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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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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Udall challenges Obama administration on sequestration hit on mineral royalties

By Rob Nikolewski on May 9, 2013

Sen. Tom Udall has been a loyal supporter of President Obama, but the New Mexico Democrat is at odds over a move to take $26 million from the state in mineral and energy royalties and now he’s taking his case to the Senate itself.
Udall on Thursday (May 9) will introduce the State Mineral Revenue Protection [...]

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Governor’s office considers filing lawsuit against Obama administration

By Rob Nikolewski on April 5, 2013

Gov. Susana Martinez is considering a number of strategies – including filing a lawsuit — against the Obama administration for its decision to cut royalty payments to states across the country for mineral and energy extraction on federal land by 5 percent.
“We’re getting our legal teams together to see what are our options,” said. Gov. Martinez, a Republican, of [...]

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Susana and others protest the $26 million sequestration hit to NM

By Rob Nikolewski on March 29, 2013

New Mexico lawmakers are trying to avert the $26 million financial punch the state is about to absorb from the federal government but it’s difficult to tell what can be done to reverse the Obama administration’s decision to cut mineral and energy payments to 35 states across the country.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of [...]

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NM complains, feds say $26 million cuts are not politically motivated

By Rob Nikolewski on March 28, 2013

The Obama administration says it’s not trying to make sequestration cuts as painful as possible, but the head of New Mexico’s Department of Finance and Administration says the federal government has been “spectacularly uncooperative” in its decision to cut mineral and energy payments to 35 states by 5 percent.
Working through the U.S. Department of the [...]

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New Mexico’s $11 million accounting foul-up

By Rob Nikolewski on January 17, 2013

Accounting is supposed to be precise.
But New Mexico taxpayers figure to be out $11 million because of a systemic screw-up in the state software accounting system that New Mexico has already spent $40 million on.
“The state has failed in one of its core responsibilities,” Department of Finance Administration Secretary Tom Clifford said late Thursday afternoon [...]

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Who’s afraid of the fiscal cliff? Maybe New Mexico

By Rob Nikolewski on December 3, 2012

The good news for New Mexico taxpayers and lawmakers shaping the state’s budget? The December estimate of revenues came out Monday (Dec. 3) and has been revised upward from August by $55 million, with $210 million in “new money.”
The bad news? We’ve got 28 days and counting for Republicans and Democrats in Washington to [...]

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