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Today's Opinions

  • Compromise in Legislature?

    Conflict makes news, I’ve learned. Somehow, headlines about agreement don’t have quite the same zing as those big black letters signaling a good fight.
    But it happens. Agreement, that is.
    There’s a lot of agreement in the Legislature, and a good deal of meaningful compromise. Except for the inevitable outbursts in the last week when they’re sleep deprived, our lawmakers mostly work with thought, diplomacy and humor.
    Here are a couple of examples.

  • Giving care to love

    “In sickness and in health.”  We all say it, as part of our marriage vows, but do any of us really think about what it means? What that promise might hold in store for us?
    We might have some vague distant notion that, if our spouse got sick, we would jump to the rescue like some cape crusading superhero, with heart shaped care kit in hand, and make the world right again.  But what would we do? How would we cope?
    For most of us, the reality is just nursing a loved one through the flu. But what happens when its cancer, or some other chronic disease. A magic Band-Aid just won’t cut it.

  • The other way to make laws

    A few bills in the Legislature this year deal with state regulations and how they are made.
     In discussing these bills, I was reminded that most people don’t participate in the rulemaking process, don’t understand how it works, and so might not appreciate the benefits of improving it.
    Rulemaking is not limited to agencies with the word “regulation” in their title. Lots of agencies have regulatory authority, which is conveyed by statutory language creating that authority.
    Where some agencies – such as the boards and commissions in the Department of Regulation and Licensing – generally focus on a particular industry, others, like Taxation and Revenue, may make rules affecting large classes of taxpayers.

  • Disappointed in LANL funding

    Dear Editor,
    I was disappointed that our funding for LANL was cut in proportion to that received by Sandia. I have sent a note along with the newspaper clipping and my book The Strange Disappearance of Uncle Dudley: A Child’s Story of Los Alamos, to the President.  I inscribed it  to President and Mrs. Obama and Daughters. (Signed and dated by the author, of course)
    On the note I said I’m not in favor of bombs, but LANL does work in space, medical and environmental fields. I wish that funding for all the National Labs could be balanced and a percentage earmarked for non-weapons work.
     The book is for the White House Library.
    I added that I am still planning on voting for Obama.

    Inez Ross

  • Making sense of golf course alternatives

    Editor:
     
    It is good that the potential improvements to the Los Alamos Golf Course are being discussed by all, but we need to make sure that the options and alternatives make sense. The walking trail bridge, for example, is an option that doesn’t seem to make sense for any of the users.
     Presently, the options have been narrowed down to two. Alternative 1 stays within the existing golf course boundary and footprint.
     Alternative 2 expands the boundary over some of the existing trails. Both alternatives call for moving the walking trail bridge to a new location with a major redesign at a cost of about a quarter-million dollars.

  • Legislature winding down

    SANTA FE --  Ready or not, only one day is left in the 2012 Legislature. This 30-day session ends Thursday at noon -- no ifs, ands or buts. The New Mexico Supreme Court decided about 50 years ago that the Legislature no longer could “stop the clock,” as it was called, to get its business finished.
    Congress and many state legislatures keep going until the leadership decides it has had enough. In New Mexico the watches of the House speaker and the Senate majority floor leader determine when it is noon.
    That power used to include stopping the clock for several hours to get business finished. But today, no fudging is allowed. Any legislation passed after noon does not become law. Legislative per diem also stops at noon.

  • More about tax reform

    The underlying theme of the 2012 legislative session was taxes, specifically the issue of tax reform. Gov. Martinez put the gross receipts tax on the agenda with her proposals to both exempt certain small businesses from the tax and to reduce the incidence of “pyramiding” which forces businesses and consumers to pay taxes on top of taxes in this state. $40 million of welcome tax relief was included in the budget, but issues remain.
    Senate Finance Committee Chair John Arthur-Smith made a dramatic point with the introduction of legislation that would have eliminated New Mexico’s gross receipts tax entirely.

  • That’s right. You’re wrong

    During lunch, two of my students were arguing the issue of taxation.  Their stances took the usual form; the rich already pay more than their fair share, the rich make money off the backs of the lower class, capitalism was founded on the principle of self-gain, greed is destroying this country, etc., etc., etc..