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Morning Word: State Reveals $3M Settlement

May 19, 2017, 7:30 am

State paid $3 million to settle death claim
Settlement documents belatedly released by the state's secretive Risk Management Division show the state paid $3 million to the family of Jeanette Anaya nine months after New Mexico State Police Officer Oliver Wilson shot and killed her. Wilson pursued Anaya, who did not stop, after he said she committed a traffic violation. Wilson's shooting was ruled justified by a special grand jury, a story that was highlighted by SFR in March of last year and helped shape the 2016 race for district attorney.

Gov's HR consolidation plan could affect 400 jobs
The governor's administration announced a plan on February to bring together the state's human resources and personnel functions. The claim was that it would save millions by making state government more efficient. We haven't heard much more about it, though, until Dan Boyd over at the Albuquerque Journal dug up more details.

Gov, Dems plan pre-session meeting
Governor Martinez will meet with the Democrats who control legislative activity and budget planning today. As Wednesday's special session draws nearer, the governor has met with House Republicans, but because they're the House's minority party, the meetings don't have a whole lot of significance. Today's meeting, on the other hand, could set the tone and course for the special session.

Regents appointees not a priority for Dems
The state Senate president pro tem has reiterated her belief that the governor's appointees to the UNM Board of Regents can be acted on later and that the special session should focus on the budget. The governor has taken a much more active role in overseeing the university and its Health Sciences Center. The fact that the Senate hasn't approved two of her regents appointees played into the veto of all higher ed funding. Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, says the Senate Rules Committee can take action over the summer—though the whole Senate needs to approve appointments.

It's good for you, trust us
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority shouldn't have voted on a plan to add fluoride to the water system for the most populous part of New Mexico. That's according to the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, which says that the 3-2 vote during Wednesday's meeting wasn't even mentioned as a possibility on the agenda. There's a law that says public bodies can't vote on agenda items they haven't posted publicly.

Heart of Darkness
Once again, the Word brings you a reminder that the weekend is a good time to read SFR's cover story. This week, Laura Paskus treks through the Jemez Mountains to look at how centuries of fire behavior have been changed by forest management and climate change. She takes an unblinking look at what's to come for the Jemez and what has likely disappeared forever.

Cannes it
Two New Mexico-made films are headed to Cannes. One, a short film made in Albuquerque as part of a 48-hour film contest, will be shown with 14 others in a special event dedicated to the lightning-fast filmmaking contests. Another is a feature-length film shot in the South Valley. The film's producers are shopping it for a distribution deal. 

We could see it on the mountains yet again this weekend. Temperatures in the northern part of the state will be colder than normal and it's likely that once those clouds lift from the mountains, we'll see snow on them. Enjoy it! It'll be plenty warm soon enough.

Thanks for reading! The Word is ready for a really good breakfast tomorrow, like the kind with hash browns AND pancakes.

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