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Today's News

  • Rental properties can make good investments, but they come with risk

    BY NATHAN SILLIN
    Practical Money Skills

  • Big bipartisan HB 412 seeks fix for gross receipts tax mess

    House Bill 412 is a big one. The title requires 307 words. It begins, “An act relating to taxation…” The second to the last section – that’s section 155 out of 157– requires 1,028 words to list the sections of existing law that would be repealed.
    The sponsors are Rep. Jason Harper, Rio Rancho Republican, and two venerable Democratic senators, John Arthur Smith of Deming and Carlos Cisneros of Questa. Bipartisanship!
    The bill came from the interim Revenue Stabilization & Tax Policy Committee. Harper was the chair and Cisneros the vice chair. Smith was a member.
    A general and understandable (by you and me) summary of what became HB 412 is found in the minutes of the committee’s final meeting, held Dec. 16. It said: “The elimination of most GRT deductions, exemptions and credits is a key part of the legislation and could vastly expand the tax base with a correspondingly lower sales tax rate…  the state sales tax rate would be around 2.5 percent, with an average total local and state rate of around five percent.”

  • N.M. warily studies Republican health overhaul plan

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico’s health care sector and policy makers were warily studying a proposal Tuesday by U.S. House Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act that has cut the state’s uninsured rate in half since 2013.
    Of particular concern were measures to reduce federal matching funds for newcomers to Medicaid health coverage starting in mid-2019, and link overall federal spending on Medicaid to a limited, per-beneficiary amount.
    Residents of New Mexico have flocked to enroll in Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled since Republican Gov. Susana Martinez agreed to expand the program to more low-income individuals. The uninsured rate in New Mexico has plummeted to 8.9 percent of the population, from 18.6 percent in 2013, according to state insurance regulators.
    Martinez, who cannot run for a third term in 2018, now favors repeal and replacement of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, while declining to comment Tuesday.

  • Lawmakers consider renewable energy tax credits

    BY REBECCA MOSS
    The New Mexican

  • New UNM-LA Advisory Board sworn in
  • Wallstrom to hold recital at Fuller Lodge

    Miriam Wallstrom, a high school junior, will present her first trumpet recital at Fuller Lodge at 2 p.m. Sunday.
    Playing pieces on both a b-flat trumpet and a piccolo trumpet, she will perform works by Haydn, Albinoni, Sasche, and a Dixieland jazz piece.
    Jan McDonald is her music teacher, and he will accompany her on trumpet for several of her recital pieces. Cindy Little, a well-known piano player, will also accompany her on the piano, and her friend, Jenny Paige, will play duets with her on the euphonium.
    Wallstrom has studied the trumpet for almost six years, played in the Los Alamos Middle School band for two years, and played in the Los Alamos High School band for one-and-a-half years. She was selected for the New Mexico All State Band two years in a row. During the previous two summers Wallstrom studied trumpet at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. The first summer there she spent a week at an intensive Trumpet Institute and the second summer she spent six weeks playing with the World Youth Wind Symphony.
    In addition to the trumpet, Wallstrom also plays the piano, and at the high school is active in the National History Day Club, and the Key Club, a service organization related to Kiwanis. In Key Club, she will serve as an officer during the 2017-2018 school year. She is also a member of the LAHS National Honor Society.

  • Gov. mulls special session if issues linger

    ALBUQUERQUE — The focus of New Mexico lawmakers on “meaningless bills” such as establishing the official state dance may force Gov. Susana Martinez to call a special session to deal with larger issues such as the strapped budget, a spokesman for the governor said Tuesday.
    Martinez, a Republican, might have no choice because the Democratic-controlled Legislature is debating measures such as a holiday song about the traditional foods of empanada and posole, said Michael Lonergan, a Martinez spokesman.
    State lawmakers also have considered declaring the green chile cheeseburger as New Mexico’s official burger.
    Meanwhile, the full Legislature has yet to pass a budget that would address a significant shortfall in funding for public education, Medicaid and other government programs.
    In addition, the Democratic-controlled Senate has refused to hold confirmation hearings on some of the governor’s appointments, and both chambers have stalled items like payday loan and ethics reforms.
    “Not only have they killed bills to protect children from predators – they are even neglecting to do their basic constitutional duties,” said Michael Lonergan, a Martinez spokesman.

  • Police to conduct drill at 1 p.m. today at Barranca

    The Los Alamos Police Department will be conduct training at Barranca Mesa Elementary School at 1-3 p.m. today.  
    The police plan to notify any nearby residents to disregard the increase in police presence during that time frame at the school.   

  • Cadet achieves milestone

    Monday night, Civil Air Patrol Cadet Officer Jack Weston Stafford achieved a milestone in his career that few cadets with the CAP ever achieve.
    Stafford received his General Billy Mitchell Award, an award that shows he has successfully completed the second phase of the CAP cadet program. With his award, Stafford graduated from CAP Chief Master Sergeant to a CAP 2d Lt.
    Very few CAP cadets in the country get this far in the program. The award marks a turning point in their careers in CAP.  
    “There are 23,000 cadets in the U.S. Of those 23,000, only 15 percent of them achieve the Mitchell Award,” said Lt. Col. and Deputy Commander for Cadets Annette Peters.
    The Mitchell Award marks the midway point in Stafford’s career in the Los Alamos CAP squadron, otherwise known as the Los Alamos Composite Squadron. To get to that point, Stafford logged many hours in leadership training, physical training, aerospace training and character development.
    “It’s definitely taken a lot of work,” Stafford said. “I’m very excited to have the honor of wearing these new ranks.”
    Stafford was inspired to make the achievement after seeing the examples set by his fellow friends and cadets, cousin J.D. Downing and friend Caleb Britton.

  • 'Meaningless bills' may force New Mexico special session

    By RUSSELL CONTRERAS
    Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico state lawmakers' focus on "meaningless bills" such as establishing the official state dance may force Gov. Susana Martinez to call a special session, the Republican governor's office told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
    The governor's office says Martinez may have no choice but to call a special session to address pressing issues because the Democratic-controlled Legislature is debating measures such as a holiday song about empanadas and posole.
    During the current 60-day session, state lawmakers have debated measures such as naming an official holiday winter song, establishing a state official dance and declaring the green chile cheeseburger New Mexico's official burger. Meanwhile, the full Legislature has yet to pass a budget that would address a significant shortfall in funding for public education, Medicaid and other government programs.
    Similar criticisms were leveled at Martinez from Democrats last year pushing crime bills during a 30-day budget Legislative session.
    But in the current session, the Democratic-controlled Senate has refused to hold confirmation hearings on some of the governor's appointments and both chambers have stalled items like payday loan and ethics reforms.