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Reform Tax Code, Budget to Grow Economy

Elections have consequences. And, while Republicans strengthened their standing nationwide, here in New Mexico, Democrats are ascendant with working majorities in both houses of the Legislature. Democrats are undoubtedly chomping at the bit to push through a whole range of policy initiatives, possibly via constitutional amendments which will circumvent Gov. Susana Martinez. But the most pressing issue is the budget situation and the economy as a whole and something needs to be done about it right away. While acknowledging the role of declining oil and gas prices, corporate tax cuts enacted in 2013 (and supported by vast majorities of Democrats) will be targeted.

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Oil and gas prices aren’t the only culprits in New Mexico’s revenue crisis

While New Mexico is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, not all of our treasures are as visible as our golden landscape. Below our state’s sunny surface lie abundant natural mineral resources. The extraction of these resources—particularly crude oil and natural gas—have long helped the state provide essential services like education, health care, and public safety, which bolster our economy and improve our quality of life. Prices for crude oil and natural gas have always fluctuated wildly and always will. They are traded in a global marketplace over which we have no control.

New lawmakers express optimism about session

The 2017 Legislature kicked off at the Roundhouse Tuesday, and the first order of business was Gov. Susana Martinez’s state of the state address to the legislature. That speech featured many proposals the Republican governor has advocated for years – reinstating the death penalty, avoiding tax increases, holding back third graders who can’t read and increased penalties for DUIs. But she also advocated bipartisanship, probably a necessary step when Democrats control the Legislature. Opening day is largely one of pomp and circumstance, especially for new lawmakers and their families. For New Mexico In Depth and KSFR Radio, we tracked down five new lawmakers in the boisterous capitol and asked about their day, the state of the state address and their goals for the 60-day session.

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2017 Legislative Session: Happenings on opening day

There are lots of ways to keep up with opening day at the state Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez’s state of the state address. One is through social media. New Mexico In Depth is bringing it all together right here. Refresh your page to catch any updates – and be sure to click on “read the next page.” [View the story “Opening day of 2017 legislative session” on Storify]

Bail amendment passes convincingly

New Mexicans on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to limit the role of money in judges’ decisions about which defendants stay locked up and which go free before trial. According to unofficial election results from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website, roughly 87 percent, or 610,000 of 699,000 New Mexicans supported a change to the state constitution aimed at reforming the use of commercial bail.

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NMID tracks November campaign filings

Today is a filing day for New Mexico candidates, the third for the general election. It’s another important day as Republicans fight to hold their two-year majority in the House and take over the Senate, while Democrats hope to take back the House and hold the Senate. Today, we’ll track the secretary of state contest, plus key legislative races. We’ll check out the super PACs too. Below you’ll find the money coming in betweenOct.

Poll shows broad support for bail reform

A public opinion poll shows 78 percent of likely New Mexico voters favor changing the state constitution to limit the use of commercial bail in deciding which defendants stay in jail before trial and which go free. A constitutional amendment on the ballot for next week’s election would allow judges to deny bail to people who are proven dangerous at a hearing. It also would forbid judges from holding non-dangerous defendants in jail pretrial solely because they cannot raise bail money. Early voting began Oct. 11.