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Friday, March 03, 2017

Friday Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor 

It looks as though they're throwing in the towel when it comes to keeping the Millennials down on the farm and away from the bright city lights of Denver, Austin and Phoenix. Longtime economic developer and free market Republican John Garcia waved the white flag at the most recent meeting of the state's jobs council. As head of a home builders association he sees the future here with the old--not the young:

Garcia, executive vice president, Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico, informed the council that growing the state's population is more important to the state's economy than creating jobs. He said that work on the retirement sector is focused on keeping retirees who are at or above 200% of the federal poverty level in the state. Retirees are potential solopreneurs who have banking and health needs that the state can meet, and retirees often have pensions or well-funded retirement accounts. . .He noted that 109 million Americans are now over the age of 50 and that 36% of them are dependent on social security upon retirement. 

It may be that population growth matters more than job growth for the home builders but try telling that to a 23 year old college grad looking for that first big break.

So all that discussion from Garcia and other business leaders about diversifying away from government dependence is becoming more distant if you're going to attract retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. But after years of economic stagnation or outright decline, it makes sense from a business standpoint, if not for the most robust future for the state.

FINAL POT ANGLE

The debate over marijuana legalization dominated the blog this week. Perhaps this proposal is the best way to settle the matter, at least for now:

Sen. Joseph Cervantes wants to reduce the penalties for having marijuana, including decriminalizing an ounce or less. Right now, people caught with an ounce or less of real or synthetic marijuana face a misdemeanor charge, up to $100 fine and up to 15 days in jail. This bill would make it so that people with an ounce or less of only real marijuana would be fined just $50, no jail time and no blemish on their criminal record. The fine increases if it’s over one ounce of marijuana, and at that point you would face a misdemeanor charge. Eight or more ounces is a felony. “This would take the small possessions out of the criminal justice system and that should free up resources, Cervantes said.

That bill was approved in the Senate by a 33-9 vote Thursday. That's a lot of Republican as well as Dem support.

Cervantes is a possible '18 Dem Guv candidate. We talked this week about how the contenders may shy away from an outright legalization platform, and this appears to follow that line of thinking.

Gov. Martinez says not only is she against legalizing marijuana but also does not support decriminalization. This is an issue that is going to drag on for quite a while.

TRUMP RALLY HERE

He may have been handily defeated by Clinton here, but the Trump forces want to show they are still a force. Here they go:

On March 4, Albuquerque will have a rally in support of President Trump. . . . National Tea Party movement co-founder, Debbie Dooley states, “These rallies are inclusive, non-partisan, and open to anyone supporting President Trump in his efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs to America, put the security of our nation ahead of political correctness, improve our infrastructure, revitalize the inner cities and secure our nation’s borders.” The Albuquerque Rally will be held March 4, Saturday. 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Spirit of America Picnic and Rally. North Domingo Baca Park, Carmel Ave. NE,

Will GOP ABQ mayoral candidates Dan Lewis or Wayne Johnson be there? Not to put them on the spot or anything.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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