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Morning Word: A Brief Reprieve

July 21, 2017, 7:30 am

Health insurers slow rate hikes
Chances are, most of us didn't get a 6 percent raise last year, let alone a 20 percent one. But in the world of health insurance premiums, those seem like relatively sane rate increases. That's especially true when compared to the 85 percent premium hikes some insurers were requesting for next year. With the Republican health care plan on the ropes, insurers in the state have eased off proposed rate hikes, the state's insurance regulator says.  

Meow Wolf opens its books
As part of a federal filing connected to its recent fundraising, the Santa Fe-based arts collective told regulators that while it took in $5.5 million last year, it netted just $39,000. The startup recently raked in more than $1 million from investors in the first three days of a fundraising campaign. Meow Wolf says costs associated with building its House of Eternal Return interactive art exhibit ate up much of its revenue.

A moral choice
SFR's cover story this week features a rare interview with Curtis Boyd. The Albuquerque doctor is one of the nation's only health care providers who will do third-trimester abortions. With the Supreme Court's ideological balance teetering, Boyd, a Christian, reflects on his career in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and what's to come in a Trump administration. 

Española chief under investigation
Police Chief Matthew Vigil lives in Taos, and police there are investigating allegations of domestic violence. The Rio Grande Sun got ahold of a heavily redacted police report on the investigation into the matter that happened late last fall. It's a glimpse both into how police investigate fellow law enforcement officers, and into the legal gymnastics some departments will go through to avoid releasing public records.

State of the forest
Guess how many paid law enforcement officers will be patrolling the Santa Fe National Forest this summer? Did you guess one? The forest relies on volunteers and the public to police themselves as its budget shrinks and managers reconsider where the land can sustain recreation at its current levels.

Santa Fe pay
It's not great. Despite the city's robust living wage ordinance that sets the floor for hourly pay at more than $11, wages for professionals lag the rest of the nation. In some cases, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found, Santa Fe lags not just the nation, but the rest of the state in what it pays highly trained professionals. 

Gimme my money
Congressman Steve Pearce is suing New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver over her decision on how much federal money he can transfer to his state race for governor. Pearce has more than $1 million in his congressional campaign account, but Toulouse Oliver says he can only transfer $11,000 to his state accounts. Pearce says that flies in the face of previous campaign finance decisions, including one that let former governor Bill Richardson shift his federal campaign money into a state race.

Wet weekend
New Mexico could see significant storms over the next couple of days as a moisture-rich weather system hangs out over the state. Temperatures will cool a few degrees, but the potential for flooding jumps up with the storms.

Thanks for reading! The Word is curious about those newfangled hiking poles. Do they work?

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