--2 Morning Word: Martinez backs further tax code changes
         
Sept. 28, 2016
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Morning Word: Martinez backs further tax code changes

Bill to impose minimum age for legislative pensions gets initial go ahead and more NM news...

November 8, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • Gov. Susana Martinez wants more changes to the state tax code. But Dan Mayfield... put your phone horizontal when taking video!
  • A measure to have a minimum retirement age for legislators to receive pensions was approved by an interim committee. The measure was from Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, the youngest member of the state legislature.
    Under current law, legislators can receive retirement benefits at any age after leaving office, provided they’ve served 10 years. They can collect retirement benefits at 65 if they were in office for five years.

    Candelaria’s proposal was endorsed by the Legislature’s Investments and Pension Oversight Committee, which agreed to introduce it in the legislative session that convenes in January.
  • The Santa Fe mayoral race is at six candidates.
  • The U.S. Senate passed an anti-discrimination bill, known as ENDA, on a bipartisan vote, including both New Mexico Senators. The House is unlikely to take up the bill, as Speaker of the House John Boehner opposes the legislation.
  • A poll conducted for Joe Monahan shows the late-term abortion ban on its way to a loss. The poll finds 56.3 percent will vote no while 37.4 percent will vote for it. A relatively high 6.4 percent are undecided. Polling special elections is always a dicey prospect. And polling an individual city council race's runoff? That's rough.

    But the poll finds Diane Gibson leading Janice Arnold-Jones 47.7 percent to 42 percent.
  • The state Human Services Department released the agreement with two non-profits that will repay $4.2 million in Medicaid funds to the state for over-payments.
  • The proposed Albuquerque ban on late-term abortions is confusing to some voters, the Albuquerque Journal writes.
  • Gov. Susana Martinez again criticized APS Superintendent Winston Brooks over tweets he made about secretary-designate of the Public Education Department.
  • The New Mexico Business Roundtable wants Brooks to resign over the tweets.
  • A threepeat? Nate Cote and Rick Little could face off again next year for the third cycle in a row. The score is 1-1 right now, but Little said that he is going to once again seek the seat. Republicans hope Susana Martinez will have large coattails and help make the next Speaker of the House a Republican.
  • Two proposals by Sen. Martin Heinrich made their way into a bill.
    The package includes bills introduced by both Democrats and Republicans expanding access to federal public lands for hunting and fishing.

    Heinrich sponsored two of the bills: the Hunt Unrestricted on National Treasures (HUNT) Act and a bill to reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA).
    Now if Congress can actually pass the bill...
  • The city of Las Cruces finalized its election results from earlier this week. There were no substantive changes to the unofficial results on election night.
  • A state insurance exchange official is frustrated by the glitches on the federal government's exchange website.
  • The State Land Office reported record revenues -- $68 million in October, the third-highest ever. This is largely because of oil and gas revenues.
  • An Española city councilor and Mayor Pro Tem is working for Rio Arriba County as an administrative assistant.
  • KUNM looks at the history of horse slaughter in the United States.
    Although it is widely believed that humans have been consuming horse meat for eons, the practice in the United States died out centuries ago. But that doesn't mean that horses haven't been routinely slaughtered in this country for export oversees through 2006. At that point there were 3 large Belgian owned slaughter plants in the US. Due to a change in legislation, those plants were forced to shutter their doors in 2007.
  • Property owners in Rio Arriba County are starting to see the higher taxes after voter-approved initiatives kick into effect.
    Maldonado is among those experiencing sticker shock due to the recent passage of bonds and mill levies, coupled with an incremental increase of assessed valuations.

    “I understand, but I think that was kind of high,” Maldonado said after receiving an explanation of his property taxes from personnel at the County assessor’s office.
  • Former UNM President F. Chris Garcia spoke to KOAT. Garcia was ensnared in a website that police said was an online brothel. However, this didn't make it against the law.
  • The Albuquerque Solid Waste department seems as bad a place to work as the Miami Dolphins.
    Three Albuquerque Solid Waste employees are accused of brutally harassing staff. The employees worked at three Solid Waste convenience centers: Eagle Rock, Montessa Park and Don Reservoir. They're accused of harassing co-workers about their race, sexuality and gender.

    "They would call him a n*****, cotton picker, monkey," said one woman who says she witnessed the harassment.
  • The Navajo Nation Department of Workforce Solutions is accused of mismanaging millions of dollars in federal funds.
  • Navajos aren't happy with a document that says Navajos buying alcohol is one of the biggest challenges to the incoming police chief.
    "Much of the surrounding region is 'dry' -- including the nearby reservation and, as a result, people come to Farmington to purchase alcohol," the document states. "Hence, drunk driving and public intoxication occur fairly frequently."

    Leonard Gorman, the executive director of the Navajo Human Rights Commission, said the language in the document is insensitive. The document mentions the problems that come from Navajos buying alcohol in Farmington and does not mention the positive effects Navajo spending brings to the community, he said.
  • Pretty great lede from the Navajo Times on a story about the Navajo nation purchasing a coal mine.
  • The secretary of the state Environment Department toured WIPP and talked energy.
    Flynn acknowledged certain areas are experiencing water shortages and said the state needs to identify ways to reuse and conserve water. He added that the agriculture industry consumes 75 percent of the state's water each year, a number which he said is drastically high. He said some communities have had water shortages, including a recent high profile shortage in the small community of Magdalena in Socorro County, in which water had to be delivered from other nearby towns.

    "We believe drinkable water is a human right," he said.
  • The city of Las Vegas is easing water restrictions.
    While there might not be much need for outdoor irrigation right now, the relaxed restrictions do allow city water users to wash their cars at home, something they haven’t been able to do legally for years. But you’d better use a hose with a shutoff nozzle. Failure to do so could open you up to a fine.
    The current level of water restrictions dated back to April of 2011, the Las Vegas Optic reported.
  • The city of Farmington was unsuccessful in recouping money from those who unknowingly benefited from money embezzled from the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    Debbie Dusenbery allegedly embezzled nearly a half-million dollars from the bureau and spent some of the money on trips and gifts for friends. Becky Walling, the former director, received a $100,000 life insurance policy payment when Dusenbery killed herself shortly after authorities began investigating the bureau's finances, according to city documents.

    Some of the policy premiums were paid for with bureau money, which mostly comes from the city's lodgers tax, according to a letter dated April 18 that City Manager Rob Mayes mailed to Walling. In the letter, obtained Wednesday by The Daily Times, he asked that she consider donating the policy's funds to the bureau.
  • Clovis mayor David Lansford supports the effort to ban synthetic marijuana.
  • New Mexico Mercury's Insight New Mexico spoke to journalist Denise Tessier.
  • A job fair by the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce sought to help veterans find jobs.
  • The Los Alamos County Council approved more subsidies for air service.
  • Hey, fellow young people, Albuquerque was named one of the best cities for those under the age of 35.
  •  

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