Government should tighten belt, not raise taxes

When I was elected, I promised that I would go to Santa Fe to work for New Mexicans—not big government. It’s disturbing that some in the Legislature think that we need to grow state government even more and tax New Mexicans in the middle of a budget crisis. This last session, Democrat legislators decided to take the easy way out of the budget crisis and raise taxes on working New Mexicans instead of tightening state governments belt. While they wasted time debating bills on winter holiday songs, state dances and, yes, even Bigfoot our state’s financial situation got even worse. Now, we’re staring down a potential government shutdown meaning that Motor Vehicle Division offices and state parks might have to close. Rick Little is a Republican state representative from Chaparral, representing the 53rd district.

The consequences of the governor’s decision to veto higher ed funding

A few weeks ago, Susana Martinez vetoed funding for every state college and university. All of it. Since then, neither she nor House Republican leaders have proposed a plan to restore it. Because every public school relies on New Mexico for 30 percent to 50 percent of their budgets, if not changed this decision will annihilate them. What does this mean for you?

DeVos pick to head civil rights office once said she faced discrimination for being white

The new acting head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights once complained that she experienced discrimination because she is white. As an undergraduate studying calculus at Stanford University in the mid-1990s, Candice Jackson “gravitated” toward a section of the class that provided students with extra help on challenging problems, she wrote in a student publication. Then she learned that the section was reserved for minority students. “I am especially disappointed that the University encourages these and other discriminatory programs,” she wrote in the Stanford Review. “We need to allow each person to define his or her own achievements instead of assuming competence or incompetence based on race.”

NM Political Report won three regional awards

NM Political Report won three awards in the annual Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies competition. NM Political Report received the awards at the annual ceremony at the Denver Press Club. The awards honor the best work from journalists from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Want to keep this award-winning journalism going? Donate here.

Democratic legislators to Governor: “¡Ya basta!,” No more cuts

25 Democratic state legislators say no more cuts in the state budget

E-cigarettes should be regulated

Albuquerque attorney Morris J. Chavez opined in NM Political Report on April 5 that e-cigarette production, sale, and use should be supported, giving as primary reasons 1) they’re “less dangerous” than smoking tobacco, and 2) their sale in Albuquerque is an important, growing business, which should be encouraged, not regulated. Dr. Lance Chilton is a pediatrician from Albuquerque. As a pediatrician long in practice in Albuquerque, I write to give a differing opinion. It is true that throughout New Mexico, “vaping”—the use of liquid nicotine vaporized by a small device—is becoming more and more common. In a recent survey of high school students throughout the state, the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, more than twice as many 9th to 12th graders were current e-cigarette users (24.0 percent) as cigarette users (11.4 percent) and 54 percent of New Mexico high schoolers had tried the products.

Martinez continues rolling an exclusionary New Mexico

Earlier this month the American journey to inclusion, equality and justice suffered yet another instance of obstruction and resistance with Gov. Susana Martinez’s veto of legalization aimed to eradicate institutionalized racism (SB 269) beginning with state agencies. The perspective, in regards to the existence and effects of race in both the state and the nation, held by Martinez and New Mexican conservatives along with many influenced by their leadership, is utterly amazing. It only works to heighten animosity. The task of undoing racism is not a task New Mexicans are incapable of accomplishing but rather undoing racism is a task New Mexicans are unwilling to do. This insistent denial and attitude of superiority is crippling any genuine progression of equality within humanity, specifically in these United States of America.

A note to our readers on our congressional race coverage

NM Political Report has been in operation for more than two years and we’re proud of the  investigative work we’ve done. Our readers and other news outlets know we are an independent, small, scrappy news organization. We also know that our ties to ProgressNow New Mexico, which serves as our fiscal sponsor and helps find funding for our operations, stick out to some. When ProgressNow NM’s executive director, Pat Davis, won an election in the fall of 2015 to the Albuquerque city council, we continued to report on city of Albuquerque issues, but always disclosed ProgressNow NM’s association with us whenever we mentioned or quoted Davis in one of our news stories. The disclosure usually went along the lines of this:
Pat Davis is the executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico.

Martinez signs, vetoes dozens of bills; the highlights

In a press release Thursday, Gov. Susana Martinez announced that she signed 66 bills and vetoed 28 bills. Even with the 94 bill actions, there are still 126 bills she hasn’t taken action on yet—including next year’s state budget and a revenue package passed by the Legislature. Martinez has said she would veto the budget and revenue bill and call legislators into a special session to pass a new budget that doesn’t raise taxes. She has until Friday to take final action on bills passed in the recent legislative session. Update: Martinez took action on more bills Friday.

Martinez vetoes bill to close lobbyist loophole

Gov. Susana Martinez, who has touted herself as a champion of transparency, on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have required lobbyists to return to disclosing more information publicly about money they spend on public officials. The Legislature passed a law that weakened those rules last year but sought to correct what some lawmakers called an inadvertent mistake during this year’s 60-day session, which ended last month. This post originally appeared at New Mexico In Depth and is reprinted with permission. Martinez’s veto means lobbyists won’t need to report expenses on lawmakers and other public officials under $100, as they did prior to the current law taking effect. Martinez explained her reasoning in a one-page veto message.