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New numbers from the state on revenue, reserves

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On Aug. 16, New Mexico Political Report wrote about New Mexico’s dipping reserves. In Fiscal Year 2016, the reserve fund was at $146 million, and in Fiscal Year 2017, New Mexico was $67 million in the red.

Now, the Legislative Finance Committee has released its revenue forecast for the state.

Among the report’s...

New Mexico’s reserves among lowest in the nation

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New Mexico’s savings keeps dropping —and now the state has one of the smallest cushions of any state in the nation. Even now, those reserves are still well below pre-recession levels.

If no new money were coming in and the state government could rely only on those reserves, there would only be enough cash to run the state for 8.4 days. That’s according to The Pew Charitable Trusts and its analysis of states’ fiscal health.

In Fiscal Year 2016, the amount of money New Mexico held back and put into savings—to pay for unexpected expenses or shore up the budget when revenues dip—was at its lowest level since 2000, according to Pew. That year, the fund was at $146 million...

Diné College, NN, WNMU ink special ed MOU

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Begaye: ‘It’s a great day for the Navajo Nation’

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Officials from Diné College, Western New Mexico University and the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship & Financial Assistance signed an agreement July 31 that formalizes a graduate level special education degree.

The signing took place at the Office of the President of the Navajo Nation and was attended by a small contingent of administrators from each institution. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, Diné College President Monty Roessel and Western New Mexico President Joseph Shepard, puts into place a partnership that starts come fall of...

Report shows minorities driving rural growth in NM, rest of western U.S.

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In the West, minorities are helping boost populations in rural areas, including in New Mexico.

That’s what a recent report by the independent research group Headwaters Economics found. Analysts looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau and compared the populations and demographics of rural counties from 1980 to 2015. Nearly every county saw a growth in minority populations, echoing the shift in demographics of the nation as a whole.

This trend is as pronounced in New Mexico, which already has among he lowest percentage of white non-Hispanic white populations, as in any other western state.

Kelly Pohl, a geographer who works at the Montana-based Headwaters Institute, explained...

Committee clears Luján on ethics complaint

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The U.S. House Committee on Ethics unanimously dismissed an ethics complaint against Rep. Ben Ray Luján.

The committee made the announcement Tuesday, and a spokesman for Luján praised the decision shortly after. In a statement, Joe Shoemaker said the allegations came from a “ politically motivated complaint, filed by a partisan outside group.” He added that Luján is “committed to abiding by House Rules and will continue to do so in the future.”

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative group, complained that Luján conducted campaign or political activity from the House floor, which is prohibited, after he sent a  fundraising email highlighting a...
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