by Tom Wright, Adelante Now board member. Despite finishing near the bottom in nearly every economic category, New Mexico’s politicians never seem to pay the price at the polls. Whether it is economic well-being, food security or education outcomes, you will consistently find the Land of Enchantment at the bottom of the national list. While there are many factors to consider, one must start with those who make the policy and spend the money. With a two-year exception of House control, New Mexico Democrats have controlled the entire Legislature for six decades, and progressives are attempting to control the Democrats’ agenda. Misguided progressive solutions are the reason we never find solutions to our ills. A 2013 Cato Institute study showed a New Mexico family can qualify for $30,435 in state and federal anti-poverty programs. It ranked New Mexico 18th in the nation in total dollar value of available welfare benefits. These large benefits can and do remove the incentive to … [Read more...]
Albuquerque ranked No. 8 on LendingTree’s list of the best cities for new small businesses released Feb. 27. The rankings were based on self-reported data from new small businesses in the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Rankings were based on profitability and annual revenue. Researchers scaled the two factors to 100, added them and divided by two, for a highest possible score of 100 and a lowest possible score of zero.
New Mexico was at the bottom of the list again this year, while Massachusetts was named the best state to raise a family, followed by Minnesota and New Hampshire. Not helping New Mexico's case is having the highest unemployment rate in the country (6.1 percent), high child care costs, the state's violent crime rate and the percentage of families living in poverty. New Mexico had the second-highest rate of violent crimes per capita and the second-highest percentage of families living in poverty. New Mexico's median household income is $45,674 and 36.2 percent of children under the age of 5 in New Mexico live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census. Violent crime in the state rose by 6.8 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to the FBI.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that the federal government can intervene in a water case pitting Texas against New Mexico and Colorado, meaning the case will be sent back to a “special master” to arbitrate the dispute. The opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, said the federal government must be allowed to meet its federal water obligations – including an international agreement with Mexico – and actions that would go against the decades-old Rio Grande Compact would hinder that duty. The 1938 Rio Grande Compact governs the distribution of water in the Rio Grande Basin.
The New Mexico Senate on Wednesday approved a two-pronged measure to provide “immediate relief” to those who have struggled for years with the abuses of a closed legal guardianship/conservator system, while creating the framework for a comprehensive system overhaul by 2020. Under the measure approved Wednesday, court hearings that are now closed would be open to the public as of July 1. Family members would have more access to guardianship records and visitation wouldn’t be as easily thwarted by commercial guardians, who also have been accused in some cases of profligate spending and excessive fees. Nonfamily conservators would have to post bonds in case financial impropriety occurred.
For almost 30 years, New Mexico has maintained an iron grip on the bottom rung of key rankings. Why is it that even when the state makes improvements in education, health care or the economy, we barely budge? Each year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks the 50 states on issues of child well-being. The report is a widely used measure of children’s health and education, and of the economic and social well-being of families. New Mexico was No. 49 this year, a notch above Mississippi.
The retail shop Gallery One on Central Avenue is closing, adding yet another set of darkened windows to the busy commercial street. “We’re going to close in late February,” said Rick Johnston, whose late mother, Beverly Johnston, ran the Nob Hill store for 31 of its 46 years.
Emile Nakhleh, a retired CIA senior intelligence officer, wants to build on that history and tap into that expertise, along with a wealth of university knowledge and talent, as he and others work to establish a Global and National Security Institute at the University of New Mexico. “The Institute is designed to equip its graduates with a blending of concepts from technology, history, policy and culture,” Abdallah said. “The skills learned within the institute and similar ones will become ever more critical to dealing with and adapting to an increasingly changing and uncertain future.” The payoff for UNM would be graduates with a competitive edge for employment in the intelligence community and the U.S. government, or with companies doing work in national security.
The Sandoval County Commission adopted a “right-to-work” ordinance early Friday to loud applause, despite the threat of a lawsuit from an opponent and an opinion from the state’s attorney general that the measure is illegal. The ordinance, approved 3-1 with one abstention, prevents employees from being compelled to join a union or paying union fees. Supporters say right-to-work legislation promotes economic development; opponents say it undermines unions and lead to worse conditions for workers.
New Mexico is not a contender. Amazon, which is on the hunt for a second home, said Thursday that it narrowed its choices to 20 locations from the 238 proposals it received, and neither of New Mexico’s applicants made the list. Both Albuquerque and Doña Ana County submitted proposals for the project, however, Amazon also made clear in that it wanted tax breaks, grants and any other incentives. Many of those incentives are not offered in NM due to laws currently in place.