Let’s go, legislators!
The New Mexico State Supreme Court handed down two decisions recently that all New Mexicans can feel good about.
Both had to do with Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham, who had been sued by legislators upset about her handling of the pandemic and her pandemic-related public health orders.
Eddy, Lea and Chavez county representatives went as far as to lead an effort to establish a “citizen’s grand-jury” to look into what they called malfeasance by the governor for her health orders. It was a weak scheme to circumvent the legal system and it was rightly halted by the N.M. Supreme Court. The action was unconstitutional and a waste of county taxpayer dollars.
Our local legislators teamed up with Democrats to focus on suing the governor for spending stimulus money, aka COVID relief funds, without legislative oversight. The N.M. Supreme Court sided with them, and now, presumably, they will be able to spend the money in those areas in most need of relief.
Now that we have the Build Back Better money coming in as well, we can do roads and bridges and infrastructure projects to our hearts content and stimulus can be allocated to other more pressing human needs. That’s my understanding, anyway.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, “The governor has already allocated $600 million of the $1.7 billion to shore up the state’s unemployment fund. Lawmakers weren’t trying to roll that back. They simply want to appropriate the state’s remaining $1.1 billion of American Rescue Plan funds.”
In truth, lawmakers had always planned to apply stimulus money to unemployment, it was just a question of who could take credit for it. I’m confident Gov. Lujan-Grisham is happy to bow gracefully and allow both the attention and the win to those legislators because now they have no excuse for sitting on their hands and complaining.
It’s now our turn to hold our legislators’ feet to the fire and assure they spend this money in a timely manner and in a way that provides relief to those affected by COVID.
I’d vote for mental health services and expanded support for hospitals, teachers, and frontline workers just to start. Time to get busy legislators, the urgency is real and palpable. Get to work for your constituents, we’ll be watching!
Michelle Tafoya, Los Lunas
No more studies; fix it
Now that the elections are over, winners should get to work on the problems.
Most candidates saw a need to correct the flooding in Belen. They spoke of creating a flood authority. What’s that? Another paper shuffler that will create a study?
The problem as been here for years. Recently, the Valencia County News-Bulletin published a picture of flooding in 1960 on Becker Avenue.
We don’t need a study. There is a problem. Fix it; not study it. The extra exit for I-25 has been studied for years. The hospital in Valencia County has been studied for longer than I can remember, and I believe the county commission is conducting another study. People involved have been studying so much they must be Ph.Ds by now.
This country was built by people who had a need and filled it — railroads, highways, bridges over large spans of water. Those who saw the need did not spend years studying. They saw a need and filled it.
Even here in Valencia County, the Railrunner and UNM-Valencia. There was a need and it was filled without years of studying. To those who were elected, there are needs in our communities. Fill them.
Frank Herrera, Belen
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