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May 5, 2017

After weeks of uncertainty and finger-pointing over New Mexico’s budget impasse, the date and agenda for a special legislative session has been set by Gov. Susana Martinez.
In a proclamation issued today, the two-term Republican governor settled on May 24 as the special session’s start date. -- 5/5/2017
The Department of the Interior today announced the first ever formal public comment period for members of the public to officially weigh in on monument designations under the Antiquities Act of 1906, and the Department released a list of monuments under review under the President’s Executive Order 13792, issued April 26, 2017. A public comment period is not required for monument designations under the Antiquities Act; however, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and President Trump both strongly believe that local input is a critical component of federal land management.
Editor's Note: Two New Mexico National Monuments on are on the review list: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte.
Comments may be submitted online after May 12 at by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the Search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.
DATES: The Department will shortly publish a notice in the Federal Register officially opening the public comment period. Written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted within 15 days of publication of that notice. Written comments relating to all other designations subject to Executive Order 13792 must be submitted within 60 days of that date. --5/5/2017

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May 4, 2017

New Mexico pays out millions of dollars in tax incentives each year, but a new report says the state falls short of regularly analyzing whether it gets the intended results.
The Pew Charitable Trusts study, “How States are Improving Tax Incentives for Jobs and Growth,” lauds work performed by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee and its staff but says lawmakers and the Governor’s Office need to be more rigorous in designing a regular cycle of analysis and writing it into law. -- 5/4/2017

April 26, 2017

Trump vows national monuments review; NM delegation dividedAlbuquerque Journal

The status of two national monuments in New Mexico and dozens more nationwide is suddenly in question today after President Donald Trump said that his administration would conduct a comprehensive review.

The president’s order for a review applies to monuments created after 1996 that are over 100,000 acres, and would include the Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains Desert Peaks national monuments in New Mexico, as well as the newly created Bears Ears National Monument in Southeastern Utah. Both the Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains monuments were set aside for protection by former President Barack Obama. -- 4/26/2017

Trump orders review of national monuments to allow developmentReuters

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to allow national monument designations to be rescinded or reduce the size of sites as the administration pushes to open up more federal land to drilling, mining and other development.

Legal challenges are expected because no president has ever rescinded a monument designation.

In announcing the order on Wednesday Republican Trump said Obama's use of the 1906 Antiquities Act to create monuments was an "egregious abuse of federal power" that allowed the federal government to "lock up" millions of acres of land and water. -- 4/26/2017

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May 3, 2017

NM Land Grant Fund up 11 percent -- Albuquerque Journal

The state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund grew by 11.3 percent for the investment year ending in March, pushing New Mexico’s total permanent funds to a record $21.7 billion, State Investment Officer Steve Moise said in a public speech in Albuquerque Tuesday morning.

That puts New Mexico third in the nation after Alaska and Texas in total fund balances compared with the 11 states that have sovereign wealth funds, Moise said at a business breakfast organized by the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management.

As a result, the SIC will distribute nearly $900 million to the state for the next fiscal year that starts in July to help finance public schools, universities, hospitals and other agencies. That’s up from about $300 million distributed 20 years ago. -- 5/2/2017



April 25, 2017

State’s revenue situation improves -- Albuquerque Journal

A new revenue tracking report shows New Mexico is on pace to take in $55 million more in revenue than projected for the budget year that ends in June, some rare good news for a state that’s faced two consecutive years of spending cuts. -- 4/25/2017

Court lifts injunction on Mexican wolf releases in NM -- Albuquerque Journal

The federal government is again free to release endangered Mexican gray wolves into the wild in New Mexico, after a U.S. appeals court Tuesday vacated a lower court’s injunction sought by the state.

It was not immediately clear in the wake of the ruling whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would go ahead with wolf releases, or how New Mexico’s Department of Game and Fish will react to the ruling. The state has the option to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. -- 4/25/2017