State lawmakers finally make hay in lifting restrictions

Clovis Media Inc. Government legislation seldom accomplishes its stated intention. But one bill approved by New Mexico lawmakers last week is certain to make things better for us all — because it relaxes government oversight. Senate Bill 56, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, and signed by Gov. Susana Martinez, lifts restrictions on hay hauling. […]

Lawmakers finally make hay in lifting restrictions

Government legislation seldom accomplishes its stated intention. But one bill approved by New Mexico lawmakers this week is certain to make things better for us all — because it relaxes government oversight. Senate Bill 56, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, and signed by Gov. Susana Martinez, lifts restrictions on hay hauling. Before Tuesday, oversized […]

Lawmakers confident in support for tax break bill

Alisa Boswell State tax breaks for corporate electricity, which could affect companies such as Tres Amigas, could definitely be in New Mexico’s future, according to local state representatives. Rep. George Dodge, D-Santa Rose, said House Bill 116, which allows deductions in gross receipt taxes on corporate electricity, was recently passed the Business and Industry Committee […]

Bill tracker: A look at area lawmakers’ legislation

lydvfs-lydve9nmlegislature2012.jpg

Tonjia Rolan The second session of the New Mexico state legislature opened Jan.17. To date, 15 bills, including two emergency measures, have been introduced by area legislators. The deadline for filing legislation is Feb.1.

Legislative session to focus on budget

The Santa Fe New Mexican The 30-day session starting Tuesday focuses primarily on the state budget. The governor can also put other issues on the agenda. Among issues lawmakers are expected to consider when they gather in Santa Fe:

Lawmakers paint brighter Legislature picture

By Robin Fornoff: FNM content editor What a difference a year makes. This time around the tone from lawmakers is radically different than it was just a year ago, as they tune up for a January budgeting session of the Legislature. “Last year we started at $240 million in the hole and were in some […]

Gambling could serve as source of revenue

Freedom New Mexico Gambling proponents once again are hoping that this will be the year Texas lawmakers finally allow gambling enterprises to establish themselves in the state. The issue could help reveal just what kind of “reform-minded” candidates were elected to the Legislature in November. Expanded gambling opportunities (limited pari-mutuel betting already is allowed in […]

Lawmakers prepare to tackle budget deficit

leqha8-leqh2knmlegislature2011.jpg

Kevin Wilson The phrase goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The state budget shortfall will be covered by the New Mexico Legislature from Jan. 18 to March 19, because it must be by law. The way that gets done? We’ll see, veteran and rookie legislators say. “It’s going to be a tough show,” […]

Lawmakers express frustration with special session

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Depressed, infuriated and disappointed — those are just some of the feelings area lawmakers are bringing home after a four-day special session of the state Legislature ended Thursday with tax hikes on food and cigarettes. The Legislature adjourned with a new budget after approving more than $230 million from […]

N.M. lawmakers OK $200 million tax increase package

By Barry Massey: The Associated Press SANTA FE — The state Legislature approved a measure Wednesday to raise taxes by more than $200 million next year to help balance the state budget, the largest tax increase package in more two decades. Passage of the measure moved lawmakers close to the finish line of a politically […]

Lawmakers proposing tax hikes

By Steve Terrell: The Santa Fe New Mexican Despite the fact that Gov. Bill Richardson and conservative Democrats who control the state Senate are opposed increasing taxes, a band of lawmakers Thursday are proposing various tax hikes. And one senator in the newly formed group called the Working Families Caucus, told reporters there are 22 […]

Governor optimistic about cooperation during session

By Steve Terrell: The Santa Fe New Mexican Many legislative sessions in recent years have been known for the stormy, sometimes rancorous relationship between Gov. Bill Richardson and lawmakers, mainly those in the state Senate. On the threshold of Richardson’s last regular session — his second term expires on Dec. 31 and he legally can’t […]

Ethics advocates hoping to be heard at Legislative session

By Kate Nash: The Santa Fe New Mexican With most of lawmakers’ attention focused on the state budget this session, ethics reform and good government advocates are hoping legislators have time to dedicate to reform. Already, several lawmakers have prefiled ethics bills online while other public officials have outlined what measures they are willing to […]

Thursday morning briefing: Christmas alive, college basketball and breakfast with lawmakers

Welcome to Freedom New Mexico’s Thursday morning briefing. Christmas alive: Did that mannequin in the window move? Portales businesses on the square are featuring live windows for the Christmas Light Parade Dec. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. There’s also live entertainment and refreshments at stores staying open late. Pictures with Santa for $5 at […]

Lawmakers share blame for delay

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki got a bipartisan hug from the House Veterans Affairs Committee last week as lawmakers accepted his plan to fix Post-9/11 GI Bill payment delays, and blamed their own rush to enact the complex education benefit last year for some of the challenges VA now faces. […]

Lawmakers wrangle over dairy money

By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico Lawmakers in Congress from eastern and western states disagreed Thursday on how to distribute $350 million in federal money designated to help dairy farmers. Under an agreement set Wednesday, $60 million would go to buy surplus dairy products, but there were no details on how to dole out the […]

Congress limited in helping military

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist For the last eight years, lawmakers have loaded annual defense authorization bills with new pay and benefit initiatives to support troops and their families and to show the nation’s appreciation. This year’s defense bills — both the version passed by the House, and the Senate bill to be debated on […]

Law reducing paperwork approved

The New Mexican Days remaining in session: 21 Penalizing paperwork: The House has approved a measure (HB367) that would reduce the amount of paperwork that state agencies can send to lawmakers. It puts some teeth into a current law that puts a five-page limit on what agencies can send to lawmakers, with a few exceptions.

Audio webcasts popular among lawmakers in poll

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican

Richardson: Act despite budget crisis

By Kate Nash: The New Mexical If you mostly listened for the new projects and programs that Gov. Bill Richardson pitched to lawmakers in his State of the State speech Tuesday, you could have missed the part about the state’s money crisis. Richardson wants to build a “green grid” to harness solar and wind power. […]