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By NM Supreme Court Justice Shannon Bacon
We all know that anybody accused of a crime has the right to legal representation and that if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. But being provided a lawyer is not a right, nor is a lawyer guaranteed in civil legal cases even though these types of cases can change the course of a person’s life and have severe life consequences.
Civil legal cases—anything that’s not criminal—can involve eviction, child custody and guardianship, veteran’s benefits, consumer debt, and restraining orders against an abusive partner. When it comes to essential legal matters, people deserve access to resources to help them through the process. Injustices occur when people do not have access to the help they need. People can become homeless, lose benefits, or lose their children.
Op-Ed by Raúl Montaño Ayala
Researcher and Scholar
Rio Grande Foundation
Amid New Mexico's boom in oil tax revenues, legislators have contemplated ways to put these surplus funds to work for the Land of Enchantment. During the last session the Legislature grew spending by 11%. They raised taxes, doubled the State’s film subsidy program, and created an outdoor division, among many big-spending ideas. When taken together the 2019 session resulted in a massive expansion of government.
What our State really needs is not more government spending. Instead it needs policies that foster entrepreneurship. What legislators need to do is promote laissez faire, free market policies that allow business to thrive and make our State more attractive to companies and residents and therefore more prosperous.
Something is stirring in Grant County, New Mexico. In our part of the state, Democratic candidates have enjoyed guaranteed votes for decades. However, a new day is dawning, as Grant County may be turning into one of many New Mexico “rogue counties” after realizing the progressive agenda pushed in Santa Fe. They see an agenda pushed by the current elected leadership that is in direct conflict with their deeply held personal beliefs. They are realizing their party took a radical left turn away from what they hold dear.
Most lifelong residents of Grant County would describe themselves as blue collar Democrats who value family, faith, and living a New Mexican way of life. They are not ashamed of being hardworking and patriotic.
By Paul Gessing
New Mexico has a golden opportunity right now. The discovery of incredible oil riches in the Southeastern part of our State is not just a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Rather, it is the kind of thing that happens only rarely in the history of any state or nation. It is the kind of opportunity that we simply cannot let slip through our fingers.
Thanks to new discoveries in the Permian Basin New Mexico has seen oil production triple since 2012. It will likely double again by 2021. That is great news and it has boosted New Mexico’s sluggish economy. In May, for the first time since 2013, the State’s job growth exceeded the national average.
Op Ed by:
Ethics Commissioners Stuart M. Bluestone, Hon. Garrey C. Carruthers, Dr. Judy Villanueva and Frances F. Williams
Wanted: State Ethics Commissioners
SANTA FE — The new State Ethics Commission is looking for New Mexicans interested in serving on the Commission. We are the four new Commissioners appointed by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the New Mexico Legislature. The recently enacted State Ethics Commission Act requires the four of us to appoint two more Commissioners, and we are seeking letters of application or nomination for those positions. The main responsibility of the Commission is to help oversee, provide guidance about and enforce provisions of the State's ethics laws as they apply to State Executive and Legislative branch officers, employees, candidates, lobbyists and government contractors.
NM House Republican Leader James Townsend (R-Artesia)
This Independence Day holiday, while many of us will celebrate with backyard barbeques and neighborhood fireworks, bureaucrats in Santa Fe will be busy updating their accounting codes to prepare for the influx of new tax revenue. It will be a happy time for fans of big government.
I can’t imagine that our country’s founding fathers envisioned the current governing reality in our state. The Revolutionary generation built our country on the principles of limited government and individual freedom. They enshrined our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the very document that declared our independence as a self-governing nation.
Today all around us we see the philosophy of racism and hatred has returned. Unfortunately its ugly head has surfaced in the descendants of those who in general were victims of racism. The descendants for the most part don't even realize they have become racists.
These new racists have been confused by those who practice power politics. The power hungry politicians of the past who used racism to manipulate whites against blacks, browns, reds, and yellow, have left their legacy to today's power hungry politicians who are using the same tactics of racism and hatred to manipulate blacks, browns, reds and yellow against whites. The purpose is to benefit the power of the politicians and their financial gains at the expense of everyone else—black, brown, red, yellow and white.
In 2010 when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, it required states to create health insurance exchanges for enrolling people in individual insurance plans. States were free to choose the design of their respective plans, with New Mexico selecting a federally supported but state-run healthcare exchange platform.
The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) was called “BeWellNM” and was mandated by the ACA to be up and running by the open enrollment period of October 2013. But by 2015, poor management during the construction of the site, low enrollment rates and missed budget deadlines ultimately led to millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on an ineffective website platform. Between 2010 and 2015 the State of New Mexico spent a total of $85 million to create the online health insurance exchange platform BeWellNM with little to show for its efforts, and now they’re planning to spend more and try again.
Check out a new column that will talk about the town of Silver City and its news and services.
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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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