May 26, 2017
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Morning Word: Get Me to the Court on Time

April 25, 2017, 7:30 am

Are you going to the Supremes concert?
Governor Martinez and the Legislature are. It's on May 15. And oh, is it on. Lawmakers are suing the governor over her line-item vetoes that defunded the Legislature and all of the state's higher education budget—about three quarters of a billion dollars. The state Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in the middle of May, with briefs and responses to come a week or so before that. Meanwhile, there's still no date for a special session that would set a new budget for the fiscal year that starts in less than three months. 

More money
The state's revenue picture is actually improving. The Legislative Finance Committee tracks year-over-year income for the state and its latest report shows New Mexico might take in $55 million more than expected this year. Lawmakers say that's enough to avoid forced days off for state workers; the governor's administration says not so fast.

Step away from the school closures
It was only a study session, but in front of scores of angry parents and community members, the Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education—and its superintendent—distanced themselves from a proposal to close two elementary schools. The district still doesn't know what its funding will be, thanks to the Legislature and the governor not having come to a budget agreement and promising more tweaking before the next year. However, board members signaled a desire to find other ways to make up a nearly $2 million predicted shortfall.

Hubbard to sell Ruidoso Downs
The New Mexico horse racing track, home to the richest quarter horse race in North America, is being sold by RD Hubbard and his family to a group of horse owners, breeders and really rich enthusiasts. The Hubbard family has held a share of ownership in the track for three decades. State regulators still have to sign off on the deal.

Court says Pojoaque has to negotiate with state
A federal appeals court says the Pueblo of Pojoaque can't negotiate a gaming compact with the Department of the Interior and instead has to come to terms with the state of New Mexico. The Pueblo has been operating without a compact since 2015. Typical terms include revenue-sharing agreements that could net the state $6 million. It's uncertain how the Pueblo plans to move forward.

Hispano Chamber questions why Sen. Lopez stalled UNM regents nominee
The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce is wondering why its former CEO didn't get a confirmation hearing for a post on the University of New Mexico Board of Regents. It sent a letter to Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Linda Lopez asking as much. The governor has criticized the Senate's failure to set hearings for dozens of nominees, including two appointees to UNM's oversight board.

CIty demands group report finances for soda tax election
Santa Fe's Ethics and Campaign Review Board has ordered a free market advocacy group to file a campaign finance report. The Rio Grande Foundation produced an anti-tax video that's circulated around the internet, which the board says is proof the group blew past the anonymous spending limit and must now disclose at least some of its finances.

What you're doing tonight
No plans? Sweet! You're coming with us. The Annual Manual Photo Show is tonight at the Violet Crown Cinema from 6-8 pm. It's free, so you can come just to hang, look at our photo contest winners and grab an advance copy of this year's Santa Fe Manual. If you're feeling spendy and fall in love with a photo, you can bid on a framed print. All proceeds benefit the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

Thanks for reading! The Word will see you tonight!

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