Shutdown? NM seems OK on the state level, but federal workers will feel the pinch

By Rob Nikolewski on September 30, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – The good news about a possible government shutdown? It won’t affect the vast majority of people in New Mexico, even most state employees.
The bad news? Since the state’s economy is so heavily reliant on federal dollars, a shutdown centered in Washington, D.C., will have more financial [...]

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Obama administration reverses course; NM will get its $26m back

By Rob Nikolewski on August 26, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – After complaints from officials in Western states, including New Mexico, the Obama administration made an about-face Monday and announced it will return mineral and energy royalty payments seized earlier this year.
For New Mexico, that means $26 million will not be taken from the state’s coffers.
In a [...]

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Legislators frustrated as behavioral health controversy roils

By Rob Nikolewski on August 21, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
CHAMA – An estimated $36 million in potential fraud is a lot of money but members from both parties in the Legislative Finance Committee don’t like what they say is a lack of transparency from the Human Services Department.
As a result, on Wednesday the committee in a 15-1 vote supported an objection [...]

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Senate Democrats want Attorney General to weigh in on capital outlay flap

By Rob Nikolewski on July 12, 2013

The battle over capital outlay projects continues.
New Mexico Watchdog has learned that 11 Democrats in the state Senate have sent a letter to Attorney General Gary King asking his office to offer an opinion on an executive order that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez signed in early May.
In an attempt to get communities and entities that have [...]

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Dave Cargo 1929-2013

By Rob Nikolewski on July 11, 2013

Lonesome Dave sure had a lot of friends.
A full house packed the rotunda of the Roundhouse on Thursday afternoon (July 11) to remember Gov. Dave Cargo, who died on July 5 following complications from a stroke at the age of 84.
Legislators, friends and members of the Cargo family paid their respects to the man who [...]

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Democrats complain as capital outlay projects put on hold

By Rob Nikolewski on July 11, 2013

The executive order by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was clear: If you’re haven’t turned in your audits and can’t show you’re in decent financial shape, you don’t get any capital outlay money.
But now that some communities and entities slated for state dollars are seeing delays, a number of Democrats say the order is too restrictive and Senate Majority [...]

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Financial mess in Sunland Park has cost NM taxpayers $250,000 … so far

By Rob Nikolewski on May 22, 2013

A year ago, a series of embarrassing scandals involving sex, lies and videotape made the New Mexico border town of Sunland Park the target of plenty of jokes, but there isn’t much for state taxpayers to laugh about as the bill for monitoring the border town’s finances pile up.
On the one-year anniversary of the announcement [...]

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Part 2 of NM’s audit crisis: No paperwork? Then you get no capital outlay goodies

By Rob Nikolewski on May 13, 2013

Government entities be warned: Fail to submit an audit to the state and say good-bye to some of that state money you want.
In Part 1 of our investigation into agencies, school districts, communities and other entities that haven’t turned in proper audits of taxpayer dollars they’ve received or spent, New Mexico Watchdog focused on the [...]

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Rural counties in NM asked to return money the feds already gave them

By Rob Nikolewski on April 11, 2013

By government standards, about $600,000 isn’t a whole lot of money.
But try telling that to officials in rural counties in New Mexico after they’ve learned that the Obama administration, working through the U.S. Forest Service, has cut that amount from them — retroactively.
“Here again, it’s another cut to the counties that are already getting beaten up,” Paul Gutierrez of [...]

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EXCLUSIVE: Timber! Feds want another $600,000 from NM, citing sequestration

By Rob Nikolewski on April 10, 2013

A little more than a week after reporting the Obama administration is taking $26 million from the state’s coffers in mineral extraction, New Mexico Watchdog has learned the feds — citing sequestration — want nearly $600,000 more from timber.
In a letter obtained by New Mexico Watchdog, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Thomas Tidwell, [...]

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