Pentagon plans to release base-closing data

By Lolita C. Baldor: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Under fire from Congress, the Defense Department on Friday promised to give lawmakers access by next Tuesday afternoon detailed material backing up its recommendations to shut down about 180 military installations across the country. Parts of the report are classified, so the Pentagon said lawmakers and […]

N.M. budget looking low for future

David Arkin: PNT Correspondent A financial committee’s prediction that New Mexico might face up to a $170 million budget shortfall by 2006 would create difficult spending decisions for the state, a local lawmaker said. The Legislative Finance Committee, which released on Tuesday its five-year forecast, claims government spending is expected to outpace revenues by about […]

Lawmakers seek special session

David Arkin Republican lawmakers are pushing for a special legislative session. They want to discuss a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. But area legislators are doubtful the session is going to happen. And the area’s lone Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Jose Campos of Santa Rosa, called the plan “ridiculous.” Gov. Bill Richardson has said he does […]

Gov. Richardson calls session ‘major victory’

David Arkin Gov. Bill Richardson termed this the “year of the Legislature.” Many lawmakers left Santa Fe on Thursday using different words. “This session was mean, ugly, nasty and vicious,” said Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis. “We didn’t get off the floor until 5 a.m. on Thursday. Thank goodness this is over.” Many veteran lawmakers said […]

Cannon bill moves to Senate

David Arkin Several Eastern New Mexico lawmakers have said funding for Cannon Air Force Base is among their top priorities this Legislative session. The goal is almost accomplished. Money has been approved for a variety of projects at the base, including funds for a special commission. The fate of funding for an overpass leading to […]

Analysis: Lawmakers feeling the pressure

David Arkin Lawmakers last week crossed into the second half of their short legislative session — one that’s supposed to be focused on budget matters — with little accomplished. Hundreds and hundreds of bills still face lawmakers and special committees. There’s no doubt lawmakers are starting to feel the pressure of the shortened session, which […]

Lawmakers support water funding

David Arkin Area lawmakers on Wednesday morning gave local leaders their blessing to push forward with a major water project that’s expected to have a profound impact on eastern New Mexico. Two local mayors — Clovis’ David Lansford and Portales’ Orlando Ortega — briefed area lawmakers on the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System, also […]

Governor looking to curve Medicaid spending

David Arkin Gov. Bill Richardson has proposed a 3.5 percent reduction in payments to providers of medical services in an effort to put a squeeze on Medicaid spending next fiscal year. Health care groups want Medicaid fully funded next year, saying cuts to the program would be devastating. Lawmakers realize they have some tough decisions […]

Lawmakers face new governor, packed agenda

Deborah Baker Santa Fe – The winds of change blowing through the state Capitol amount to welcome fresh air for some – but may give others the chills – as the annual meeting of the Legislature gets under way. Lawmakers return to Santa Fe on Jan. 21 for what promises to be a jam-packed 60-day […]