Overdue audits are a problem for many governmental entities in New Mexico.
Capitol Report New Mexico looks at dozens of governmental entities that are behind on completing audits
. It is required by New Mexico law that audits are performed annually -- but there is no penalty to not doing so.
Gov. Susana Martinez issued an executive order saying that entities that don't complete audits on time will not be eligible for capital outlay -- but more drastic measures could be needed.
Balderas says that his hands are tied when it comes to late audits. From an August article in Albuquerque Business First
"If governments choose not to follow state law” and submit audits, “I don’t have the ability to fire management or file anything, we're an accounting office,” Balderas told members of the state Legislature’s New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee.
Something to keep an eye on.
On to the Word:
- The Associated Press looks at legislative pensions and the high costs for the part-time legislators. The story notes that conservative Republican Dan Foley, who was ousted from office at 39, will receive $450,000 in pension funds before he even turns 67 and qualifies for social security.
- Albuquerque mayoral candidate Pete Dinelli wants intervener status in a federal lawsuit over city contractor donations, Peter St. Cyr wrote for NM Telegram. Dinelli continues to go on the attack against Richard Berry over donations that Berry has accepted.
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid holds a grudge. Reid says he didn't schedule a meeting with Pete Domenici on mental health issues because of an affair the former U.S. Senator from New Mexico had. Reid specifically said it was because of how Domenici treated the woman -- the daughter of a then-U.S. Senator from Nevada.
- Jeff Bingamen had better news on Wednesday, as he was elected to the Santa Fe Institute's Board of Trustees.
- Six more men are suing because of alleged abuse by priests decades ago.
- Albuquerque Business First reports on Sen. Martin Heinrich defending the DREAM Act.
- The PRC rejected an electricity rate hike proposed by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association which sells electricity to several rural electricity cooperatives.
- Showing once again that the one constituency Congress doesn't want to anger, sequestration won't cause the control tower at the Sunport to be closed in the early morning hours.
“The FAA has decided not to pursue the elimination of midnight shifts at FAA towers at this time,” FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford told Albuquerque Business First.
For several months, airports and air traffic controllers have been wondering if the federal sequester would cause layoffs, furloughs or shutdowns.
- Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen criticized a veto of a mental health bill by Gov. Martinez.
- A student teacher at Mayfield High School was asked to stay home after participating in a "slut walk" -- or more specifically for having her picture in the Las Cruces Sun-News at the "slut walk."
- Rep. Ben Ray Lujan was critical of views of a co-author of a study criticizing the cost of immigration. The co-author says that Hispanics are less intelligent than immigrants in the past.
- The Daily Drought Digest:
Frontera NorteSur looks at "water fights" in border areas.
In the past few years, new farming operations, especially large pecan orchards, have been established in a zone where 100-260 acre farms of oats, alfalfa, corn and wheat traditionally predominated. But local farmers, who possess groundwater rights and count on wells typically drilled up to 450 feet, allege that deep-pocketed newcomers, accompanied by armed guards, have sunk more than 100 illegal wells to depths as much as 900 feet.Weather officials say the drought may get worse, the Ruidoso News reprots.
The NRCS's May Water Supply Outlook Report, released on Wednesday, delivered a dim prospect for volume of the flow on the river through Ruidoso for this month and next. The two-month forecast is for 650 acre-feet of water or 23 percent of normal for the Rio Ruidoso at the Hollywood gauge. The four-month total, figuring in hard numbers from March and April, along with the forecast for May and June, is predicted to add up to 1,240 acre-feet, or 19 percent of normal. The numbers are described as "well below" normal.
- Powerful State Senator John Arthur Smith will address the Luna County Board of Commissioners on their share of capital outlay funding.
- Rep. Ben Ray Lujan discussed Los Alamos National Labs cleanup funding with (LANL) Director Charles McMillan according to a photo in the Los Alamos Daily Post.
- Milan Simonich speaks to former Gov. Dave Cargo.
"I believed in civil rights. I was a Lincoln Republican,” he said one day last week, sitting in a wheelchair in the nursing home where he lives.
Then he condensed his political philosophy into two sentences: “Stand up for what you believe in. I believe in honest government, sound budgeting and civil rights."
- Eddy County reaffirmed its contract with a Washington DC lobbying company even though it is being bought by another lobbying firm.
- Gov. Martinez continued her travels, stopping off in Los Alamos.
- The Los Alamos Monitor has video.
- Martinez also announced a new juvenile detention center will open in southern New Mexico.
- There is no consistency in pricing at hospitals.
- V.B. Price says Mora County commissioners are showing courage in voting to ban oil and gas drilling in the county.
Mora County asserted the right of its people to protect their water and health over the “rights” of big companies to make money from land they don’t have to live on and through water they don’t have to drink.
The 2-1 vote was apparently about strategy, not values. The dissenting commissioner was concerned the ruling would be overturned in the courts.
- Former U.S. Senator and astronaut Harrison Schmitt says that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a good thing. Schmitt was Gov. Martinez's choice to head the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, but pulled out when he refused to have a background check done.
- A man was arrested for allegedly embezzling $15,000 from Eastern New Mexico University, the Clovis News Journal reports.
Jeremy Phillippi, 26, was arrested Saturday after admitting to using a university purchasing card for personal hotel stays and gifts, according to an arrest affidavit.
- A Las Cruces man successfully legally challenged a red light camera ticket.