Aug. 20, 2017
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Morning Word: It's Gonna Get Special

May 22, 2017, 7:30 am

Gov, Dems meet
Take this as an encouraging sign: After meetings on Friday which the governor called "productive," Susana Martinez and rival Democratic legislative leaders appear to be in agreement on the outlines of a budget. There's work to do on a tax reform bill, though, which the governor has placed on her list of desired legislation for Wednesday's special session.

Taxing dilemma
Over at the Albuquerque Journal, Dan Boyd looks at the problem with filling the gap between the bipartisan budget passed by lawmakers in the regular session and the no-taxes stance of the governor. The difference is likely $100 million or more and since the state can't print its own money, something's gotta give.

Lobbyists spend away in the dark
A loophole in the state's reporting requirements for lobbyists leaves reporting amounts up to $100 for individual expenditures up to the lobbyist's interpretation. Some say they have to report a single $100 expenditure—say, buying lunch for a committee—and others say they only have to report that if they spend $100 per individual on that committee. The governor vetoed a fix, saying it was vague. Sandra Fish looks at the impact

Federal nuke safety board to meet on LANL
Things haven't been going so well for the group that runs Los Alamos National Lab. There was the improperly packaged waste drum from the lab that caused a fire at Carlsbad's WIPP storage facility. And there have been myriad poor safety reports. The contract to run LANL is up for bid. As the lab gets set to dramatically increase its nuclear trigger production (little grapefruit-sized plutonium devices that trigger a reaction), the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board plans to hold a June 7 hearing in Santa Fe on the suitability of the lab for that mission.

River restoration flourishes
There's another sublime piece of writing from Laura Paskus over at NM Political Report, in which she looks at the effort to restore a part of the Gila River floodplain that was special to Ella Jaz Kirk. The 14-year-old died in a plane crash along with two friends and a pilot three years ago. She was also a staunch opponent of the planned diversion project on the river, and met with the governor's staff just weeks before she died.

Does national monument bring tourists to Cruces?  
It's been three years since then-president Obama wrote the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument into existence. Now, it's one of many such monuments under review by the Trump administration. Beyond protecting incredible landscape and habitat, the monument has likely brought somewhere from $8-34 million to the local economy

Ride of the century
Okay, ride of a century, but still, more than two thousand people showed up for the Santa Fe Century bike ride yesterday. The annual 100-mile bike ride is more than three decades old. If you see a coworker or a friend who looks a little exhausted today, give them a pat on the back ... not the backside.

Stormy weekend on the plains
It was windy in the Rio Grande Valley, but east of here, it got downright nasty, including a tornado captured by stormchasers near Santa Rosa. It'll be warm today, with a chance of some storms in the afternoon.

Thanks for reading! The Word is already itching for monsoon season. Or maybe we're itching from seasonal allergies?

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