Tax loopholes are in the eye of the beholder

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez continues to say we need to tighten our belts rather than raise taxes in order to solve our current fiscal crisis. “She will not raise taxes,” Chris Sanchez, the governor’s spokesperson, told New Mexico In Depth this week. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, however, told the Santa Fe New Mexican this weekend the state can’t endure any more cuts and he is joined by lawmakers who favor raising new tax revenue to balance the budget and replenish the state’s reserve fund. On its face the two positions set up a battle over whether to cut expenses or to raise revenue. But it’s not so simple.

Join us next month for Transparency Summer Camps

Want to empower yourself with mad analytical skills to become a better citizen and government watchdog? Are you a reporter and looking for helpful tools to interrogate New Mexico’s unwieldy campaign finance system? Join us for two seminars July 21 in Las Cruces and July 23 in Albuquerque featuring NMID’s Sandra Fish and Foundation for Open Government (FOG) Executive Director Susan Boe.

UNM Regents eliminate Health Sciences Center governing board

The University of New Mexico (UNM) Board of Regents staged a takeover of the university’s Health Science Center (HSC) and UNM hospital Monday. The action effectively means the Health Sciences Center and UNM Hospital lose a layer of governance. Before Monday’s changes, a Board of Directors whose membership included two community members and the UNM Board of Regents governed the Health Sciences Center. The Board of Directors — whose membership included five regents and two community members — was eliminated. In the past it had shown a certain amount of independence because a community member could raise alarm to force a controversial idea into the open.

Former Sen. Griego Charged with Bribery, Fraud in sale of State Building

AG Hector Balderas has charged former state Sen. Phil Griego with fraud, bribery, solicitation, tampering with records and “violating the ethical principles of public service.” He’s also charged with defrauding other brokers out of what should have been their share of a commission. A judge will decide if there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial.

NM Senators like ethics status quo (Audio)

New Mexicans, Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, wants you to file ethics complaints. Suspect a state lawmaker is corrupt? No need for an independent state ethics commission. File a complaint — a letter is all it takes — with the Interim Legislative Ethics committee. Lopez thinks the current system works fine.