Senator happy with 2006 session, budget

Guest Commentary By Stuart Ingle The Legislature had an unprecedented opportunity to address many critical needs of the state and it vigorously grasped the opportunity with both hands during the session that ended last week. We were very deliberate in our decisions. I believe the entire state will benefit from the responsible budget we passed. […]

Minimum wage still on bubble

By Andy Jackson While it was unclear on Wednesday if lawmakers could agree on a bill to increase the minimum wage across New Mexico, the proposal could cost taxpayers more than $1 million — and that’s just counting employees of Clovis Community College and Eastern New Mexico University. Payroll at Clovis Community College will surge […]

House rejects, but quickly revives bill to increase state gasoline tax

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — The House did a quick about-face on a proposal that would increase the state tax on gasoline by 2-cents-a-gallon to help finance improvements to roads used by school buses. The bill initially failed Tuesday on a tie vote, 31-31, but a short time later the House revived the measure […]

Senate OKs key piece of spaceport plan

By Deborah Baker SANTA FE — A key element of Gov. Bill Richardson’s plan for a spaceport in southern New Mexico won overwhelming support from the Senate on Saturday. By a vote of 36-2, lawmakers approved a measure that authorizes cities and counties to increase gross receipts taxes — with voter approval — to finace […]

Bush mulls $439.3 billion defense budget

Staff and wire reports WASHINGTON — The Pentagon Friday announced plans to significantly increase special operations forces, expand psychological warfare and develop a program to counter biological terrorism as part of a new broadbased military strategy for the 21st century. The plan comes three days before President Bush sends Congress a 2007 budget that seeks […]

House approved budget is an 8.4 percent increase

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — State spending would increase by 8.4 percent next year to pay for public education and general government programs under a $5.1 billion budget bill approved unanimously by the House. About two-thirds of the proposed spending increase is directed at public schools and colleges and universities. The Senate approved a […]

Minimum wage bill features party-line split

By Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Local legislators exhibit a party-line split in the debate over whether to raise up the state’s minimum wage. Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, and Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, think if the minimum wage were raised from $5.15 to $7.50 as proposed, job cuts would result. “I think it hurts the economy. […]

Minimum wage bill has party-line split

By Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Local legislators exhibit a party-line split in the debate over whether to raise up the state’s minimum wage. Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, and Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, think if the minimum wage were raised from $5.15 to $7.50 as proposed, job cuts would result. “I think it hurts the economy. […]

Minimum wage bill moving through Legislature

By Deborah Baker SANTA FE — A minimum wage hike to $7.50 an hour easily passed a House committee on Thursday and even its opponents acknowledged some increase appears inevitable this year. The House Labor and Human Resources Committee voted 5-2 along party lines — Democrats for and Republicans against — for a bill that […]

Senate floor leader proposes tax break to soften minimum wage increase

The Associated Press SANTA FE — A top Democratic leader in the Senate is proposing a tax credit to help small businesses cope with the costs of paying their workers a higher minimum wage. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, introduced a measure Wednesday to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.50 an hour […]

House speaker pushes minimum wage ahead

The Associated Press SANTA FE — House Speaker Ben Lujan pledged Thursday to push ahead with a proposal to boost the state’s minimum wage to $7.50 an hour starting next year rather than phasing in the increase over three years as recommended by Gov. Bill Richardson. Lujan, D-Santa Fe, was joined by chairmen of key […]

City council approves pay raises

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer The Portales city councilors approved pay increases for city personnel during Tuesday’s city meeting, which for some city employees will be reflected in their next paycheck. City councilors approved the increase of the salary of the municipal judge from $15,500 a year to $20,000 a year effective on March […]

ENMU looking to conservation for savings

By Tony Parra Eastern New Mexico University students will see some changes in the way they shower, drink water and flush their toilets resulting in thousands of dollars saved next year. ENMU officials received approval from the ENMU Board of Regents to get bids for construction work to implement a cost saving program involving water […]

Dairies impact area school enrollment

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Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers At least three school districts in eastern New Mexico and neighboring West Texas expect enrollment increases this fall, largely due to the growing dairy industry as well as requirements for the No Child Left Behind Act. Muleshoe, Grady and the Clovis Christian all expect slight enrollment increases, with Muleshoe installing eight […]

Commissioners to vote on gross receipts tax increase

By Kent Graves: PNT Staff Writer Roosevelt County Commissioners will vote June 21 on an ordinance that, if approved, will increase the county gross receipts tax and raise county revenues by an estimated $115,000 a year. A public hearing was held on Ordinance 05-03 yesterday in the Commissioner’s meeting room at the Roosevelt County Courthouse. […]

ENMU regents approve course fees increase

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer Eastern New Mexico University Regents approved an increase in course fees on Friday for art classes to help in the expense of Macintosh computers and software. The regents approved the hike in course fees for ENMU’s Macintosh computer labs during Friday’s Board of Regents meeting. The computer lab is […]

ENMU announces tuition increase for 2005-06

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer Eastern New Mexico University President Steven Gamble met with members of the Board of Regents in Ruidoso, which resulted in an increase in tuition and board expenses along with pay increases for ENMU staff. The transition from instructional center to campus status was approved by the 2005 New Mexico […]

Background on expansion

Freedom Newspapers Cannon Air Force Base seeks to expand its military airspace to allow pilots to fly lower and faster. If approved, the airspace would increase by 700 square miles to 3,300 square miles. Changes proposed in the expanded areas include lowering the altitude pilots can fly from 1,000 feet above ground to 500 feet […]

ENMU enrollment holds mix of good, bad news

By Tony Parra Eastern New Mexico University president Steven Gamble went into more detail over enrollment numbers for the regents during the Board of Regents’ meeting on Friday morning and gave the regents a mix of good and bad news. First, Gamble spoke about the good news. The good news is that the fall enrollment […]

Deputies receive pay increase

By Tony Parra Despite a budget crunch, Roosevelt County Commissioners relented on Tuesday and agreed to a hourly pay increase of $2 for certified Roosevelt County Sheriff’s department deputies. The starting pay of $10.82 for deputies will increase to $12.82, effective as of the start of the next pay period on Oct. 12. Non-certified deputy […]