Monday, March 3, 2014

Back to Work

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's back to work I go!
A lot happened while I was off work last week.

There was that scathing audit of the Human Services Department and its handling of the mental health system shakeup. My colleague Patrick Malone covered that.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate dropped his suit to try to disqualify one of his rivals, Howie Morales. That was a sudden decision made after the morning court hearing seemed to go badly for Rael's case. Milan Simonich covered that.

And veteran members of the state House of Representatives kept dropping out, including House GOP floor leader Don Bratton.

While I was out, former Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque had some interesting commentary in her email newsletter:

Most of the important Democratic initiatives — minimum wage, early childhood education, marijuana legalization, education restructuring — were constitutional amendments which would go directly to the voters and bypass the Governor’s pen. But barring some break in the lockstep in which the Republicans follow their governor, they were doomed from the start. Such amendments require a majority of both houses, and, with the announcement that two Democratic representatives would be ill and absent for the session, the 36 vote threshold was unattainable, no matter what the Senate did. Now comes the news that the two representatives, Phil Archueleta and Ernest Chavez, have decided that they’re not coming back anyway.  Really?  After all that? After the failure of the minimum wage hike?  Couldn’t they have decided that before the session, and allowed the Democratic county commissions to select a successor in time for those crucial votes? Just wondering.
(To be sure, I haven't received official word that Archuleta has announced he's not seeking re-election, though it's widely speculated that he won't. I'll have to check that out.)

During my week off I did make an appearance on KNME's In Focus with a bunch of fellow journalists. The videos are below.

And speaking of TV, my appearance on Report from Santa Fe, taped in the final hours of the session, can be found HERE.

Now, back to work!