Author Archives: merilee

If New Mexico decides to pay legislators a salary

  The notion that New Mexico should pay legislators a salary has been discussed many times. In 2016, a constitutional amendment was proposed to establish a salary, but wasn’t passed. Some observers think we’d get a better quality legislature. Maybe. … Continue reading

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Responsible governing requires flexibility on taxes

I have been hoping the legislature will try again to pass the pet food tax next year. This was a small proposed tax whose proceeds would have been earmarked for badly needed spay and neuter programs. For no good reason, … Continue reading

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Refugee children, New Mexico children

The federal government can ship a child back to the child’s home country, where the child’s life is in imminent danger. But if you want to take that child into your home, government won’t let you – to protect the … Continue reading

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Good news from MainStreet

When you think of Farmington, arts and culture may not be your first thought. But that could change. Farmington — specifically, part of Farmington’s downtown – – is one of three communities recently endorsed by the New Mexico Arts Commission … Continue reading

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The big retirement investment

Investing money is a daunting experience. In the past you could put your money into a few safe, respectable stocks, keep them for years, enjoy regular dividend checks and sleep peacefully. Those days are gone. Whether you manage your investments … Continue reading

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Get out of your silos and talk to each other, government!

The Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) is forming a joint child safety strike force with the State Police. After a widely publicized announcement, they’ve even had a meeting! This was initiated after a seven-year-old girl was found to have … Continue reading

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Advice about Congress from Joe Skeen

When Joe Skeen first went to Congress, he told my husband, it was the most humbling experience of his life. He had never felt like such a nobody. The United States House of Representatives has 435 members. As Skeen told … Continue reading

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Everything you didn’t want to know about the State Land Office

We’ve all heard the arguments about early childhood education as the solution to pull New Mexico out of poverty. The state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund is targeted as a way to pay for it. Not so fast. The devil is … Continue reading

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It’s past time to solve the dental epidemic

New Mexico children are going to school with toothaches and sore gums. And we wonder why they have problems learning to read? Dental disease is a hidden epidemic for both children and adults in New Mexico and many other states. … Continue reading

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Could your teenager pass a citizenship test?

A recent national study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center study found that more than a third of adults surveyed can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment, and only 26 percent can name all three branches … Continue reading

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