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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Late September Apparently Eyed For Special Legislative Session To Deal With Budget Crisis, Plus: Contrary Thinking On NM Prez Race, Not So Transparent In Santa Fe And 90 Years of NM History 

It appears it will be Friday, September 23 for the special session of the legislature to deal with the state budget crisis--if there is a special. That's the word from one of our Senior Alligators who says Gov. Martinez has picked that date to bring lawmakers back.

The state has to deal with a $220 million budget hole left from the budget year that ended June 30. The state also faces a massive deficit projected at $431 million plus for the current fiscal year and another one--already projected at over $211 million-- is building for the budget year beginning next July.

We are nearing $1 billion in deficits, an enormous and historic amount that, if continued, could change the very nature of the New Mexican government in the years ahead.

Still no word on whether the GOP Guv has cut a deal with the Senate Dems to resolve some of the crisis. She has said she wants a single day special but there has been speculation that talks over the special could be running into trouble over the possibility that Martinez would put on her call reinstatement of the death penalty for child and cop killers. We'll keep you posted. Now on to the campaign trail. . .

Let's go with some contrary thinking on the presidential race prompted by Wednesday's blog on that WaPo poll showing former NM Guv Gary Johnson garnering 25 percent of the vote in the state. First up is Austin-based veteran GOP political consultant Reb Wayne who does work here:

If Trump can swing people from Johnson to himself he's got a very outside shot at the state - Clinton is under performing in NM big time. I wouldn't bank on it but I do see a narrow path if things break his way (and that is a lot of 'ifs'!)

And from Greg Payne, ABQ attorney, former city councilor and one of our election analysts this cycle:

Let's not miss what could be the big story in that Washington Post poll. Yes, Gary Johnson's numbers are surprisingly strong here in NM. But given the opportunity to vote for somebody else, 59% chose someone other than Hillary Clinton. Only getting 37% is a sign of political anemia, not strength. This election is far from over, and I'm sticking with my prediction that, while Trump won't win NM, he will win the White House in November.

Given those opinions, you wonder if Clinton (or Kaine) will make a stop or two here before this thing is all over. Or even put up a TV ad or two.

MOST TRANSPARENT EVER?

Now friends and neighbors, here is the latest from the self-described "most transparent administration in state history.":

The administration of Gov. Martinez fired the state’s chief advocate for the elderly in long-term care facilities, alleging she wrongly released documents to the Journal in response to a public-records request, according to a lawsuit. . . The Department of Aging and Long-Term Services in June dismissed Sondra Everhart, who served for more than a decade as state long-term care ombudsman. In firing Everhart, the department said reports of ombudsman visits to boarding homes in the Las Vegas area were exempt from disclosure under the state Inspection of Public Records Act and shouldn’t have been provided by Everhart to the Journal in April. . . Everhart’s firing was disclosed in a lawsuit filed by her attorneys in District Court in Santa Fe.

And why wouldn't they deny the newspaper the information? They snicker behind closed doors about how they own the place.

DENTIST OR A DRAFT?


Long ago Gov. Richardson and Sen. Bingaman wanted to do this in ABQ but like so many things that have stalled out here, it isn't going to happen, but it will elsewhere:

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso announced it expects to open the first dental medicine school in West Texas thanks to a $25 million gift from the Woody and Gayle hunt family foundation. The school is expected to open in the Fall of 2020. In a news release, officials said "this unprecedented undertaking will mark the first of its kind in Texas in nearly 50 years, and will impact health care and economic growth in the Paso del Norte region."

And while Texas Tech builds a dental school, UNM talks about selling beer to students on campus. Now that's a contrast.

CONFRONT THE DEMONS

From Facebook on the murder of 10 year old Victoria Martens:

Albuquerque and New Mexico must find solutions to what contributed to or caused this most horrific crime: domestic violence, substance abuse, children living in severe poverty, a poor education system, the breakdown of the family unit, the failures of our social services and child protective services, a failed mental health system, an ineffective criminal justice system, a failing economy. We need to confront our demons and find solutions to the problems that caused this horrific crime against a child.

90 YEARS OF HISTORY

Congrats to the New Mexico Historical Review as they celebrate their 90th  birthday this year. We're a longtime subscriber to the Review. Each quarterly edition contains at least one article or book review that is compelling. If you're serious about New Mexico history and politics, it is well worth your attention.

The review has been under the wing of the UNM for over 50 years. You can subscribe here and not only get future issues but gain access to (and gladly get lost in) a pretty amazing 90 year archive. NMHR leaves no stone uncovered when it comes to the fascinating history of our beloved Land of Enchantment.

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