avoided if she and lawmakers can broker a closed-door deal on the budget. Lawmakers say it's an unnecessary bargaining ploy by the governor and unfairly punishes state workers.

Vetoes cut deeper
A closer look at the governor's budget vetoes shows they'll impact some $3 billion—yes, billion—in funding for hospitals, agricultural extension services, even autopsies that take place under the auspices of the state's universities. The governor, who promises that funding will be restored, has not called a special session, instead opting for a statewide tour of more-or-less impromptu press conferences to plead her case.

Those pesky ethics
Santa Fe's Ethics and Campaign Review Board continues to work its way through some city campaign rules that are less clear than many thought they would be. The board yesterday sanctioned the pro-tax Pre-K for Santa Fe group for not properly identifying itself on campaign material. It also ruled that the Rio Grande Foundation, which produced an anti-tax video spread around the internet, needed to register as a campaign group.

Catholic church backs tax
Archbishop of Santa Fe John Wester is throwing his weight and, he hopes, his flock behind the sugary-drink tax. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has long supported a statewide pre-K initiative that would be paid for by taking money from one of the state's permanent funds. The endorsement came after the rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi opposed the tax on his Facebook page, saying it was politically motivated.

Smoke signals
The feds slapped a state agency that compensates crime victims after the group used federal funds to reimburse victims for medical marijuana purchases. The feds acknowledged New Mexico's medical marijuana system, but said federal law still makes it illegal and federal money can't be used to buy marijuana, no matter the use.

I've got the power ... well, not yet, but soon
Xcel Energy broke ground in Hobbs on a transmission line that will connect New Mexico to a massive substation in Texas. The $400 million project will serve much of the Permian Basin and is another sign of money pouring into New Mexico's most productive oil and gas region.

Adding up your credit score
The credit bureaus are changing the way they calculate your credit score. Keeping credit cards open may not help you as much, having civil judgments and liens may not hurt you as much. The change affects many credit card applications, but not necessarily the FICO score used for home loans.

EPA halts methane rule
The Environmental Protection Agency has slapped a 90-day delay on an Obama-era methane emissions rule that regulates how much of the polluting gas can be released from oil and gas wells. The San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico is a global hotspot for such releases. 

Thanks for reading! The Word is eyeballing Friday like it's nobody's business.

 

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