Op-Ed on work requirements
May 15, 2018 Silver City, NM
The Southwest New Mexico Regional Food Policy Council was established in January 2014, with the purpose of increasing access to healthy, affordable food and supporting local agriculture. The council also advocates for local and state policy that helps ensure those in New Mexico to have enough healthy food to eat. Due to this goal there are concerns regarding proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP plays a critical role in addressing hunger and food insecurity in our state and is the first line of defense against hunger for the working poor. The program is part of the USDA’s Farm Bill and it is up for re-authorization this month.
SNAP, previously known as the Food Stamp Program, is a government program designed to assist low income families to pay for food. The program provides participants with a small monthly stipend on a debit card that can only be used to buy food. To qualify, most households have-to pass a gross income test, a net income test, or both. Currently, most able-bodied adults under the age of 50 must also work to qualify. The USDA is proposing to increase this upper age limit to 60 years old and sanctioning those who refuse to work a 20-hour week by taking away their benefits. In addition, time limits are proposed for those receiving SNAP benefits following a period of un-employment. Currently, SNAP guidelines allow states to have the flexibility to temporarily waive work requirements for areas of the state during periods of elevated unemployment. This ability is under review and may be eliminated entirely.
For months I have followed the progress or failure debates about the status of our Gila Regional Medical Center with much confusion, betrayed, disappointed, and sometime angry feelings. I now feel that it is the time to express some of them.
Yes, I feel that we were very much overboard with the salary on the top level, but that seems to be taken care of. I will never get over the sneaky, under handed, backstabbing manner in which the GRMC Board of Trustees got rid of our Cancer Center and TRIED to replace it with UNM Hospital. Note -- I said TRIED -- it has not been completely staffed and not up to "par" yet, There is no way that we can assess the damage that it did to the many patients depending on it and the millions of dollars it cost GRMC. I understand that there was one member of the Board who voted against this action.
New Mexico needs an up-to-date economic strategy. Legal constraints and climatic fluctuations are decreasing reliable water supply for agriculture. Market forces and negative environmental impacts are challenging the viability of oil and gas production. Investments in federal facilities and programs are under attack. And politically-driven obstacles threaten the state’s expanding role in international trade.
We’re going to have to be smart, proactive, and flexible to deal with these challenges.For too long, our business development model has focused on cutting taxes for the wealthy and incentivizing relocation of out-of-state corporations, while slashing investment in the public sector. After decades of waiting for economic benefits to trickle down, things are as bad as ever for most New Mexicans.
by USDA RD state director Arthur A. Garcia
Some people remember when many rural households didn't have electricity or running water. Although those days are long gone for most, there's still lots of room for improvement. In fact, our American infrastructure used to be the envy of the world, but now it's in disrepair.
By Senator Pete Campos
From time to time, as I travel around my district and to other areas of the state, I hear criticism that the Legislature has not done enough to solve one problem or another. Take your pick: our economy, capital outlay, education, crime. The list goes on.
Silver City, NM – Last week, the Trump administration planned to deploy thousands of members of the National Guard to the Southern Border. According to recent reports by the Los Angeles Times, Secretary of Defense James Mattis has signed an order to send up to 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S-Mexico border. Since the announcement, Governor Susanna Martinez has openly supported the effort. The orders have been met with resistance from activists and government officials alike, and Rep. Rudy Martinez (D-39) says that President Trump's actions are not necessary and that Governor Martinez should not support such a policy.
By NM Senator Howie Morales (D-Silver City, NM)
This week in classrooms across New Mexico, students from grades 3 through 11 will begin taking the standardized test known as PARCC. For the sake of our children’s futures, I am calling for this to be the last time they take the test. The results have been in for a long time: PARCC is a colossal and expensive failure for our state. The next Governor must change the state’s education policy to return to sensible assessment and teaching practices, and do away with this gold-plated experiment that has damaged our system of education.
During her tenure over the last seven years, Governor Susana Martinez and her head of Public Education, Hannah Skandera, wasted millions of dollars’ worth of state taxes on ‘The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers’ (better known by its acronym, PARCC).
GILA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
The purpose of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders. Corporations are not inherently good, nor are they inherently bad. As is my wont, I listened to NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday, April 9, which had a segment about a man in Fort Myers, Florida who had two CT scans done about three months apart (Google NPR and read the transcript). The first one cost less than $300 and the second one cost almost $9,000. The first one was done by a private imaging center, Summerlin; the second one was done at Gulf Coast Medical Center Hospital in Fort Myers, where most of the hospitals, including this one, and other health care facilities are owned by Lee Health Corporation. With a virtual monopoly this corporation charged what the market can bear.
For those of you who don't have a clue what GDPR is, I didn't either until a few days ago. It stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it unifies data privacy requirements across all members of the Eurozone.
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The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices.
The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions include 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 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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