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Monday, March 27, 2017

NM's Close Call On Medicaid, A Worry For The Film Industry, New StateDem Energy At Weekend Meetings, And: Allen Weh Gets Weird 

Whew! That was close. The GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare would have pulled the carpet out from underneath Medicaid and left the New Mexico state budget even more in tatters than it already is. While the news was breaking that Obamacare  remains the "law of the land" this tidbit crossed the blogging desk:

New Mexico led all states with 72 percent of the babies born there in 2015 having their births covered by Medicaid....In this 2010 CDC data for 33 states, New Mexico also led with the highest percentage of births on Medicaid—with 57.5 percent of all babies born there that year having their births covered by Medicaid.

The good news is that a lot more healthy babies are being born because of Medicaid availability. The bad news is that our low paying jobs and semi-welfare state status make us too dependent on government assistance at all levels.

Medicaid and its nearly $6 billion a year budget has been a major driver of job creation here. But it's not enough to get us out of the cellar. Our jobless rate is the worst in the USA.

Medicaid and food stamp rolls swelling, the lack of good paying jobs and a seemingly no end-in-sight crime epidemic call out for big ideas from those seeking to lead the state. We are not seeing very many from the Governor or the Legislature who are busy trying to apply patches to the leaking state budget. If we don't get some from the gubernatorial candidates, the state's drift could continue into the next decade to come.

It's uh, oh time for the state's film industry:

Moving to slow the exodus of filming to other states and countries, California lawmakers are poised to quadruple tax subsidies for location shooting to $400 million a year. Legislation approved on a 5-0 vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee also would eliminate a controversial system in which film and TV productions won tax credits based on a lottery system, regardless of the economic effect of the production.

Well, the big dog has to eat. We can only hope he leaves something for the pups.

DEM ENERGY

It seems the alarm over Trump and the fired up supporters of Sen Bernie Sanders had Democrats in the metro and Santa Fe reporting larger than usual turnouts for ward and precinct meetings that were held over the weekend to pick party leaders. Here in ABQ we get this report from a ward chair.

A fairly large turnover of the Bernalillo County Democratic Party occurred Saturday during the Ward and Precinct elections. Many old line Dems have got to be wondering what just happened to them. In my Ward every precinct has a chair and there are Wards and Precincts in Bernalillo County today that now have ward and precinct chairs that frankly haven't had them for years. Bernie's call to his supporters to get involved in the Democratic Party has been heeded and the Party will be changed by it. 

Certainly the rules of the game have changed. These folks have no qualms about calling a Dem politician to account for their votes - just ask Senator Martin Heinrich about his vote against importing Canadian drugs and how he got raked over the coals for it by the Progressive Dems of Central New Mexico. Martin and even (Senator Udall) are being watched and Martin now knows it.

WEIRD WEH NEWS

This one is just downright weird:

On four separate occasions, a man allegedly entered the same unlocked vehicle at the same business office on Rio Grande Boulevard and stole a handgun each time. The victim in the case is Allen Weh, former gubernatorial candidate, U.S. senate candidate and NM Republican Party chairman.

Weh, 74, says he leaves his SUV unlocked and with a gun in it. And the same guy stole a gun from his vehicle four times? Okay, we're officially arming up the black helicopters and hovering over Allen Weh's parking lot. Conspiracy theories are welcome.

THE BOTTOM LINES

Reader Jon Lee in Texas has a note for the keepers of the state's license plates:

NM may have the worst quality automobile license plates perhaps in the country. So many of ours are faded and peeling. Have you noticed that? Even the newer turquoise ones are peeling. Whereas I travel around a lot and have not this same situation in other states.

Is our brilliant sun causing the new, lighter colored turquoise plates to peel? Or is it just Jon imagining that our plates are fading along with our standing in all those rankings of the states?

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