By Senator Pete Campos
As the new year commences, we look to the current legislative session with optimistic caution. Despite a modest increase in state revenue, the budget must address growing state and local needs, federal tax changes and the need for gradual tax modernization. We will approach the 2018 legislative session with a delicate balance of spending, investing, saving and vision-building for the future. We will prioritize the state budget to address people's real needs, reinvigorating our residents' confidence and their roles in our future economy. The legislature will focus heavily on mental health, public safety, benefits to our elderly, child protective services and health services for underserved communities. We will seek to stabilize the state's revenue to allow for more strategic and long-term planning. I will work hard during the session to improve the lives of constituents throughout the state of New Mexico.
To the Editor
Comments on article “Should Mustang Football be dropped”
Here are some statistics about the Western Athletic Program.
Western has 219 student athletes. 106 of them are in the football program. 30 of the 219 athletes are from New Mexico and 5 of them are from the tri-county area.
To the Editor:
Comment on Article: Color Guard disrespected at WNMU basketball games
I received an e-mail in reply to a query on this matter from an official of the University. It appears that the disrespect mentioned by Jose Ray and Pat Cano is the policy of the University. Most of the Lone Star Conference members are playing the anthem before the student-athletes take the court for introductions. It is up to each team, home or away, if they are on the court during the salute to colors. The coaches and players are just following orders.
The e-mail said, with all the controversy surrounding the disruption and disrespect of the National Anthem, the policy of WNMU was not to have the team on the court during the salute to colors.
By Tsiporah Nephesh, Executive Director, New Mexico Thrives
Nonprofits are a crucial part of the fabric that strengthens our communities. Many provide vital services, while others add to the quality of life. But nonprofits will have a diminished role in New Mexico if Governor Martinez gets her way. She would like to end the tax exemption for nonprofits as part of a plan to close tax loopholes. But nonprofit tax exemptions are not loopholes.
Governor Martinez is talking about restructuring the tax system in such a way that it could have devastating impacts on how nonprofits operate. New Mexicans should be taking notice.
To the Editor:
The following are comments on the article about: “The Grant County Prospectors held their annual Legislative Communications Forum on Nov. 28, 2017 at Western New Mexico University's Light Hall”.
The comments are on the presentation by President Shepard.
According to the article, “Shepard said the biggest need is compensation, as no one on the faculty and staff has had a raise in years”. This is not true, the top administrators received a combined salary increase of over $106,000 this fiscal year, and here are the details:
(Albuquerque, NM) – Senator Howie Morales of Silver City today called on Governor Susana Martinez to order the New Mexico Department of Aging and Long-Term Services to rescind its reckless decision to cancel critical elder-care programs for low-income and vulnerable seniors. The agency’s action, taken over the holiday season with little public scrutiny, violates federal and state law, and poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of more than 70,000 New Mexico seniors who rely on the cancelled services from more than 60 providers. Morales characterized the state’s action as arbitrary and drastic, and said he will push for public hearings and reversal of the termination in the coming legislative session.
“I am calling on the Governor to immediately order her department of Aging and Long Term Services to rescind the order that cancels the contract with NMAA. We should be protecting our seniors - many thousands of whom are living on fixed incomes in rural New Mexico, and in poor health - not destroying their basic means of having any quality of life,” said Morales.
By Paul J. Gessing
With tax reform taken off the agenda by New Mexico’s Democrat legislative leaders, it is clear that the 30-day session will be more about going through the motions and positioning for 2018 than about considering much-needed economic reforms. This is unfortunate because in spite of higher oil prices, New Mexico remains mired in an economic slump.
The unemployment rate remains elevated at 6.1 percent (2nd-highest in the nation) and as Bruce Krasnow reported recently in the New Mexican, “the state is in the midst of its slowest population growth since statehood — and that is not likely to change.”
By Roseannette Lopez
Our health care system is among the best in the world. It has kept my fifteen-year-old son alive (I’m not giving his name to protect his privacy). He has hemophilia, a disease he was born with. Hemophilia is a blood disease where the blood does not clot normally. To stay alive, you need medicine. Without it, you will die. Even with it, the disease causes chronic pain and internal bleeding, making normal life difficult. You must find the right medicine to lead even close to a normal life.
However, finding the right medicine to treat hemophiliacs is not always easy, as each case is different. And while the right medicine is available for my son, that medicine is not always easy for patients to get. The problem is something called Step Therapy. It’s where the insurance companies require you to try one, or several, medicines first before they will approve the one that works. It makes you take several “steps” before you get the medicine you want, and the medicine your doctor wants.
The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.
The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.
The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.
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