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Morning Word: Supreme Court Rejects Legislature v. Gov

May 12, 2017, 7:30 am

Supreme denial
The four Democrats and one Republican on the New Mexico Supreme Court have rejected the Legislature's bid to have them rule on the legitimacy of the governor's line-item vetoes of funding for higher education and the Legislature itself. The court's decision not to hear arguments on Monday means the May 24 special session and private negotiations leading up to it will be New Mexico's best hope for a budget to fund state government beginning July 1. 

SFPS still at odds with Skandera
An attorney for the Santa Fe Public Schools lambasted Education Secretary Hanna Skandera in a letter to the Public Education Department. The attorney said the district's decision to use half of a snow day to allow employees, students and teachers to make their voices heard at the Capitol was warranted and that Superintendent Veronica Garcia has been cooperating with a PED investigation. He also said Skandera is "far outside" her "limited authority" in singling out the district and the superintendent for public shame.

After the vote
The weekend is always a good time to catch up on the SFR cover story. This week, we look at how sugary-drink tax opponents cobbled together an impressive victory and what's ahead for both pre-kindergarten programs in Santa Fe and for Mayor Javier Gonzales, who tells SFR he's given himself until the end of the month to decide whether he'll run for a second term.

Chan trial continues
Defense attorneys will cross examine a Las Cruces police officer today about what he found when he arrived at the Hotel Encanto in October 2014. That's where prosecutors say former Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy Tai Chan murdered fellow deputy Jeremy Martin after an argument. It's the second go-round for Chan, after a jury deadlocked on charges last year. 

State mum on future of $7 million in federal grants
The Department of Game and Fish isn't saying if it's concerned about losing more than $7 million in federal grants after the Secretary of the Interior ordered a review of all grants of more than $100,000. The money funds programs like hunter safety education, endangered species protection and fish and wildlife restoration.

Server breach threatens donor information at UNM Foundation
The fundraising group, which was chartered by the university but spun off into a separate nonprofit a decade ago, has zealously guarded the identities of its donors from the public. But an April breach of its servers has threatened the personal information of 22,000 donors. The foundation says an unauthorized account at its security services provider was used to access its donor database.

Regents delay vote on new UNM hospital facility
The state's flagship medical center has long faced issues with an overcrowded hospital and lengthy emergency room wait times. The Health Sciences Center's bid to build a new medical facility to ease some of that pressure was put on hold yet again after regents delayed a vote until the state Board of Finance can review the proposal. That board stopped a planned expansion four years ago.

UNM ski team gets another run 
Why not end with more University of New Mexico news? The UNM Board of Regents has overturned the decision by Athletic Director Paul Krebs to eliminate the university's ski team. The regents' decision means the school's ski team, which sports one of UNM's two national championship trophies, can suit up next year with a mix of funding from boosters and the university.

Thanks for reading! The Word wishes good luck to all those new SFUAD, UNM and NMSU grads. Go do something grand with those degrees.

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