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As transportation tech hits new age, New Mexico lags behind

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State Sen. James White, R-Albuquerque, recently joined state legislators from around the country for a meeting of the Council of State Governments in Detroit, Michigan.

At one event, he and two others sat in a car. White wasn’t driving. Neither was anyone else in the car.

In fact, there was no steering wheel. Just a panic...

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 highlights:

Preliminary FY 2017 ending reserve balances are $329 million. Projected FY 2018 ending reserve balances are $206 million.

Preliminary recurring revenue for Fiscal Year 2017 is $5.7 billion. That’s $140.4 million higher than the December 2016 consensus estimate, thanks in large part to gross receipts tax revenues.

Forecasts for corporate income tax called...

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...

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