Freeze means freeze: Lawmaker’s bill cracks down on state hires

By Kate Nash: The New Mexican A lawmaker upset over the continued hiring of state employees after a Gov. Bill Richardson-imposed hiring halt has introduced a measure that sets out stringent criteria for exemptions to the rule. Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Sandia Park, is carrying a bill (SB 215) that would only allow the state [...]

Former Clovis lawmaker indicted

Freedom New Mexico A former Clovis state representative is among four men indicted Friday, accused of fraud in the case of an Albuquerque-based housing authority that defaulted on $5 million in bonds sold to the state. Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos, former director of the Region III Housing Authority, faces 12 felony counts including fraud, embezzlement and [...]

Dogged lawmaker changes his mind

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A state lawmaker is pulling a proposal to classify all pit bulls and rottweilers as dangerous dogs. State Rep. John Heaton said Friday he’s been persuaded by negative public reaction. Heaton said he will offer a substitute bill, minus the breed specification, when the bill is scheduled for a [...]

Lawmakers must be fed

One of the first bills New Mexico lawmakers pass each year is the “feed bill,” which allocates funds for the legislative session. This year, they’ve proposed almost $5 million for 30 days. Those fees include $144 per day per lawmaker for expenses. New Mexico legislators are not otherwise paid for their work, but that could [...]

Lawmaker pensions in bill going to governor

The Associated Press SANTA FE — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, lawmakers sent the governor something to sweeten their pensions. Tucked into a bill dealing with mileage rates for state workers is a provision that would change the formula for calculating the pensions of members of the Legislature. The measure went to Gov. Bill [...]

Portales mayor considers bid for House

By Mike Linn Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega is seriously considering expanding his political aspirations to the stately stage of the New Mexico House of Representatives. The Democrat said there’s a 50 percent chance he will run for the District 66 position. He said he will make his decision on Monday morning. If he decides to [...]