How to make NM less vulnerable to federal gov’t shutdowns

By Rob Nikolewski on October 15, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — Regardless how it eventually ends, the partial government shutdown has highlighted how much New Mexico is dependent on the federal government.
And that leads to the next question: what can New Mexico do to diversify its economy so it will be less vulnerable to political bickering on [...]

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What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working

By Rob Nikolewski on October 8, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
It’s been a full week since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, yet New Mexico Watchdog — like millions of Americans and doubtless thousands in New Mexico— is still unable to create an account on
Tuesday morning, for the third time since the rollout began Oct. 1, N.M. [...]

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Report: NM child care rife for potential fraud, three sex offenders found at sites

By Rob Nikolewski on September 25, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — Too many of New Mexico’s child care centers are rife with sloppy and lax record-keeping, potentially costing taxpayers millions of dollars. On at least three occasions, registered sex offenders were living at the same address as child care locations, a state government report found.
In a 75-page [...]

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It’s hard to find online student data for NM’s schools for the deaf and visually impaired

By Rob Nikolewski on September 10, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – If you want to know how your local high school is doing on things like enrollment, test scores and graduation rates, you can find the data in seconds on the Public Education Department website.
But if you want to find out how two of the state’s three [...]

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Oh, SNAP! NM has mixed numbers on food stamp efficiency

By Rob Nikolewski on August 12, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – New Mexico has one of the highest rates in the country for people receiving food stamps, but how accurately those benefits are distributed is decidedly mixed.
A look by New Mexico Watchdog at the latest national statistics from the federal government shows both good news and bad.
On [...]

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Money and the NM Military Institute fight

By Rob Nikolewski on July 17, 2013

A bitter fight between the New Mexico Military Institute and the school’s erstwhile alumni association has been left to the courts.
Who knows how they will rule, but it will be a costly battle. That much is certain.
And the fact that NMMI is a state-supported entity leads to a host of questions, as does the fact [...]

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Financial feud leads to a battle royale at NM Military Institute

By Rob Nikolewski on July 16, 2013

During the Civil War, U.S. Grant famously wrote, “I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”
Today, a similar sentiment is expressed by two sides locked in a bitter fight at the New Mexico Military Institute, which is experiencing a civil war of its own, pitting the school’s administration against a group of alumni in [...]

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Yikes! The trust fund for paying disability beneficiaries runs out in less than three years

By Rob Nikolewski on July 8, 2013

The disability story isn’t going away.
Last month, New Mexico Watchdog reported how the number of people in New Mexico receiving Social Security disability benefits has skyrocketed nearly 60 percent in the last nine years.
Now, we’ve learned that by the Social Security Administration’s own figures, the national Disability Insurance Trust Fund is on a path to [...]

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Near the bottom in education results, but NM is 25th in per student spending

By Rob Nikolewski on June 28, 2013

New Mexico’s public school consistently rank at or near the bottom in national surveys, often leading to calls for more spending.
But in the most recent national study by the National Education Association, New Mexico ranks 25th in the nation — smack dab in the middle — in state expenditures per student.
“It doesn’t really surprise me,” said [...]

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EPA boss recused from $6 million decison on NM’s Environment Dept

By Rob Nikolewski on June 20, 2013

It appears the former Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department who is now an administrator for the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency will not be making the decision as to whether the state must  return nearly $6 million to the EPA.
In an e-mail to New Mexico Watchdog, a spokesman for the EPA’s Office of [...]

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