“Prudent” budget recommendation from Democrats and Republicans in legislature

By Rob Nikolewski on January 9, 2013

Democrats and Republicans on the influential Legislative Finance Committee unveiled their budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year on Wednesday (Jan. 9) that calls for spending $5.88 billion from the state’s general fund — a $233 million increase from the previous fiscal year.
“It’s a prudent budget,” committee vice-chairman Luciano “Lucky” Varela (D-Santa Fe) told reporters [...]

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Will Paul Ryan make a difference in NM races this fall? Susana: “At least he had the courage to come up with a budget”

By Rob Nikolewski on August 13, 2012

Three days after Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, it’s still not clear how the selection could play out here in New Mexico.
Die-hard Republicans are praising Ryan while Democrats are blasting the well-known budget hawk as extreme. That’s no surprise.
But a number of Republican candidates this November in New Mexico swing districts [...]

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Some NM lawmakers can get two public pensions

By Rob Nikolewski on January 8, 2012

Last week, we posted a video asking a number of members of the state legislature whether New Mexico taxpayers should pay them a salary. (New Mexico is the only state that doesn’t pay legislators. They only receive a $154 per diem for expenses.)
But we overlooked one perk offered to Roundhouse lawmakers: A pension plan that [...]

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The Legislative Finance Committee proposes its budget; now comes the infighting

By Rob Nikolewski on January 4, 2012

The starting point for budget negotiations for the upcoming 30-day legislative session at the Roundhouse was set on Wednesday (Jan. 4) when the influential Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) announced its recommendations for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Now we’ll see how the office of Gov. Susana Martinez and — perhaps more importantly — the rest of New [...]

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So what happened to all the bills Susana wanted lawmakers to tackle?

By Rob Nikolewski on September 24, 2011

Before the special session began, Gov. Susana Martinez placed nine items on “the call” for legislators to address, aside from redistricting. Democrats complained many of the items should wait for the regular session of the legislature, which is scheduled to start Jan. 17 of next year. The governor responded that the issues were “critical” to [...]

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Revealed: 100 GPS devices on school buses are missing … “The taxpayers have been taken for a ride”

By Rob Nikolewski on May 20, 2011

The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) is drafting a letter to the state Attorney General’s Office calling for an investigation into how 100 Global Positioning System (GPS) units disappeared as part of a plan to install the devices on school buses across the state.
“It appears the taxpayers have been taken for a ride,” Sen. John [...]

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House passes budget bill in a boisterous session, film cut remains

By Rob Nikolewski on March 3, 2011

The New Mexico House of Representatives completed its top priority of the 60-day legislative session by passing a budget deal Wednesday night (March 2) but it came after a lengthy — and sometimes heated — debate over the state’s film incentives program that exposed deep partisan and regional divisions.
A vote on the state’s film program [...]

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Bingaman goes nuclear

By Rob Nikolewski on February 2, 2011

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) has scored some points from opposite ends of the policial spectrum this week by coming out in favor of including nuclear power as part of “clean energy technologies.”
Bingaman, who is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a speech Monday (Jan. 31) that he supports President [...]

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Susana Martinez inauguration address: “Let us be brave together”

By Rob Nikolewski on January 1, 2011

Hundreds of New Mexicans turned out despite frigid conditions that dropped the wind-chill factor below zero to watch America’s first Hispanic female governor get sworn in at the Plaza in Santa Fe.
Susana Martinez urged the crowd, “Let us be brave together” during a speech that lasted about 15 minutes. Martinez, a Republican who takes over [...]

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Seeing red over the “Blue Book”

By Rob Nikolewski on November 23, 2010

It’s been a staple of journalists, lawmakers, teachers and just about anybody else interested in the New Mexico legislature and history.
It’s simply called “The New Mexico Blue Book” and has been published since 1917.
And now, even the humble “Blue Book” has become a cause for political controversy.
Even though there is barely a month left in [...]

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