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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

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U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to allow national monument designations to be rescinded or reduce the size of sites as the administration pushes to open up more federal land to drilling, mining and other development.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

April 21, 2017

New Mexico Legislature sues governor in escalating conflict -- KOB News

The New Mexico Legislature has sued Republican Gov. Susana Martinez over her budget vetoes that would effectively eliminate the legislative branch by cutting off its funding amid an escalating clash over how to resolve the state's financial crisis.

The Democrat-led Legislature on Friday petitioned the New Mexico Supreme Court by filing an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus  to block vetoes that would defund the legislative branch and all state institutions of higher education in the coming fiscal year. -- April 21, 2017

April 20, 2017

Oil and Gas Leasing on State Trust Lands Remains Strong – April Lease Sale Earns $4 Million -- State Land Office News Release

– As public school districts across the state consider plans to drop athletic, art, and music programs due to massive budget cuts, State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says his office is making every effort to boost revenue earnings to help cover depleted operating budgets.

The April 18th oil and gas lease sale generated $3.985 million from 35 tracts covering 8,992 acres in Eddy, Chaves and Lea Counties. -- 4/19/2017

April 11, 2017

Shipping resumes to WIPP -- Santa Fe New Mexican

The nation’s only underground nuclear repository has received its first shipment of waste, more than three years after shipping was halted in response to a radiation release that contaminated part of the facility and sidetracked the federal government’s multibillion-dollar cleanup program.

The U.S. Energy Department said Monday that the shipment from a federal facility in Idaho marked a milestone for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the government sites where tons of waste left over from decades of nuclear weapons research and development have been stacking up.  -- 4/11/2017

 

Forest managers plan prescribed burn in watershed -- Santa Fe New Mexican

The Santa Fe National Forest scheduled a 340-acre burn for Tuesday in the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed.

Crews plan to ignite the burn about three miles east of the city between the Nichols and McClure reservoirs and it should be completed by 4 p.m. Tuesday, the agency said in a news release.

Winds are expected to push the smoke north of Santa Fe toward Chimayó, Truchas, Peñasco and Dixon on Tuesday afternoon. Light smoke may be seen in Española and as far as Taos on Tuesday evening, but the smoke is expected to clear by midnight.  -- 4/10/2017