Friday, February 05, 2016

Ditch The Fingerprints And Get A Deal, Guv, Plus: Budget Advances AsHouse Dems Decry All Crime All The Time Session 

Come on, Governor. Even your favorite and most supportive newspaper says ditch the finger-printing debate and sign off on the latest compromise Real ID driver's license bill :

(Fingerprinting is) not required by Real ID, and of the 10 other states or jurisdictions that provide driving privileges to undocumented immigrants, only Utah requires prints. So such a requirement could be added in a later year if it turns out to be necessary, such as if the criminal enterprises that have targeted New Mexico’s current license system continue to target two-year driver cards. That’s not likely, given there is no longer a gold-plated federal ID at stake.

There you go, Guv. Now sign that thing or the paper may stop running those photos of you reading to third graders while the state's finances crumble around you.

Can you feel the excitement? We have a state budget!:

The Republican-led House of Representatives is set to consider a $6.3 billion state budget that boosts money for a handful of initiatives, while cutting higher education and spending down reserves to the lowest level in years. The fiscal year 2017 budget, House Bill 2, passed the House Appropriations and Finance Committee on Thursday by 12-5 vote and is set to be considered Saturday by the full House.

They even swept about $10 million of the unspent hundreds of millions in capital outlay into the budget to help make up for all the revenue lost in the oil and gas crashes. But this is a going nowhere budget, basically flat which keeps the lights on and little more.

The all crime all the time legislative session--coming in the midst of a budget and economic crisis--is getting on the nerves of the minority House Dems. Their leader, Santa Fe Rep. Brian Egolf went public with it Friday:

New Mexican families need us to address our economy and poverty – we cannot solely focus on crime. It is a dereliction of duty for Republicans to focus only on penalty enhancement. We have Republican leadership in the House and in the Governor’s Office who refuse to address the elephant in the room – our economy. That’s why we have introduced the Economic Opportunity Plan. Unemployment is 6.1% statewide, the worst in the country. House Democrats have introduced 144 bills, many that address the endemic poverty that plagues New Mexico.

Whether the House Dems jobs economic plan would reduce the jobless rate to 3.9 percent is highly debatable but shouldn't that be a large part of the debate during a budget session?


Bored with the legislature? You have company. Journal Capitol reporter Dan Boyd tweets on the lawmakers passing the hallway point of the 30 day confab:

House Dem leader Brian Egolf says 14 days is an "eternity" in a legislative session. I thought it only felt that way.


Do the green chile hamburgers at the Buckhorn Tavern taste so good because you are outside Socorro in the middle of nowhere (San Antonio) or are they really that good? Maybe both. A recent stop there had us chatting up famed Buckhorn owner Bobby Olguin and wife Debbie. We joked that despite Bobby being a registered independent, the Buckhorn is still known as the "Democratic" burger stop and Rowena Baca's Owl Cafe across the street is for the R's. (Rowena is an ardent R). But the constant trail of customers doesn't seem to make the distinction. The Buckhorn is a New Mexico destination known around the nation. Is it possible the hand cut french fries are better than the burgers? It is.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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