Morning Word: PNM Loses Support for Rate IncreaseMorning WordFriday, July 1, 2016
The Public Service Company of New Mexico wants to bring its share of the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona into its New Mexico rate base, but not everyone thinks that’s a fair deal for consumers, including Public Regulation Commission staff. An independent hearing officer is examining the investor-owned utility’s double-digit rate increase request and will make a recommendation on it to the full commission after final legal briefs are submitted next month.
Lawmakers Scheduled to Testify in Griego Case
Next week, a dozen lawmakers are scheduled to testify at a preliminary court hearing to determine if corruption charges filed against former state Sen. Phil Griego merit a criminal trial. Judge Brett Loveless hasn’t ruled on this journalist’s motion to quash a subpoena to testify in the case.
Meanwhile, Dan Boyd reports that the attorney general’s office won’t release records it received from the Legislative Council Service (LCS) office. The prosecutors, which had to go to court to ask a judge to order them turned over, claims the materials are confidential law enforcement records. SFR filed a similar request for the documents with the LCS. It's still pending. Ultimately, the files will become public if they are introduced as evidence during the criminal proceedings.
Rio Rancho Lands 900 New Jobs
On Thursday, Gov. Susana Martinez, who hasn’t had a lot of luck attracting businesses to the state or creating jobs after getting her corporate tax cuts passed, announced 900 new jobs are coming to Rio Rancho. Martinez claims 40,000 private sector jobs have been completed during her tenure.
Supreme Court: No Right to Die
Yesterday started off as a slow news day, then the New Mexico Supreme Court released several long-awaited opinions. They voted against giving terminally ill patients the right to end their own lives, issued a controversial opinion on search-and-seizure procedures that allow police officers to pull over motorists if they can’t determine whether the vehicle they’re driving is insured through a license plate scan and threw out a workers compensation exception for farmers and ranchers.
UNM Reconsiders Employee Cutbacks
Joey Peters reports that the University of New Mexico, which had said there were no employee layoffs planned, is apparently reconsidering the option to cut back staff.
Johnson Rolls Out New Campaign Ad
Gary Johnson and Bill Weld have a new campaign video. It touts their “records as two-term governors (of New Mexico and Massachusetts, respectively) while drawing sharp distinctions among their positions and those of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”
Tribe Considers Reopening Police Training Facility
The Navajo Nation is considering relaunching its own law enforcement training academy.
The Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety says officers who are trained in the nation will be more culturally sensitive to Navajo values.Iconic Breaking Bad Café Robbed
The nation closed its policy academy in 2012 because of operational and maintenance issues.
We missed this earlier in the week, but the Dog House Drive-In, an iconic Albuquerque restaurant and famous Breaking Bad television show location, was robbed at gunpoint last Sunday. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are not suspected in the heist, but police say they are looking for a man who escaped on a bicycle.