Capitol Report New Mexico - On the front page of the Santa Fe New Mexican on Tuesday (Feb. 1) Steve Terrell reports the following: About two weeks before he left office, Gov. Bill Richardson’s staff handed over his office’s records to the State Records Center and Archives. But there was one condition. Richardson agreed to turn over his records under the condition that for the next eight years, only four people would have access or be able to grant access to the documents — Richardson himself; his chief of staff, Brian Condit; general counsel Justin Miller; and scheduler Janis Hartley. Richardson’s action is allowed under a state law passed in 1967, Records Center Director Sandra Jaramillo said Monday.
Other governors before him have taken the same action, she said. But attorney Victor Marshall says, ”Not so fast.” Read full story here:
L.A. Times - Citing the pro-democracy unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, Gov. Jerry Brown called it “unconscionable” that GOP legislators are vowing to block his attempt to ask voters to extend tax hikes to balance the budget. “When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can’t say now is the time to block a vote of the people,” Brown said in his first State of the State address in nearly 30 years. He said the budget has tough choices but that the people “have a right to vote” on the package. He challenged both parties to take the difficult votes necessary to balance the budget. “If you are a Democrat who doesn’t want to make budget reductions in programs you fought for and deeply believe in, I understand that,” he said.
“If you are a Republican who has taken a stand against taxes, I understand where you are coming from. But this time things are different. In fact, the people are telling us -- in their own way -- they sense something is profoundly wrong. They see that their leaders are divided when they should be decisive and acting with clear purpose.” Read full story here:
SANTA FE – Today, Governor Susana Martinez held a press conference to outline her support for the expansion of Katie’s Law and urge the Legislature and the public to continue to get behind the legislation. Katie’s law is named after Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was murdered in 2003. Governor Martinez was to be joined by members of the Sepich family, who were unable to attend due to inclement weather. A copy of the remarks that were to be delivered by David and Caraline Sepich, Katie's father and sister respectively, are included at the end of this release. The Governor was joined by a bipartisan group of elected officials that included a representative from Attorney General Gary King's office and numerous Republican and Democratic co-sponsors in the House and Senate. Attorney General King was also unable to attend due to inclement weather, but expressed his deep support for the legislation to Governor Martinez.
NMPolitics.net - The N.M. Court of Appeals has ruled that Attorney General Gary King can prosecute the defendants in a case involving the state’s housing authorities even though his office also represents the authorities in a civil capacity. The ruling is significant because it’s the first time the appeals court has ruled on whether the attorney general can wear both civil and criminal hats when there’s a potential conflict between the two. The defendants in the housing authority case could still appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court. An appeal to the state’s high court would further delay trial. Read full story here:
From npr.org -Just how broken is the corporate tax system? Consider the tax rate paid by two of America's biggest companies — Wal-Mart and General Electric. Wal-Mart paid 34 cents in taxes for every dollar of profit it made in the past three years. General Electric paid just 3.6 cents on the dollar. Welcome to the mysterious world of the corporate income tax, says tax expert Len Burman at Syracuse University. "There are big companies that consider their tax departments to be profit centers," he says. That's right; instead of concentrating on making light bulbs, power plants or whatnot, companies use the tax system to boost their profits. More here
NPR: Why Does GE Pay 3.6% Tax Rate, and Wal-Mart Pay 33.6%?
From thehill.com -At the beginning of this new Congress, it is already becoming clear that energy policy will have a major place on this Congress’ agenda. Part of that is because the President made clear last week in his State of the Union speech he will give energy a major priority in his administration. In part, it is because our energy security is dependent on overseas supplies and global stability. The events that we have seen unfold in North Africa and the Middle East are stark reminders that the world is an unpredictable place. Whenever geopolitical events potentially affect our access to affordable energy supplies, it is a spur to consider energy policies that might reduce those geopolitical risks. But perhaps more important than any of those reasons is the competitive pressure we are experiencing from other major world economic powers, as they take a very leading role in clean energy markets. More here
Bingaman Releases Energy Priorities for 112th Congress