Scandal after scandal
The Catholic Church is really getting a moral walloping lately, and for good reason. Last week, SFR's cover story discussed priests "credibly accused" of sexual abuse in New Mexico's three dioceses, and how the Santa Fe diocese's list left off a bunch of names found on other lists. (We published New Mexico's three lists, by the way, and talked to local Catholics about the news). Last week the Pope for the first time acknowledged abuse of nuns, and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas told KOB that he hopes his office will catch many cases that have fallen through the cracks for decades.
Try to smoke, we’ll tax your weed
Lawmakers have moved along a bill that would put a baseline tax of 9 percent on recreational marijuana. Local governments could then add up to 3 percent, and local gross receipts tax rates would also apply, but legislators aim to keep the tax under 20 percent all together. They say that taxing legal weed too much would make it too expensive, causing smokers to head back to the black market. Analysts project that legal cannabis could make state and local governments tens of millions of dollars in five years. State taxes would largely fund addiction recovery programs, communities adversely affected by the drug trade and the War on Drugs, and drug research.
Democratic lawmakers from New Mexico and around the country visited the border on Saturday ($), and concluded that the situation there is complex and requires complex solutions. And, needless to say, they believe a simple wall is not one of those solutions. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small said that border trips can be tricky to organize due to the remoteness of some affected areas. Meanwhile, the president is still trying to draw support for his border politics, and holds a rally in El Paso today.
Start budgeting for more ramen, folks: Santa Fe's living wage has jumped from $11.40 to $11.80. The change goes into effect on March 1, and for a worker who puts in 40 hours per week, that amounts to $16 per week. (And for a worker who makes $11.80 or more, that amounts to potentially nothing.) Lawmakers are also eyeing a change that would bump New Mexico's minimum wage from $7 to $10. (CNBC reports that New Mexico's living wage "should" be nearly $50,000 per household, and $10 an hour gets a full-time worker about $21,000. And we all know that Santa Fe's a bit pricier than other places. But at least Business Insider says we're the 16th most affordable state.)
Feeling the sads
File this one under "yup, that's how feelings work:" New Mexico Republicans are bummed about the Democratic majority in the Roundhouse. "It just feels like we don't matter," said Rep. Kelly Fajardo, a Republican from Los Lunas. Debate and discussion is vital in creating laws, and Republicans feel like they're not getting their fair share as legislators push through a bunch of liberal-leaning laws.
Four outta seven ain’t bad
In keeping with her brand, the governor has once again loaded a number of women into appointed roles. Lujan Grisham appointed five new regents to the seven-person UNM board this weekend, three of whom are women. Of the two remaining Martinez appointees, who will finish their terms at the end of 2020, SFR reported in October that Lujan Grisham would ask them both to quit, but they said they will not do so.
The big chill
Or at least a medium chill. Today will cool down a bit, and the Four Corners and northern mountain areas will see some snow. Santa Fe may dip a little below 40. Hopefully you got all your shade-snow to melt this weekend.
Don’t catch us slippin’ up
The Santa Fe Opera took home a Grammy yesterday for Best Opera Recording for The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, which is a pretty big deal. We here at SFR don't care too terribly much about the Grammy Awards, but we do care a whole lot about subversion, not to mention Childish Gambino and the uproar he caused last summer with the video for "This Is America." The rapper Donald Glover took home four awards for the song (Best Song, Best Video, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Record), and we're more than here for it. Also cool: Cardi B is the first solo female performer to get Best Rap Album.
Thanks for reading! The Word is convinced that "This Is America" is our generation's "Rite of Spring." Don't @ us.
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