More money, more pits
"The president has chosen to put the US back into the nuclear game." So says Energy Secretary Dan Brouilette in this New Mexican article ($) that explains a proposed increase in nuclear spending. This would likely mean more money for New Mexico, as Los Alamos National Labs would ramp up plutonium pit production. If the plan gets approved, the National Nuclear Security Administration would see its budget increase by 18.4% to $19.8 billion next fiscal year.
And you go to college, and you go to college
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made news a few months ago when she proposed that all public college tuition in the state should be free. The idea was met by both cheers and jeers, and turns out it had some trouble gaining traction in the Legislature. That may be changing now, however, as the proposed New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, which would provide free higher education to 55,000 students, passed its first House committee. But the session ends Feb. 20, so it had better skedaddle the rest of the way.
Stick ’em up
Two armed robberies occurred in quick succession ($ TNM) on Saturday night, though it's unclear whether they were related. First, three women held up the Burrito Spot at Cerrillos and Cordova, eventually making off with about $670. While cops were working that crime, a call came in about another armed robbery on Washington Avenue near the Hotel Chimayo, in which three women were held up by a group of folks with a getaway driver. After the second incident, cops tracked one of the women's stolen phones to Española before it stopped working. No suspects have been apprehended.
A No for Noah’s
If you or any friends are wedding-planning in Albuquerque right now, big news is that Noah's, a popular event venue, shut down unexpectedly, leaving many couples in the lurch to find a new reception space. "There is no official number on the events that will be canceled," Pilar Martinez writes, "but a report for the city…offered some details around the volume of booking at Noah's, noting the Albuquerque location hosts around 280 events per year." Folks who paid in full for their weddings have reported losing around $5,000 to $6,500.
No tax reform, maybe yes college
In episode 16 of "Your New Mexico Government," a podcast devoted to the 54th Legislature, show host Khalil Ekulona and Matt Grubs, New Mexico PBS producer, break down the decision by the House to table House Bills 29 and 77, which would have nixed the New Mexico tax on Social Security benefits. Grubs also talks about the future of the governor's proposed free college plan. "Your New Mexico Government" is a collaboration between SFR, New Mexico PBS and KUNM radio.
Just can’t get enough
Simply haven't had enough news about the Legislature? Okay, we'll help scratch that itch. A roundup of news on some notable bills includes: A key Senate panel approved a bill on Monday aimed at erasing the state pension system's $6.6 billion unfunded liability; a bill that would raise the state's gasoline tax was tabled in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee Monday evening and is unlikely to advance; the House Judiciary Committee on Monday approved legislation aimed at preventing domestic terrorism; the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act will be heard by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee in a move that frustrated some Republicans.
Sing us a song
Looking for a little feel-good fluff this morning? Look no further: The Journal North has profiled Santa Fe musician Doug Montgomery, whose dulcet tones you can hear at Vanessie many nights a week, including on upcoming Valentine's Day. Few things can take you out of the current political hellscape like the American Songbook on piano in a swank steakhouse. See you in our dreams, Doug.
Let it snow
Local folks wondering what today's weather will be like should take a peek out the window. Snow started overnight and is still coming down as the Word types in the early morning. Check out school and office closings here. Spoiler alert: Santa Fe Public Schools are off today.
Thanks for reading! The Word isn't much of a cook, but last week's recipe in SFR sounds really darn good and may inspire some kitchen time. Thanks, Cole.