Senators aim to protect GI benefits

What if the military gave every service member an expensive car as a reward for honorable service, but they could take delivery only at night and the headlights didn’t work? Many of those gift cars might end up damaged. Something similar is happening to thousands of veterans leaving service with Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility worth […]

Commissioner salaries smaller than in similar-size counties

Robin Fornoff Curry County commissioners make less money than counterparts in at least two similar-size New Mexico counties. But they make far more than commissioners in Roosevelt County and the city of Clovis. And when it comes to benefits, they enjoy the same health and retirement packages as every city and county official under plans […]

Gays pressing for equal benefits

The dismal failure by the congressional “super committee” to deal with the nation’s debt crisis leaves the Department of Defense facing automatic $55-billion-a-year spending cuts from 2013 through 2021. This is in addition to defense cuts of near-equal size already planned across the same decade. President Obama promised before Thanksgiving to veto any attempt to […]

Bill eases GI Bill shortfall for vets

As Congress moves closer to protecting veterans at private colleges in seven states from a sharp drop in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs has softened its warning that the relief move will cause significant payment delays for many thousands of GI Bill users this fall. VA officials still see payment challenges […]

‘Unfunded’ benefits can hurt vets

Through a decade of war, Congress has pumped billions of additional dollars into new benefits and programs for veterans. They deserve them, lawmakers say. Helping vets also is popular with constituents. Veterans’ service organizations have lobbied for these benefits, but with the expectation that newly authorized programs would be fully funded. Last year, even as […]

VA fails to meet crucial deadline

Senior Democrats and Republicans on the veterans affairs committees have joined hands to scold the Department of Veterans Affairs over missed deadlines and restrictive language drafted for implementing new benefits for caregivers of severely wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. In an unusual letter last week to President Obama, signed by both chairmen and ranking […]

Letters to the editor: Blame lies with elected officials

Blame lies with elected officials I just watched the news and I have a few questions for you folks who are smarter than myself. Why is it that an illegal alien needs a valid drivers license? Answer: To get the free benefits that America has to offer. Why was this law that allows the illegal […]

Veteran benefits not under attack

Some of us, when we see a proposal to raise VA health care fees for a category of veteran in a report on ways to curb federal budget deficits, jump to the conclusion that veteran benefits are under fresh attack. Bernard Rostker, former under secretary of defense for personnel and now a senior fellow at […]

Albertson’s offers benefits proposal to unions

A tentative agreement has been reached between Albertson’s and a negotiating committee representing employees in nine of the supermarket’s New Mexico locations. A release from the United Food and Commercial Workers union said after five months of negotiations, Albertson’s sent an offer that provides increases in wages, health care benefits and pension protection. Employees will […]

Don’t expect downsizing of government

Freedom New Mexico Eastern New Mexico residents who fear the Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives will mean a loss of benefits probably needn’t worry. Despite all the rhetoric to that effect, the Grand Old Party traditionally has shown a grand old habit for maintaining and even expanding services — and debt — […]

Bond D will have positive impact

As presidents of Clovis Community College and Eastern New Mexico University, we want to outline the benefits of General Obligation Bond D in the Nov. 2 General Election, and why it makes sense to the citizens of Curry and Roosevelt counties. The cost of Bond D is very reasonable. The owner of a $100,000 assessed […]

Congress passes benefits package

It’s unusual for Congress to pass a comprehensive bill to help thousands of veterans with a final legislative sprint that leaves veterans’ service organizations wondering what just happened. But that’s what the Senate and House did last week. After a burst of closed-door compromises, they agreed to and separately passed the Veterans’ Benefits Act of […]

Panel told not to cut vet benefits

Advocates for military retirees and veterans urged a bipartisan commission studying ways to end runaway budget deficits not to lump military-earned benefits in with other entitlements eyed for cost controls. “There’s a fundamental difference between social insurance programs open to every American and military benefits earned by decades of service and sacrifice,” Steve Strobridge, director […]

Easing taxes on corporations benefits economy

As the U.S. economy pops its nose up out of the whirlpool of recession, every effort should be made to keep from going back under, for a “double dip” recession. A major area of action should be the high tax rates paid by U.S. corporations. Although corporations are attacked for having “excess” profits, every dollar […]

Health reform protects military benefits

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Republican lawmakers raised the specter of military families and survivors of veterans seeing health care costs rise as a result of the national health reform law that President Obama signed March 23. But the threat was never more than a notion and it is fading away. That’s the consensus among […]

Military increasing awareness of benefits

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Despite billions of additional dollars pumped into veterans’ benefits in recent years, many military personnel still leave service unaware of their VA benefits or of programs set up to help them transition to civilian life, a senior Defense official and veteran advocates testified Wednesday. Noel C. Koch, deputy under secretary […]

Experts say farmers will see benefits of wet winter within weeks

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Freedom New Mexico: Chris Schmaedeke Tucumcari farmer Jack Smith shows how much snow he still has on his field. Smith believes all the snow should help this harvest season. By Chris Schmaedeke: Freedom New Mexico Area farmers may not be seeing the benefits of a wet winter now, but they will in a few weeks, […]

Home delivery of pharmacy benefits saves money

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Military retirees and families will save themselves some cash — and save TRICARE a whole lot of money — by using their “home delivery” pharmacy benefit instead of filling prescriptions at TRICARE retail outlets. Pharmacy officials are doing whatever they can to drive that message home to 7.5 million users […]

N.M. overpays unemployment benefits

The Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE — State officials say unemployment benefits were accidentally doubled for thousands of unemployed New Mexicans. Overpayments went out around 6 a.m. Monday, but the state Department of Workforce Solutions became aware of the problem by 9:30 a.m. and worked to reverse the overpaid amounts. The agency says about 9,000 direct-deposit recipients […]

Bingaman highlights benefits of health insurance reform bill for New Mexicans

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today pointed to the many provisions in the health insurance reform legislation that would benefit New Mexicans. In a speech on the Senate floor, Bingaman said the measure that merged the work of two Senate committees would help make health care more affordable for families and small businesses, and […]