Immigration bill hesitation good idea

Freedom Newspapers House Speaker Dennis Hastert last week announced at least seven House committees or subcommittees will hold hearings on the immigration bill the Senate passed, in Washington and in other parts of the country, most likely the South and Southwest. Most observers think this move will assure that Congress will not pass immigration legislation […]

Small steps may help, but won’t put stop to pork

Freedom Newspapers There’s a serious flaw in the thinking of reformers who believe congressional pork-barrel spending can be curbed by forcing members to attach their names to the pet projects (or “earmarks”) they slip into appropriations bills, in circumvention of the normal budget procedures. They hope bringing more transparency and accountability to the process will […]

Bill approved to impose tax in cities, counties

The Associated Press SANTA FE — A new tax would be imposed in cities and counties on some out-of-state purchases under legislation approved by the House on Monday. Local governments are projected to collect more than $11 million a year under the proposal for a local option compensating tax. The measure would automatically impose the […]

GOP pushing for bed tax refund

The Associated Press SANTA FE — Republican lawmakers are proposing to refund to elderly New Mexicans the money they paid because of a state tax imposed on nursing homes. U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican who represents the Albuquerque-area 1st Congressional District, also is urging Gov. Bill Richardson to support rebating the tax to New […]

House protects property rights, eminent domain

CNJ Editorial Typically, when the U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill by a vote of 376-38, you know it is some meaningless resolution. The House is bitterly divided and partisan, so it’s hard to expect anything with overwhelming support to contain much of substance. Yet the House on Thursday approved an important, substantial measure […]

Gun rights bill should help end frivolous lawsuits

Freedom Newspapers A few years ago, the strategy of gun-control advocates was obvious: File frivolous liability lawsuits against gun makers and distributors, knowing that, whatever the ultimate merits of the cases, the manufacturers would be hard-pressed to keep fighting. Many would go out of business, profits would decline for others, and the high costs imposed […]

Senate apology accomplishes nothing

By Mona Charen “The U.S. Senate last night approved a resolution apologizing for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation decades ago, marking the first time the body has apologized for the nation’s treatment of African-Americans.” — The Washington Post, June 14 “There may be no other injustice in American history for which the Senate […]

ID theft legislation slippery slope

Few things can be more infuriating than having someone steal your identity — Social Security number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, even your medical records. Such “identity theft” — as well as the related simple loss or unauthorized release of personal information — is occurring more often in our digitized society. On Monday, California […]

Business watchdogs approve of legislation

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Now that the legislative session is over, lobbyists and business owners alike are tracking which bills the governor will sign into law and which ones he will veto. For businesses and industry associations, a mixture of tax holidays, incentives and cuts makes the news from the legislature seem pretty […]

Class action legislation step in right direction

CNJ staff At first glance a bill that would shift most class-action suits from state to federal courts looks like something of a power grab by federal authorities. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid of Nevada put it this way: The bill the Senate approved last week “turns federalism on its head by preventing state courts […]

Legislative propositions made of fuzzy logic

Ned Cantwell: CNJ columnist We’ve only just begun. Already New Mexico legislators are pondering legislation that would make it illegal for us to watch Desperate Housewives while driving to our favorite food joint for the family’s traditional Sunday night Nellie Burger feast. Our elected poobahs are on a tear up there in Santa Fe, having […]

Legislative watchdogs

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Assistant City Clerk Claire Burroughes monitors New Mexico state legislative activity on the Internet on Thursday in her office at City Hall. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer While state legislators battle over the many thousands of bills scheduled to be introduced in the 47th Legislature, those with an active […]

Clovis mayor backs smoking ban

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor Clovis Mayor David Lansford has thrown his support toward proposed legislation that would ban smoking in businesses and restaurants statewide, an issue that will pit health advocates against proponents of a live-and-let-live society. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque, is scheduled to be introduced Monday during a […]

Economic efficiency scores not pretty

by Walter Williams When you vote for a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate, what should be your selection criteria? I’m all too afraid that most Americans, were they to be honest, would answer that they’d vote for the person who has pushed or will push for legislation that benefits them, their […]

Citizens aren’t only ones left in dark

by Steve Chapman In legislating, ignorance is no bliss Congress has just passed one of the most important pieces of legislation of the year, dealing with corporate taxes. As a concerned citizen, you may feel slightly uninformed for not knowing what’s in it. But don’t be too hard on yourself: Your representatives don’t know, either. […]

Drug testing for lawmakers proposed

By David Arkin: CNJ CORRESPONDENT Most elected officials in eastern New Mexico say they want to learn more, but they support proposed legislation that calls for voluntary drug testing for all elected officials in the state. Sen. Steve Komadina, R-Corrales, introduced the legislation on Wednesday and said results from the voluntary drug tests would be […]

Lawmakers considering stiffer DWI legislation

David Arkin: CNJ correspondent There’s sweeping support statewide — and especially in eastern New Mexico — for legislation that would implement the harshest penalty yet for DWI offenders. This week, Gov. Bill Richardson threw his support behind a plan that wouldn’t allow DWI offenders to buy alcohol for five years. An offender’s driver’s license would […]

Ute water project introduced in Washington

David Arkin: CNJ CORRESPONDENT Lawmakers in the nation’s capital on Wednesday got the ball rolling for a project that could be the answer to eastern New Mexico’s water needs. U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., introduced the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Act of 2004 on Wednesday to Congress, which would allow the U.S Bureau […]

Authorization requested for Ute water funds

By Jack King: CNJ staff writer Federal authorization legislation for the Ute Water Project will be submitted to the U.S. Senate in June, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said Thursday. Officials have said authorization legislation is required before the project can be eligible for federal funds. Jude McCartin, Bingaman’s Washington press representative, said […]

Q&A – District 42 Senate candidates answer questions

By David Arkin, CNJ Correspondent The following is a question and answer session with Sen. Gay Kernan and William Palmer, Republican candidates for state senate in District 42. What do you think eastern New Mexico’s most pressing issue will be if you are elected to office and how would you address it? Kernan: In eastern […]