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Arbitration Stalemate Continues Between Grant County and AFSCME Local 2516

In a protracted dispute that has been ongoing since October 2022, the arbitration between Grant County and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2516 has hit a roadblock, with five crucial articles, including Overtime, Holidays, Disciplinary Action, Wages, and Terms of Agreement, yet to be decided. Multiple attempts in the past 3 years have been made to complete negotiations with Grant County, however each attempt was denied due to lack of participation by Grant County manager(s) that were in office at the time.

Negotiations between Grant County and AFSCME have been marked by tension and many rescheduled negotiation sessions, ultimately leading to an impasse in August 2023. In a bid to break the deadlock, a mediator was brought in. Unfortunately, the mediation process failed to yield a resolution, leading to the selection of an arbitrator in October 2023.

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Another EV Mandate Looms

By Paul Gessing

Fresh off her “victory” in pushing a vast increase in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) sold in New Mexico through a board appointed by her (on a 3-2 vote of a 7 member board), New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham is pushing yet another regulation to force EV s on an unwilling public. The Gov.’s latest plan is to mandate EV charging stations and equipment for newly built apartment buildings and other commercial real estate.

The “good” news is that while news reports back in September reported that up to 20% of all parking spaces would have to be outfitted with EV charging stations costing $18,000 per unit, the “final” revised proposal limits required EV spaces to 5% of all spaces with another 15% being so-called “EV capable.” 

This rule is going to be voted on by the Construction Industries Division (CID) at their January 3 meeting. The Rio Grande Foundation is again asking people to weigh in on this issue at our KeepYourCarsNM.com website. Messages will now be sent to the CID.

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Vibrant campuses begin overseas

trent jonesWNMU Student Regent Trent JonesAs a student attending Western New Mexico University, I have come to discover that higher education is just as much about expanding opportunities through education and training as it is about developing forward-thinking minds prepared to enter a globalized society. University campuses are a medley of nationalities, cultures and traditions—a social diversity that not only creates vibrancy but understanding while fostering a wide perspective of thought and opinion.

As a student enrolled in the WNMU School of Business, I feel fortunate for the opportunity to learn from both students and professors who come from various nations, bringing with them their wealth of knowledge and diversity of thought into the classroom, enriching my learning experience. My international peers bring their culture and share their traditions as I share mine, experiences worth more than dollars and cents.

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Unnecessary spending at WNMU?

Some of us in Silver City may have noticed all the "improvements" going on at Western New Mexico University. 

At least some of it, the better lighting and the planting of trees, as well as the use of solar panels for energy use, likely benefit the community and the university.

But it also seems that many of the expenditures, some lavish, are unseen. However, a recent article in Searchlight New Mexico have brought those expenditures to the light of day. 

Where, I ask, do the members of the WNMU Board of Regents stand on this outrageous spending? Have they been too charmed by his convincing words?

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EIB Rule Unsustainable

By Paul J. Gessing

After four long days of testimony and public comment the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) decided recently to move forward with Gov. Lujan Grisham's plan to follow California's "clean vehicle" standard. In practice that means New Mexico's car dealers will have to increase sales of EV's in New Mexico from the current 3 percent of all new vehicles to 43 percent by summer of 2026 and 82 percent by summer of 2031.

That may seem like a long time away, but the summer of 2026 is less than 3 years from now. New Mexico's car dealers are the ones with the most to lose under this policy, but the new rules will negatively impact all New Mexicans. Car dealers rightly fear that New Mexicans will travel to neighboring states to purchase their cars. There is nothing to stop them. In fact, online super-seller Amazon just announced that it would begin selling vehicles online.

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MLG’s 7 member Environmental Improvement Board votes to limit gas cars in mere 3-2 vote

Rio Grande Foundation take on the EIB vote last evening: Posted on November 17, 2023 by Paul Gessing</https://errorsofenchantment.com/mlgs-7-member-environmental-improvement-board-votes-to-limit-gas-cars-in-mere-3-2-vote/

At the Rio Grande Foundation we have written extensively about Gov. Lujan Grisham’s disdain for “democracy,” let alone a representative republic, but last night’s (Thursday, November 16) vote by her un-elected EIB takes the cake.

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Reform education to Boost Workforce, Economy

By Paul Gessing

The Legislative Finance Committee has produced a new report looking at the issue of New Mexico's low workforce participation rate. Here is one of many choice quotes analyzing the problem:
While unemployment rates have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the share of the state's working age population participating in the labor force is persistently low. Social services, economic development, tax rates, pension systems, the service industry, and virtually every other area of the economy is impacted when there are fewer people working to support those who do not work.

The report further notes that "misalignment between the state's workforce skills and industry is a challenge for New Mexico's economic future," the report focuses most of its attention on job training programs and other economic development incentives, but I believe this is a mistake. What the LFC gently calls "misalignment" really means "ill prepared."

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 Border security requires an orderly immigration system and proper vetting

By Yvette Herrell / Alamogordo Republican 

The United States is not in control of our southern border. The cartels have full, operational control and President Biden and his allies in Congress are doing nothing to keep your family safe. They are ignoring this reality and placing every American, legitimate asylum-seeker, and our sovereignty at risk.

When America is in crisis and every community is feeling the pain, politics should not be a factor. Under this administration, we have seen over 6 million people enter our nation illegally. The entire population of New Mexico is just over 2 million.

Not only are we placing enormous financial burdens on our border communities, but resources that should be used to help American families, farmers and services providers are being re-allocated in an effort to shore up these growing costs.

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