Third Democrat announces bid for governor

Another New Mexico Democrat announced his run for governor. Peter DeBenedittis issued a press release Monday detailing his campaign platform. One major point DeBenedittis highlighted in his announcement is that he is a political outsider. “Year after year we’ve seen Democrats talk like they really want to help people during the primaries, then they run to the center for the general election,” DeBenedittis said. “And then if they win, many completely forget what they’ve campaigned on.”

Last year, DeBenedittis gained some attention with his campaign to raise state alcohol taxes to increase state revenue.

Group calls on Guv to put alcohol excise increase on special session agenda

There isn’t a date for the special session yet, but one non-profit that says increasing an alcohol excise tax increase can help solve the budget deficit is stepping up efforts to get it on the session’s agenda. Dr. Peter DeBenedittis, director of Alcohol Taxes Save Lives and Money, hand-delivered a letter to the governor’s office in Santa Fe asking that she put the proposal on the agenda for a special session. A special session is necessary to deal with a budget deficit nearing $500 million. Spokesmen for Gov. Susana Martinez’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment. Her public information officers typically do not respond to requests for comment from NM Political Report.

Group: Increasing alcohol tax will help ease state budget woes

There’s still no word on if or when Gov. Susana Martinez will call a special session to address the state’s money shortfall, but one nonprofit group wants lawmakers to consider a tax increase on alcohol sales as a way to increase state revenues. Peter DeBenedittis, director of the group Alcohol Taxes Save Lives & Money said he’s been speaking with lawmakers as he tries to increase taxes on alcohol sales in order to supplement public substance abuse treatment programs. While DeBenedittis said he has been working with lawmakers for a while, he wants to gain support from the general public now. “Were just trying to start the conversation publicly,” DeBenedittis said of the campaign. Key players in the legislature said in recent weeks there is a need to shore up the state budget before the next regular session in January. DeBenedittis said the state can save serious money by holding those who abuse alcohol accountable for treatment costs.