Republican governor hopeful campaigns in Portales

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By Tony Parra Republican J.R. Damron sees a need for change in the governor’s office to improve education and stop illegal immigration. Gov. Bill Richardson’s opponent in November’s General Election, Damron said students in New Mexico rank low in test scores compared with students from other states, citing a recently released report card from the […]

Legislators review session

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By Marlena Hartz Elected officials and business leaders vented frustration with the 30-day legislative session Friday over scrambled eggs and gravy and biscuits. The morning meal, hosted by the Association for Industry and Commerce (ACI), reviewed the recent session, with commentary by local senators and representatives. About $1.7 million for regional capital outlay projects was […]

Richardson threatens to veto more than $200 million in spending

By Barry Massey The Associated Press SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday he’s likely to veto more than $200 million from spending bills to balance the main budget account this year and replenish the state’s financial reserves. Richardson delivered the veto warning in a speech in Albuquerque to a statewide business group, and […]

Legislature learning how to say ‘no’ to Richardson

By Barry Massey The Associated Press SANTA FE — Leading up to this year’s legislative session, Gov. Bill Richardson proclaimed 2006 the “year of the child” for his policy proposals. The “year of the Legislature” might be a better description of the just-ended session, however. More than any time during Richardson’s administration, lawmakers — particularly […]

Budget wins final legislative approval, heads to governor

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson is withholding judgment on a nearly $5.1 billion budget measure that won final approval in the Legislature. Richardson, who had sharply criticized earlier budget proposals by lawmakers, declined to say whether he will accept or reject the spending measure that was approved Tuesday. The Legislature is […]

Governor feeling shortchanged by state lawmakers

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson is objecting to budget bills approved by the House and Senate, saying they were unacceptable because lawmakers shortchanged many of his proposals aimed at children. “So far the budget does not look like the year of the child. It looks like the year of the porkie […]

Richardson won’t compromise on $7.50 minimum wage

By Deborah Baker SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday he won’t compromise on raising the state minimum wage to $7.50 an hour and would veto a Senate bill that capped it at $6.15. The governor said he was willing to modify his proposal for a phased-in $7.50 wage floor “a bit — but […]

Governor says commuter rail not dead

By Deborah Baker SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday there are “a few glitches,” but the planned Rail Runner commuter train remains on track. The governor said at a Capitol rally that he envisions commuter rail service all the way to Raton — “All of northern New Mexico will benefit,” he said — […]

Ethics bills move through committees

By Deborah Baker: The Associated Press SANTA FE — A piece of Gov. Bill Richardson’s ethics package got unanimous committee endorsement Monday and headed to the full House for a vote. A Senate panel also approved a much broader measure, barring people who do business with the state from contributing to statewide officials — including […]

Richardson: Wait a year on lobbying reform

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — New Mexico’s laws regulating lobbying of legislators and state officials need tightening, Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday. However, Richardson doesn’t want the issue considered during the current 30-day session of the Legislature. The governor, in comments at a legislative breakfast reception sponsored by the New Mexico Press Association, said […]

Grading the governor

Legislators from Curry and Roosevelt Counties graded the performance of Gov. Bill Richardson — some with ambivalence, because Richardson’s term is not yet over. Richardson is a Democrat. The next general election is Nov. 7. Sen. Clinton D. Harden, R-Clovis: “I give him a C+ for providing better services. There is growth in state government, […]

Legislators grade the governor

Freedom Newspapers Legislators from Curry and Roosevelt Counties graded the performance of Gov. Bill Richardson — some with ambivalence, because Richardson’s term is not yet over. Richardson is a Democrat. The next general election is Nov. 7. Sen. Clinton D. Harden, R-Clovis: “I give him a C+ for providing better services. There is growth in […]

Signs surface that Cannon review for real

Freedom Newspapers Two events this past week focused the picture on the future of Cannon Air Force Base once again. The bottom line is they indicate the fight to keep the base open won’t be a sham affair directed by military and Department of Defense officials who had wanted it closed. For the forward movement […]

N.M. National Guardsman dies in Iraq

Staff and wire reports SANTA FE — A Farmington soldier died Saturday morning in Iraq after being struck in the head by shrapnel from an explosive device, the governor’s office announced. Sgt. Marshal A. Westbrook, 43, was married and the father of five children. A member of the Albuquerque-based 126th Military Police company, he is […]

Governor pleads to save Cannon

Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers Shortly after the end of Thursday’s Base Closure and Realignment deliberations, with the empty chairs of nine BRAC commissioners as a backdrop, Gov. Bill Richardson called the fate of Cannon Air Force Base fluid. The Commission moved a Cannon vote, scheduled initially for Thursday, to this morning. In an interview with […]

CCC president expected to receive state post

David Stevens: Freedom Newpapers Clovis Community College President Beverlee McClure is expected to be named the state’s new Higher Education secretary today, college regents Robert Lydick and Gayla Brumfield and state Sen. Stuart Ingle said. Officials with the governor’s office declined to confirm the appointment, but Bill Richardson scheduled a press conference for 9 a.m. […]

Orlik selected for district judge slot

Freedom Newspapers The call Robert Orlik had been waiting for years to receive came unexpectedly on Tuesday evening. Gov. Bill Richardson was on the other end of the line, and he told the local attorney he’d just been appointed as the new district judge in the 9th Judicial District. “When I got the governor, I […]

Former city commissioner joins state rodeo council

By Leslie Radford: Freedom Newspapers Gloria Wicker of Clovis was recently appointed to the New Mexico Rodeo Council, according to Gov. Bill Richardson’s office. A former city commissioner, Wicker currently serves on the board for the High Plains Rodeo Association. She said she applied for the position in April because she wanted to get involved […]

ENMU receives outlay share

By Tony Parra New athletic facilities and building infrastructure were the key items in the 2005 New Mexico Legislative session for Eastern New Mexico University. So far, $1.46 million has been reserved for the university, ranging from improvements to the building infrastructure to athletics facilities. ENMU president Steven Gamble said that $450,000 for athletic facilities […]

Late appointment leaves district without D.A. temporarily

By Mike Linn Criminal court cases scheduled for Monday were postponed because Gov. Bill Richardson had not appointed a district attorney in time to replace Brett Carter, whose duties end at 5 p.m. today. Carter has accepted a job to work as the district public defender. Incoming District Attorney Matt Chandler — whose official term […]