Bush seeking higher TRICARE fees

By Tom Philpott President’s Bush final defense budget, for fiscal 2009, asks a reluctant Congress for a third time to raise TRICARE co-payments on drugs dispensed at retail pharmacies and to increase TRICARE enrollment fees and deductibles for working-age military retirees and their families. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the […]

Legislators: Session on schedule

By Sarah Meyer: Freedom New Mexico Area legislators say the current session is on track to finish as scheduled. The budget has moved from the House to the Senate and was being reviewed Saturday by the Finance Committee, said Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales. “It looks pretty decent,” he said. “There may be some changes.” The […]

Legislators to consider health care

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By Sarah Meyer: Freedom New Mexico The 2008 New Mexico Legislature begins its 30-day session Tuesday in Santa Fe. This year’s session focuses on the state budget, but other issues come into play at the governor’s request. One of the top issues this year promises to be Gov. Bill Richardson’s plan for universal health coverage. […]

Gross receipts still solid

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By Karl Terry, PNT managing editor Portales’ economy seems to be defying national trends along with localized concerns of a slow-down as gross receipts tax collection grew in 2007. With better than 73 percent of the city of Portales’ budget tied to GRT, the monthly collection reports are of special interest to city officials looking […]

Petty maneuvering delaying budget for fiscal year

If your family or business operated this way it would soon be shunned by creditors and suppliers. But the U.S. government operated without a budget for this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, until now, thanks to petty and sometimes incompetent maneuvering. But this institution that can’t keep its own house in order has no […]

Congress approves spending proposal

By Andrew Taylor: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Ending dual spending battles with President Bush, the Democratic-controlled Congress passed a $555 billion bill Wednesday that funds the Iraq war well into next year and government agencies through September. Bush was expected soon to sign the measure, which includes $70 billion for military operations in Iraq […]

Bush approves Cannon funds

Staff and wire reports President Bush on Tuesday signed an increase in the Pentagon’s non-war budget that includes funding for the purchase of five CV-22 Ospreys destined for Cannon Air Force Base, according to Air Force Special Operations officials. Authorized was $453.7 million for the Air Force purchase of V-22 Ospreys, and $238 million for […]

Regents adjust project budgets

By Karl Terry In a time of rapidly changing construction costs, Eastern New Mexico University Regents are learning that estimating project budgets for renovation of older buildings is far from an exact science. The Regents met in a special meeting Monday specifically to go over capital projects in Portales. They OK’d two new projects and […]

Special operations gets funding in Pentagon non-war budget

Staff and wire reports WASHINGTON — Congress approved a big boost in the Pentagon’s non-war budget late Thursday. The budget includes money for Air Force Special Operations to modify CV-22 Ospreys and other funding that will boost several programs in eastern New Mexico, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. Cannon […]

Government travel budget should be re-examined

Editorial As big and costly as the federal government is, we wouldn’t expect that its travel budget would be a pittance. But last year’s total of more than $14 billion is still a shocker. Perhaps we can take solace in the fact that it’s lower than the 2005 bill by $1.3 billion. But it’s still […]

ENMU sees less-than-rosy immediate future

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Eastern New Mexico University administration and regents participated in a little crystal-ball gazing at Friday’s regular meeting and saw tougher times ahead for their budget. Officials from all three campuses presented their preliminary 2008-2009 budgets that have to be submitted to the state’s Higher Education Department. “We have no […]

Board sets meeting to discuss AYP results

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor The Portales Municipal School Board agreed to become proactive with information regarding AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) reports by holding a special board meeting just to present and discuss the report this year. At its regular meeting Monday the board approved the recommendation by Superintendent Randy Fowler to hold the […]

Daycare, educational facility looks to expand

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Portales City Councilors, during their regular meeting Tuesday, gave the go-ahead for Eastern Plains Head Start to expand its facility at 501 E. First St. onto adjacent city land currently being used as a park. EPHS plans on placing a modular building on the location and expand parking and […]

Street woes plague residents

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor City of Portales officials say repair and replacement of city streets has fallen behind for lack of funding over the years. A particularly bad winter has compounded the problem and has residents clamoring for relief, they say. Portales City Councilors directed city staff to further study two options for […]

Session likely to be extended

Staff and Wire Reports SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson says lawmakers did great work in the legislative session that ended Saturday — just not enough of it. The governor said while it was the most productive session in state history, “we still have business to finish.” He said he will call the Legislature back […]

Cannon transition underfunded

Freedom Newspapers The transition to a new mission at Cannon Air Force Base is woefully underfunded in a proposed 2008 military budget, according to a press release from Sen. Pete Domenici, R.-N.M. The approximately $72.5 million Domenici said is needed to establish Air Force Special Operations at Cannon is not included in President Bush’s 2008 […]

Legislature hits midway point

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor With the 60-day session of the 2007 New Mexico Legislature just past the midway point, local legislators say the pot’s just beginning to boil at the Roundhouse. “Right now we’re in the middle of a lot of things,” Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, said. “This is where it really gets […]

ENMU absent from governor’s budget recommendations

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Eastern New Mexico University officials knew capital outlay funding from the 2007 Legislature might be tight this year for the university, but the news that they had been left off the governor’s capital budget recommendations came as a hard blow. Among the major capital outlay projects ENMU submitted through […]

It may be too late for Republicans to save sinking ship

Editorial It may be too late for Republicans to restore their lost luster as the party of fiscal responsibility, at least in time to prevent a drubbing in the coming elections. But at least some of them are trying. A few senators are pushing the SOS bill, the Stop Overspending Act of 2006, which attempts […]

County’s elected officials to receive 15 percent raise

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor After three tries, Roosevelt County commissioners finally passed a 15-percent pay raise for elected county officials Thursday and approved their $8.7 million interim 2006-07 budget. Commissioners convened briefly in a budget public hearing, in which no one spoke out, before taking up the interim budget. On Monday commissioners heard […]