I would not support increasing the taxes on food if it’s a standalone piece. It has to be something that is going to be considered in a very broad tax reform that broadens that base and lowers the gross receipts tax for all the consumers. – Governor Martinez in a speech to the Economic Forum of Albuquerque, announcing that she would be willing to tax food as part of an overall tax cut package. Dems have called the tax a “nonstarter”.
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- Yesterday the New Mexico Supreme Court “rejected the Legislature’s petition to invalidate the governor’s line-item vetoes of funding for higher education and legislative agencies.” The court said the dispute is not yet “ripe for review” since an upcoming special session is anticipated to create a budget compromise.
- Governor Martinez punts on the impacts of the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare passed by Congress last week. The Senate is expected to significantly revise the bill.
- On Tuesday Education Secretary Hanna Skandera presented the state’s plan to comply with requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (the law replaced President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act).
- Secretary Skandera was criticized by an attorney representing Santa Fe Public Schools as making “unsupported and reckless claims” in her ongoing dispute that centers on a March 16 “snow day” rally that shut down schools early to allow students to attend a protest at the capitol.
- Despite modest improvements, New Mexico had the worst high school graduation rate in the country in 2015.
- Governor Martinez is in D.C today “to attend a law enforcement memorial and meet with officials in President Donald Trump’s administration.”
- U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been touring the state, visiting Los Alamos National Laboratory on Wednesday and southern New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant yesterday.
- A group called the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance wants to build a facility in southeast New Mexico to store nuclear waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California.
- Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall joined Congressman Steve Pearce (the state’s only Washington Republican representative who shares the same party as the President) in submitting suggestions to President Trump to fill the positions of U.S. marshal and U.S. attorney.
- Yesterday the Senate voted 51-49 to “defeat an effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s rule clamping down on the venting and flaring of methane gas by oil and gas companies that drill on federal land”. Both of New Mexico’s senators voted against repeal of the methane rule.
- The fallout from Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey continues.
- Actress Melissa McCarthy is hosting SNL this weekend and her version of Press Secretary Spicer is without a doubt making a return appearance.
[Tech & Strategy]
- A group of Obama tech veterans are joining forces and launching an effort called Higher Ground Labs in order to “give progressive political candidates a bit of a digital upgrade”.
- According to the Pew Research Center only 47% of eligible Hispanic voters went to the polls in 2016, a drop of 0.4% from 2012. Turnout in last year’s presidential election was largely flat “despite expectations heading into Election Day of a long-awaited, historic surge in Latino voters.”