Despite tough times, legislative session successful

Each day when the Legislature is in session, busloads of school children come from throughout the state to witness democracy in action. Let's hope none of those impressionable youngsters were in attendance on the final morning, when the House squelched debate, ignored the clock and muscled through a 35-page bill that only a handful of […]

Senate has funny way of celebrating transparency

It is ironic that during national Sunshine Week and in the run-up to Freedom of Information Day state senators passed a rule in the middle of the night to keep their emails and other documents secret. Around 11:20 p.m. on March 13, the Senate pulled House Concurrent Resolution 1 off the table and adopted it […]

TSA finally coming to its senses

You're getting ready to board a plane at an airport in, say, Lubbock or Amarillo. An agent asks you to empty your pockets into a plastic tray. The contents include a pocket knife you've been carrying since Grandpa gave it to you when you were a youngster. Hey, no problem, the agent says. You can […]

Putting off prairie dogs proves unwise

The thought of killing prairie dogs is not pleasurable to most people. And it was not to Clovis officials when they ordered a rodent eradication project at Ned Houk Park. But they had a responsibility to prevent the troublesome rodents from spilling onto private property and endangering those neighboring landowners' livelihoods. City commissioners approved spending […]

Shielding public access wrong move for Legislature

State Rep. Anna Crook surely hasn't been hit with a case of amnesia. However, she has introduced a bad piece of legislation that suggests she's forgotten a significant government foul-up in her hometown of Clovis. Crook, a Republican, introduced House Bill 592 to the Legislature, which would exempt activity related to economic development entities from […]

Note to reps: Speaking for us requires asking us

Clovis city officials are welcome to develop their opinions and share them with others. However, when they suggest their individual viewpoints represent those of our entire city without even asking us, we and all taxpayers should object. Commissioner Randy Crowder said he and City Manager Joe Thomas sent an email to city commissioners asking their […]

Senate needs to pass interlock change

When suspected drunken drivers are released pending trial, conditions of release mandate they can't drink alcohol. When convicted drunken drivers are sentenced, conditions of probation mandate they not drink alcohol. So why, then, should they be able to buy it? House Bill 87 would prohibit drunken drivers who have interlock licenses from purchasing alcohol. Sponsored […]

Council must make every attempt to recoup losses

It isn't hundreds of millions of dollars, but $24 million is a significant chunk of change. The Chicago investment firm of Vanderbilt Capital Advisors has agreed to pay $20 million to the State Investment Council and $4.25 million to the Educational Retirement Board to settle a lawsuit to recoup losses from the pay-to-play scandal of […]

Sequester problems rooted in bad priorities

As many federal employees brace for furloughs that will deliver a 20 percent pay cut, and New Mexico prepares for reductions in federal funding for everything from education to job search assistance to anti-pollution efforts, rest easy in knowing your tax dollars have saved 68 imperiled Gila trout that have found temporary shelter in an […]

Their View: New Mexico has violent crime problem

Dennis Kintigh, a former Republican lawmaker and retired FBI agent, made a recent presentation on community violence to Leadership New Mexico. Here's a summary of what he had to say, as provided in a column he wrote for regional newspapers: As I did research for the presentation, I found the data confirmed many previously held […]

Viewpoint: Tax system might need fewer exemptions

"I've never seen a tax credit that wasn't a good idea for the entity getting it." — Sen. Bill Payne, R-Albuquerque In the shadow of $85 billion in federal sequestration cuts and a $113-million-a-year attempted raid on New Mexico's Land Grant Permanent Fund, there are still about 60 groups looking for tax breaks at the […]

Clovis vision: Government can’t do it all

Let's hear some applause for Clovis City Hall asking residents how our city should look in the next decade. It sought advice and counsel from those who live here and heard from a good crowd on Thursday. So how should the city improve itself and make this a better place to live? Here's our idea: […]

Efforts at combating bullying go down for a 3 count

Rio Grande High School wrestler Nick Chavez has a state championship while the justice system, some South Valley political power brokers and the anti-bullying efforts of Albuquerque Public Schools all have a black eye. A state senator, a Bernalillo County commissioner and an APS Board member all saw fit to use their official clout and […]

Viewpoint: Streamlining insurance law long overdue

"In New Mexico, seven insurers currently account for a total of 123 prior authorization forms." — Barry Bitzer, former Deputy Secretary, N.M. Human Services Department In the year 2013 it is an exercise in wasted time, money and health to make patients, physicians, pharmacists and insurers attempt to reconcile the many permutations a prior authorization […]

Our viewpoint: Washington needs more solutions, less bickering

An age-old political game is taking the United States to the brink of fiscal calamity once again. This time, with "sequestration" set to take effect Friday, the objective once more appears not to be to find a political solution, but only to lay blame at the feet of the other side. Here's an idea for […]

Editorial: Governor’s proposals warrant further study

Gov. Susana Martinez has laid the ugly truth on the line. "We must diversify our economy and not have such a heavy reliance on federal jobs," she told about 700 people attending a luncheon hosted by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and other business groups. "We can no longer rely on government as a […]

Editorial: FDA should help businesses follow new rules

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one in six Americans will have a food-borne illness every year. Of those, nearly 130,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Since last summer there have been outbreaks of salmonella in peanut butter produced in New Mexico, as well as salmonella in mangoes and cantaloupes and listeria in […]

Editorial: Firing jail boss step in right direction

The first question for new Curry County Commissioners Tim Ashley and Ben McDaniel is why did it take two hours into their first board meeting before they fired jail administrator Gerry Billy. The question is tongue in cheek, of course. They joined holdover Commissioners Bobby Sandoval and Frank Blackburn in a 4-1 vote Tuesday morning […]

Editorial: 2012 full of unnecessary regulations

2012 was a boom for new government regulations. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren't likely to do anyone any good, except perhaps as employment insurance for those bureaucrats already employed or hired to enforce them. The biggest regulation offenders on a Top 10 worst list, compiled by the conservative Heritage Foundation, range from a simplification […]

Editorial: Incarcerating inmates longer costs taxpayers

What's the better value? $400 a month for one month or more than $100 a day for that same month? The $400 is about what an indigent prisoner who is eligible for parole has needed to come up with to be released from prison into a transitional living facility. Depending on the month, it's been […]