Emotional choice

A bill that would legalize medically assisted suicide gets an important hearing at the Capitol this morning ($). New Mexico law currently prohibits medical professionals (and others) from helping anyone take their own life. The bill is opposed by Republicans and by the Catholic Church, which called its faithful to action in an email blast over the weekend. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she supports such legislation. A handful of states around the country have legalized medically assisted suicide.

Hitting the roads 

Lawmakers have proposed a huge chunk of the budget surplus go to New Mexico's aging roadways. Working with the governor, legislators are eyeballing big-ticket items like a third traffic lane on I-25 from Santa Fe to Bernalillo. There's also a host of needs to heavily trafficked roads in the oil patch that see unbelieveable amounts of truck travel during an oil boom. Dan Boyd at the Albuquerque Journal breaks down the considerations, which could carry a price tag of $300 million or more.

Open

The end of the government shutdown means the state's national parks, monuments and historic sites are opening once more. Most have reopened already, though Bandelier National Monument says it's going to take a few days to clear accumulated snow and ice from trails. Other federal employees across the state are also looking forward to getting their first paycheck in five weeks.

The darkness

Is Santa Fe unreasonably dark? The city's night skies are legendary, but the capital city has nearly 5,000 streetlights meant to keep things safe and navigable in busier parts of town. PNM and the city can't track outages remotely, so they largely rely on the public ($) to report burned-out lights.

Registered

A pair of bills on their way through the Legislature would make registering to vote more convenient. One would automatically register eligible voters when they renew or get a driver's license. They could opt out of that if they desire. The other measure would allow same-day registration at a polling place.

A place to call home

Youth homelessness as tracked by Taos Municipal Schools has more than doubled in the past couple of years ($). The district has a liaison for homeless students, who are far more likely to engage in risky behavior. A federal grant for communities in Northern New Mexico to deal with youth homelessness will soon start providing $3.5 million to help.

Got yer ears on?

Southwest Seminars' Mother Earth and Father Sky lecture series continues tonight at the Santa Fe Women's Club, where archaeologist Jonathan Till talks about cultural landscapes in southeastern Utah, including the area that is (or was) Bears Ears National Monument. It starts at 6 pm and costs $15.

Getting chilly

Most New Mexico population centers will see just slightly cooler weather today, as a cold front pushes in from the northeast. There's a chance of snow in Northern New Mexico, too, though it's not expected to be more than an inch or two. Expect highs in the 40s. If you live in Eastern New Mexico, it's going to be much colder—like 20 degrees colder—than it was yesterday. Wind will be an issue there, too.

Thanks for reading! The Word's homeland of Minnesota will dip below 0 degrees this afternoon. The next time it's expected to rise above that mark? Friday.

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