Taxpayers footing bill for vacations

Freedom New Mexico It’s bad enough when they pass laws to tell you how to live your life. It’s worse when they tax you to make it harder to live your life. But when the members of Congress run up a tab at your expense for their global, jet-setting junkets on top of it all, […]

Bill would allow firearms in restaurants

By Steve Terrell: The New Mexican People with licenses to carry concealed guns could take their firearms into restaurants that serve beer and wine under a bill that zipped through a Senate committee on Wednesday. Senate Bill 40, sponsored by Sen. George Munoz, D-Gallup, cleared the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee by a 7-1 vote. […]

Domestic partnership bill divisive

By Steve Terrell: The Santa Fe New Mexican The battle in the Legislature over a bill to establish domestic-partner rights pits social advocates and lobbyists who normally are allied on a variety of issues against each other. Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, introduced Senate Bill 183 on Tuesday. As has been the case with previous […]

VA officials to begin recovery of GI Bill advance payments

Courtesy of American Forces Press Service from a Department of Veterans Affairs news release. WASHINGTON —Veterans Affairs Department officials are beginning the process of recovering advance payments made available during the fall 2009 semester to veterans and servicemembers who applied for education benefits. “The advance payments were a huge success and helped thousands of student […]

Bill proposes investing in local banks

By Kate Nash: The Santa Fe New Mexican State Rep. Brian Egolf is taking the `keep it local’ mantra to the extreme. Under a bill he’s carrying this session, the state would pull the roughly $1.4 billion it has in a Bank of America account and invest it in New Mexico banks. Egolf, D-Santa Fe, […]

Bill targets domestic violence offenders in police ranks

By Steve Terrell: The Santa Fe New Mexican A person convicted of domestic violence couldn’t be certified as a law-enforcement officer for three years, and officers convicted of such a charge would lose their certification under a bill introduced Wednesday. House Bill 17, sponsored by Rep. Nate Cote, D-Las Cruces, is being pushed by Gov. […]

City council supports formation of new regional water authority

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior staff writer The Portales City Council voted Tuesday to support the formation of a new regional water authority, under certain conditions. The council approved a resolution supporting House Bill 15, in its current state, which would establish an Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority to manage the Ute Water Pipeline […]

Veterans cautious of health reform

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist As House and Senate Democrats negotiate a final compromise national health care reform bill, military people across the nation — and their advocates in Washington D.C. — remain vigilant for side effects. The Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders have tried to reassure military members, retirees and veterans that national […]

Text of Gov. Richardson’s state of the state speech

A link to Gov. Bill Richardson’s state of the state address delivered today at the start of the state Legislative session.

Council to discuss support for Ute water project

PNT Staff Report During their meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Portales City Council is set to discuss a resolution of support for a proposed bill to authorize Eastern New Mexico Water Authority to operate the Ute Water Pipeline Organization. The state Legislature opens Tuesday and is to consider the bill during the […]

Governor optimistic about cooperation during session

By Steve Terrell: The New Mexican Many legislative sessions in recent years have been known for the stormy, sometimes rancorous relationship between Gov. Bill Richardson and lawmakers, mainly those in the state Senate. On the threshold of Richardson’s last regular session — his second term expires on Dec. 31 and he legally can’t seek re-election […]

Local schools unaffected by GI Bill slowdown

Staff and wire reports Staff and wire reports Although many universities and colleges are still waiting for tuition payments for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who attended school last fall under the new GI Bill, representatives of local institutions say they’re not having a problem. The Veterans Affairs Department says the number of veterans with claims […]

Oasis closing for furloughs

Freedom New Mexico Oasis State Park will close for five days this winter and spring as part of Gov. Bill Richardson’s plan to reduce state spending by employee furloughs. The park is set to be closed Thursday, as well as Jan. 15, Feb. 9, March 2 and March 23, according to a news release from […]

Senate bill to include $1.5 million in road projects for Clovis

Freedom New Mexico A spending bill finalized for a Senate vote contains nearly $1.5 million for road projects in Curry County, according to a release from U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall. More than $11.6 million for New Mexico is in the bill, including $500,000 for replacement of the Hull Street Overpass and $974,000 […]

President signs bill that aids military spouses

By Senior Airman Sara Csurilla: 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — The president signed a bill Nov. 11 to help ease the strain on military families who frequently travel from state to state and country to country. President Barack Obama signed the bill, known as the ‘Military Spouses Residency Relief […]

State awards funding for range expansion

File photo Gov. Bill Richardson announced a waiver from defense officials late Monday which approved the state’s gift of $5 million in capital outlay money to the Air Force for bombing range expansion. By Thomas Garcia: Cannon Connections News that the Melrose Bombing Range is a go for expansion was hailed Tuesday by local officials […]

Software glitch delays GI payments

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Amanda Collier started college last August armed with a certificate of eligibility to use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits that her dad, a Coast Guardsman of 22 years, had earned and transferred to her. Next week Amanda will take final exams for her first semester at the University of Central Oklahoma. […]

House passes landmark health care bill

By The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed landmark health care legislation Saturday night to expand coverage to tens of millions who lack it and place tough new restrictions on the insurance industry. Republican opposition was nearly unanimous. The 220-215 vote cleared the way […]

Bill OKs $1 million for Ute project

Freedom New Mexico A multi-billion dollar bill signed into law Wednesday includes $1 million for the Ute pipeline project. The $34 billion 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill was signed into law by President Obama, according to the offices of Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall from New Mexico. Projects receiving money include the Ute […]

Senate OK’s budget cuts; bill goes back to House

The Associated Press SANTA FE — The New Mexico Senate has approved a budget-cutting bill that is the central piece in a deficit reduction package being considered in a special legislative session. The Senate approved slightly less in spending cuts than the $257 million previously approved by the House. Now the bill must go back […]