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 […]

Republicans seek investigation into ‘temporary’ hires

Staff and Wire Reports SANTA FE — Republican lawmakers have asked the state attorney general’s office to investigate the Richardson administration’s practice of hiring temporary exempt employees. A March 18 letter from Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque, signed by two dozen other GOP lawmakers, said Gov. Bill Richardson’s practices have resulted in “numerous unauthorized hirings.” Lawmakers […]

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 […]

Lawmakers fail to give governor some key items

By Deborah Baker The Associated Press SANTA FE — Lawmakers wrapped up 30 days of work Thursday without delivering on several of Gov. Bill Richardson’s key priorities. He called the session “disappointing” and said he would decide next week whether to call them back for a special session. Among the casualties: a minimum wage increase, […]

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 […]

Lawmakers rush to complete work by noon

By Deborah Baker and Barry Massey SANTA FE — Lawmakers neared the finishing line of their 30-day session with many of Gov. Bill Richardson’s legislative proposals unresolved. The Legislature adjourns at noon on Thursday and the closing hours of the session resembled a high-wire act as the House and Senate rushed to complete work on […]

Chandler asks legislature for help starting senior safety program

By Tony Parra Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler is asking lawmakers for $50,000 he hopes will help spotlight and improve safety for senior citizens in Roosevelt County. “There are many laws to punish those who abuse the elderly that are reactive,” Chandler said. “We want this to be proactive and an innovative approach to […]

Effort under way to open conference committes to public

The Associated Press SANTA FE — An effort is under way to open up what goes on behind closed doors in legislative conference committees. “Other public bodies have done this, and they’re still able to get things done,” said Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, sponsor of a measure to make conference committees meetings public. Conference committees, […]

Administration details spaceport plans, some skeptical

By Deborah Baker SANTA FE — The Richardson administration on Wednesday urged lawmakers to support a state-built spaceport in southern New Mexico as skeptics questioned the risk of investing in what one called a “chancy venture.” The state could be “the birthplace of the second space age” if it built the proposed $225 million facility […]

President, Congress likely to accept BRAC list

By Liz Sidoti: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The military base closings that the Pentagon and a commission have recommended are likely to be approved by President Bush and Congress, leaving communities around the country with little hope that targeted facilities will be spared. Bush is now focused on the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast rather than […]