If Jose Campos gets his way, some big smiles will be seen on the personnel at Cannon Air Force Base.
Campos, a House of Representative member whose district includes both Curry and Roosevelt counties, said on Monday afternoon that he is putting together legislation that could significantly benefit Cannon. The bill has not been introduced yet.
Campos said the bill would provide $10 million for the state’s four air bases, 20-25 percent of that money heading to the Clovis-area base.
“We want to be fully prepared and we have to take care of our base,” he said. “There¡|s not another base in New Mexico that has the impact on a community that Cannon does.”
The bill would provide funds to do a variety of things, including fixing a bridge that crosses Highway 60 to Cannon.
Also, a portion of Highway 60, which leads to the base, would receive a face lift through Campos’ bill.
“Those are the high dollar projects,” Campos said.
Money would also go to education projects for those children who are educated on the base, Campos said.
National Guard help
Campos has also worked on a bill that would give a big break to National Guardsmen who are deployed.
Currently, when a guard member is deployed they still have to make all of their regular payments, such as house and car payments.
Campos doesn’t think that’s fair.
“A lot of National Guard families have a hard time making bank payments for home and automobiles when a guard member is commissioned,” he said. “A lot of these people, when they are commissioned, don’t earn one-third of what they make in the private market.”
Through Campos’ legislation those who are deployed wouldn’t have to make payments during their deployment, just like other military personnel don’t have to as provided through the Sailors and Soldiers Act.
Campos said bankers have agreed to ease the payments for guardsmen during the time they are deployed.
Change to income tax
Campos is also seeking a change to a bill that would get rid of the income tax on death benefits to fallen law enforcement. Campos said when a police officer is killed in the line of duty the family receives a stipend “a death benefit,” but they have to pay income tax on it.
“I was appalled when I learned that they could be taxed on that,” he said. “This is something that should be able to get through.”
Last year Campos introduced the same bill. It passed in the House, but he said it “got lost”in the Senate.
Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, is seeking a water tank for the city of Melrose. Ingle is asking for $290,000 for the purchase and installation of the tank.
Fort Sumner Irrigation District
Ingle introduced a bill last week for $1.2 million to pay for the outstanding debt of the Fort Sumner Irrigation District to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation.
Ingle also submitted a bill last week for $78,000 to pay for faculty training, travel expenses and course materials for Eastern New Mexico University is off-campus teacher education initiative.
Water trust fund
Rep. Brian Moore, R-Clayton, recently introduced a bill that would provide $150 million to the Water Trust Fund to finance the Water Project Finance Act.
Moore is also seeking $108,000 to support and administer athletic programs at Mesalands Community College.