No such thing
A trio of bills would require lobbyists to disclose the cost of the free lunches they provide to state lawmakers, reveal the bills to which they plan to devote attention (and money), and tell groups and businesses that hire lobbyists to estimate their spending during the session. One of the transparency measures is on its way to the governor after it was approved, but vetoed by ex-Gov. Susana Martinez last year.
I miss your Musk
A state Senate committee gave the OK to a bill that would let auto manufacturers sell directly to consumers instead of through a dealer. Think there's much teeth-gnashing over that one? Let's hop in, see how she rides, and I'll tell you about it. No pressure. We're talking Tesla, of course, the electric car manufacturer and hoarder of government incentives. It has no dealer in New Mexico because Elon Musk's company doesn't use them. Auto dealers almost uniformly hate this bill.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has a full Cabinet after announcing Julie Jones will take over the Department of Corrections. It's one of the most challenging jobs in state government, which might explain why it was so hard to fill. But Jones is from Florida, which knows a thing or two about incarceration and its challenges. Like New Mexico, it has a public-private prison system. Lujan Grisham has said she wants a more full accounting of private prisons in the state.
Shut it down
Over the objection of PNM, the state Public Regulation Commission has ordered the utility to come up with a plan by March 1 for closing its San Juan Generating Station ($). The facility near Farmington has been slated to close in the next decade, but PNM is trying to convince lawmakers to let it gather in some revenue it will lose through the closure by selling bonds. That would also help the utility construct new power generation stations.
And the nominee is …
Ex-Gov. Bill Richardson has been once again nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. No, it's not for keeping quiet about state politics. The governor, who still appears on cable news shows from time to time to talk about North Korea, has been nominated for his work to ease tensions between that country and the US ($). It's kind a of stick in the eye of Donald Trump, who has said he should be nominated for the same efforts. He was last year, and said of his possible win: "Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it." Democratic Sen. Tom Udall authored the nomination letter to the Nobel committee.
We love you
SFR's cover story this week is our annual ode to Santa Fe. Our fair city is a wonderful juxtaposition of old and new, refined and ridiculous. We wouldn't have it any other way. This is our town.
Driving up to St. John's College isn't quite an odyssey (unless it's snowing), but it's worth the trip tonight to hear Margaret Kirby expound on Homer's classic epic poem. The Odyssey has been around almost as long as we've been keeping track of ourselves on this Earth. Alex De Vore caught up with Kirby to talk about the quest for recognition and how it resonates today. The event is free in the Great Hall on campus and starts at 7:30 pm.
We're warming up across New Mexico for the next few days. Temperatures in Santa Fe could hit 50 today and tomorrow, and Albuquerque could of course be warmer than that. There's a chance of snow in higher elevations on Sunday.
Speaking of change, this is the last day for the current Word author. It's been a fun, bleary-eyed two years of waking to read and then write about the day's news for you all. Thanks for being engaged with the world around you. Keep at it, and enjoy the familiar voice you'll hear in future iterations of your favorite morning newsletter!
Thanks for reading! The Word has always been flummoxed by putting crumbled candy bars or cookies on top of a donut. Why would you do this?
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