Editorial content. Content posted here may or may not reflect the opinions of the Beat. They reflect the opinions of the author.
Debate enriches the legislative process
By NM District 38 Rep. Rebecca Dow
There is a deep divide between rural and urban New Mexico and changing the rules of debate will only make it worse.
Anyone who watched the last Legislative session would be forgiven for believing there were two different New Mexicos. Laws were passed, money was spent, and taxes were raised, all approved by those in the majority party and supported by the special interests, often benefitting those who live in the urban areas of the state.
Meanwhile, many New Mexicans who live outside of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces watched and wondered how their voices could matter so little. The people in my rural southwest district continue to ask me how Santa Fe could be so tone-deaf to their needs.
By Paul J. Gessing
Gov. Lujan Grisham recently released her budget to be considered by the Legislature in the upcoming 30 day session. As expected, there is a lot of new spending thanks to the continued growth of oil and gas production in the Permian Basin.
After a 12 percent boost in General Fund spending last year, the Gov. is requesting yet another big increase. This year she’s asking for 8.4 percent.
According to news reports, the nearly $7.7 billion spending plan includes a proposed 4% salary increase for New Mexico teachers and more money for school districts with a large number of “at risk” students.
By Howard Hutchinson
January 1, 2020
On December 20, the Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt raised cheers from the ranks of the radical environmental community by denying a request for an extension to reach a Record of Decision to meet the deadline for the additional funding as defined by the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA).
The December 20 letter from the Office of the Secretary stated, “The slow pace of progress by the State since the passage of the Act shows a lack of urgency and priority by the State for delivering water supplies to rural communities that could be served by the project.”
At Governor Lujan Grisham’s Town Hall this week on education, voices were raised about the on-going deficiencies in state policies that keep New Mexico students at the bottom of the nation—but the real problem seems to be the NM solution of “just throwing more money at the problem”—which isn’t going to solve the real problem.
The real problem lies with American standards of education—and raising salaries or hiring more out-of-state teachers isn’t going to help the situation—because New Mexico has some of the most unique and valuable cultures in America.
By Regional Forester Calvin Joyner
Federal, state, tribal and private managers of forests and grasslands face a range of urgent challenges - degraded watersheds, invasive species, and epidemics of insects and disease. Longer fire seasons and the rising size and severity of wildfires are of concern, along with increasing risk to communities, firefighters and natural resources, notably our water supplies. Water is the lifeblood of the arid Southwest, one of the most important natural resources flowing from our national forests, which are the primary source of water for the communities in New Mexico.
The challenges transcend boundaries and impact people beyond the jurisdiction of any single agency or organization. Tackling these challenges requires us to work together to find new ways of doing business at a greater pace and scale for the greatest benefits to resources and people. Significant work has already been done with partners to implement projects across boundaries with integrated and long-term outcomes for restoration of our forests in New Mexico. Relationships have been built with tribes, land grants, communities and multiple partners through the forest planning process, supporting work on defining priorities together.
By Senator Pete Campos
At its core, this article is about water and its life-or-death importance here in the desert, but not in the typical sense. Much has been written and said about water being among our most precious resources, and with good reason. We need to administer it wisely. Watersheds, rivers, acequias and community ditches are all vital parts of our water systems, but dams are perhaps the most important pieces of water infrastructure, which is not talked about nearly enough. The critical nature of dams does not involve just the delivery of water so much as the storage of water.
Under a best-case scenario, dams hold spring runoff water in lakes and reservoirs for delivery in drier summer months. Dams are a crucial component of the complex system by which the state administers water to users and meets its delivery obligations to other states. Lakes and reservoirs also provide some measure of recreational value through camping, boating and fishing.
By Paul Gessing
According to the latest estimates from Santa Fe, the State’s General Fund budget is expected to be $7.882 billion next fiscal year. When Gov. Martinez left office in 2018 the budget was “only” $6.3 billion. In two short years, New Mexico’s budget will have grown by more than $1.5 billion, a 25 percent increase.
With the current group in charge New Mexico government is going to grow fat on oil and gas revenues while average New Mexicans pay higher taxes due to hikes passed during 2019.
BY REP. REBECCA DOW / TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES REPUBLICAN
Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at 12:02am https://www.abqjournal.com/1394228/usmca-will-help-nms-agricultural-communities.html
It may seem odd to many that a state legislator who represents rural communities is penning an op-ed focused on international trade agreements. However, international trade plays a significant role in rural New Mexico. Conducted wisely, it can strengthen rural communities and create economic opportunity.
New Mexico agriculture, an export-oriented sector, is a multibillion-dollar industry – and, for rural communities across the state, a significant economic driver. According to a report written by New Mexico First, “in every region except the state’s Northwest and Metro regions, the total impact from agriculture ranks in the top five industry sectors.” However, increased access to international markets and modernized trade agreements will set the stage for continued growth in the agriculture sector.
Check out a new column that will talk about the town of Silver City and its news and services.
Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.
Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds. Check periodically to see if any news ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to email@example.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.
Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. It's a software problem, not easily fixable, other than showing fewer articles per summary page. If you are a frequent visitor, you might not mind fewer articles per page, but if you only come once in a while, you likely want to see more articles to browse. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your feelings on this issue.
Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.
New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions include one about end of life options, Compassionate Care.
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.
The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!
All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.
NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat
Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.
Newsletter: If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.
Feel free to notify email@example.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.
Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com