Questions linger over NM’s $48 million computer system for the unemployed

By Rob Nikolewski on October 23, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – The troubled $48 million computer program handling New Mexico’s unemployment taxes and claims has dramatically improved, the secretary of the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions said Wednesday.
But at least one state senator is skeptical.
DWS Secretary Celina Bussey said average telephone wait times on Mondays — typically [...]

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Radio wars over behavioral health rage — listen to the the competing ads here

By Rob Nikolewski on September 12, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – Allegations of what the Human Services Department has called “credible allegations of fraud” among behavioral health providers has sparked a heated debate.
The source of the discourse is the department’s decision to suspend Medicaid payments, and both sides have they’ve taken to the airwaves with radio spots.
In [...]

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Battle looming over the state budget

By Rob Nikolewski on March 12, 2013

The good news on Tuesday?
The state Senate passed an amended budget plan for the next fiscal year in New Mexico.
The bad news?
There’s going to be a fight about the details of the proposal as it heads back to the House of Representatives because Republicans in general and Gov. Susana Martinez in particular don’t like it. In fact, [...]

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NM slashes rate of unemployment overpayments

By Rob Nikolewski on November 28, 2012

Two years ago, Capitol Report New Mexico revealed preliminary numbers showing New Mexico racked up $97.8 million in overpayments in unemployment payments — the third-worst rate in the country.
Last year, preliminary figures indicated New Mexico gave out $104.7 million to people who should not have received payments — again, the third-highest rate in the US.
Now [...]

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County by county breakdown on state unemployment rate

By Rob Nikolewski on November 4, 2011

Came across this chart on the Workforce Solutions website today. It’s an interesting look at the unemployment rates in New Mexico broken down by county. These are the most recent county numbers of preliminary unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) for September:

The national unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) for September was 9.1 percent, so at 6.4 percent [...]

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Gov Martinez OKs a budget (with some line-item vetoes) and nixes a slew of other bills on her desk

By Rob Nikolewski on April 8, 2011

On the deadline for making decisions on legislative bills on her desk, Gov. Susana Martinez signed off on a $5.4 billion budget deal Friday (April 8th) that trims 3 percent from the New Mexico budget while using line-item vetoes on a number of specific spending measures that cut $1.9 million on annual spending and $2.6 [...]

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More on our story on NM unemployment overpayments – the numbers still don’t look good

By Rob Nikolewski on September 1, 2010

The story Capitol Report New Mexico broke on Monday (Aug. 30) about the state racking up an estimated $97.8 million in unemployment overpayments is garnering some attention.
On Tuesday night, KRQE-TV, Channel 13 in Albuquerque ran it as the lead story at 10 p.m.
As mentioned in our post, the Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) stresses [...]

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