House panel passes bill to block use of state land for border wall

A State House committee voted to pass a bill that would halt the state from aiding in the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico by stopping the sale or use of state land for such a wall. The bill passed the House State Government, Indian and Veterans Affairs Committee on a party-line vote, with all five Democrats voting in favor and all four Republicans voting against. Rep. Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, was one of the bill’s sponsors and said the wall would not prevent undocumented immigration. “If the purpose of this wall is to eliminate illegal immigration from Mexico, keep in mind that over 40 percent of those in this country illegally actually entered with a valid visa,” Martinez said. “So they arrived at an airport or arrived at a checkpoint with proper documentation and simply overstayed that documentation.”

Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park, said that the legislation would also send a signal to Mexico, a key trade partner.

In Albuquerque, Trump promises he will win New Mexico

Donald Trump has lagged in support behind Hillary Clinton in New Mexico in all public polls this election season. But the boisterous Republican presidential nominee promised a crowd of roughly 2,500 people he would win the state. The crowd gathered Sunday to hear Trump speak in an airplane hanger just outside of the Albuquerque International Sunport. Related: Small protests greet Trump

“We’re tied—that’s not so good—we’re tied in New Mexico,” Trump told the crowd, echoing a statement last week from one of his campaign advisors on WABC, a New York radio station. “We’re going to win New Mexico.

Now Trump wants Martinez’s endorsement

Donald Trump is trying something different when it comes to Gov. Susana Martinez. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee called into the Santa Fe New Mexican newsroom Thursday in an apparent attempt to woo Martinez to his side. From the paper:
“I’d like to have it,” Trump said in a phone interview when asked if wanted Martinez’s support. “I respect her. I have always liked her.”

That’s different from what he said in front of thousands of New Mexicans last week.

Martinez campaign vet to run Jeb Bush’s campaign

A campaign strategist that worked on both successful Susana Martinez gubernatorial campaigns will head a Republican presidential campaign. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the shakeup that has Danny Diaz as the campaign manager for Jeb Bush. The change took place even before the former Florida governor officially launches his presidential campaign. Bush is expected to join the crowded field seeking the Republican nomination soon. This isn’t the first or only connection between Bush and Martinez.

Study: NM tax code counteracts some inequality efforts

A working paper that examined state tax codes and their effects on income inequality found that New Mexico, along many other states, has a tax system that tends to work against federal efforts to mitigate or reduce income inequality. The study comes from three staff economists with the Federal Reserve and looked at whether tax systems in each state helped the federal tax system to mitigate income inequality or if the state tax systems countered these efforts. The federal tax system tends to lessen inequality since it has a progressive tax system based largely on income taxes. States generally rely on sales taxes which are more regressive; New Mexico relies heavily on a Gross Receipts Tax. New Mexico’s GRT is known as a regressive tax that is a relic from the 1960s, when the state sought to tax activity from the federal government, which had a very large presence in the state but could not be directly taxed.