Legislators brace for budget cutbacks

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By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer The New Mexico Legislature starts Tuesday, and freshman Rep. Dennis Roch has heard, “that I have no idea how far behind I am already.” Or is he ahead of the curve? Roch, a Tucumcari Republican who was elected to fill the House seat left vacant by Brian K. Moore, […]

Legislators warn of short funds

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico With a budget shortfall estimated as high as $454 million because of a slumping economy and lower-than-expected oil and natural gas prices, legislators told attendants at Friday’s Association of Commerce and Industry legislative breakfast not to get hopes up for various capital outlay projects. “I would love to fund […]

State legislature approves capital outlay package

Staff and wire reports The Legislature adjourned Thursday after approving a $348 million capital improvement package to replace one vetoed by the governor, but a special session loomed large as lawmakers headed home. Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson blasted lawmakers for what he described as “the least productive session since I have been governor.” “The results […]

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. […]

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 […]

Roundhouse approves $6.7 million for Roosevelt County

By William Thompson Out of a record $762 million in capital outlay approved for state projects, state legislators approved $6,743,000 in capital outlay for various projects in Portales and Roosevelt County as their 2006 budget session ended yesterday. Officials with Eastern New Mexico University, the City of Portales, Portales schools and Roosevelt County all said […]

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 […]

School looks to its future

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By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer New Mexico legislators took a look at what could be the future of public education when they took a tour on Wednesday of facilities which will be used for the online courses at Portales High School. Sen. Stuart Ingle (R-Portales) and the senate majority leader, Sen. Gay Kernan (R-Hobbs) […]

ENMU students lobby to legislators

By Tony Parra Eastern New Mexico University students are on a crusade to convince legislators to spend $130,000 on a pair of projects at the school. Part of the lobbying effort is being done through ENMU students, who are in Santa Fe lobbying for two separate bills requesting money from capital outlay. They are lobbying […]

Sustaining budget a big priority

By David Irvin Sustaining the state budget will be a central topic when the New Mexico Legislature convenes for its 60-day session Tuesday. Local legislators said inflating health care costs and problems with financing Medicaid have become an increased burden to the state and its budget. The question of whether the budget and future budgets […]

Lobbyists have different kind of labor

By Mike Linn Mike Miller knows how government works. He knows state lawmakers and he’s a “people person.” He likes to talk. In many ways the Portales resident is a prototype lobbyist, a profession that much like sports runs in seasons — in annual stints of 30 or 60 days. “Santa Fe is right up […]

City, county hold different views on legislative priorities

By Tony Parra Gov. Bill Richardson sent a letter of request to local government entities for their legislative priorities, but received a mixed response from city and county officials in Roosevelt County and legislators representing Roosevelt County. Richardson sent out a letter requesting legislative priorities from government entities to counties, municipalities and other entities. James […]

Board of Regents discuss budget, tuition

Tony Parra Santa Fe is a political hot spot right now and the Eastern New Mexico Board of Regents decided to meet there on Thursday to discuss budget-balancing and banking services for ENMU-Roswell as well as to meet with state legislators on the 135-mile rule. Colleges such as ENMU and New Mexico State University offer […]

Retired teachers lobby for retirement funds

Michelle Seeber New Mexico lawmakers on Monday told retired educators they’ll have to fix their retirement fund themselves. The fund is $2.3 billion short of what actuarial studies projected it would grow to over the last three years, with assets totaling $6.1 billion instead of $9.3 billion, according to information provided at the forum, which […]