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Articles Archive for March 2011

Government, News »

[31 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

The New Mexico Legislature’s 60-day legislative session was a mixed bag for government transparency efforts, but Foundation for Open Government (FOG) director Sarah Welsh reports “cause for celebration” on two fronts: stronger requirements for state agencies to disclose digital records, and more transparency for public school finances.
“(T)wo significant open-government bills did pass, and a couple of proposals to restrict access did not pass,” Welsh notes. “We’ll be back next year to keep pushing for open data and better notices for public meetings.”
Expanded transparency for N.M.’s Sunshine Portal
Gov. Susana Martinez has …

News, Peter St. Cyr »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

Open government, transparency and accountability are more than political buzzwords; they are keys to engaging citizens in the democratic process. With that in mind, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG) hosted its first public academy on government transparency Saturday, at the University of New Mexico Law School.
Nearly 50 people, including citizens, journalists, and government officials, met to share notes on the benefits and challenges of government transparency in New Mexico.
Breakout sessions included discussions on the state’s Inspection of Public Records and Open Meeting acts, best practices, citizen lobbying …

Featured, Government, Labor, Peter St. Cyr »

[25 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

Just three years after City of Albuquerque bus and van drivers voted to change their union affiliation, the Transit Department employees have signaled their interest in once again changing who represents them. But city officials appear to be setting up roadblocks for the drivers.
On Wednesday, after Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry’s staff failed to post election notices at transit facilities within 24 hours of receiving a request to be represented by a new union– as required by the city Labor Management Relation Ordinance — a lawyer for the New Mexico Transportation …

Government, News »

[23 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

Learn how to access government documents and data!
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG, ironically enough), New Mexico Press Association and New Mexico Broadcasters Association will host the inaugural Open Government Academy at the UNM Law School Saturday, March 26.
The 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. workshop will include training sessions on the state’s public records and open meetings laws, government libraries, citizen journalism, government data sets, and a Q&A session with the Attorney General’s Office’s Albert Lama.
The Academy will be held at UNM Law School, Room 2401, and the …

By the Numbers, Census »

[22 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

IFRAMES not supported
This map shows population growth for all 33 New Mexico counties between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census. Click on your county to view population changes.

In-Person, News, Peter St. Cyr, Politics »

[17 Mar 2011 | 5 Comments | ]

The U.S. Senate approved a stopgap measure Thursday that will fund the government for three more weeks. While the current proposal cuts $6 billion from the federal budget — former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson doesn’t think it goes far enough.
In fact, Johnson, who is Chairman of the Our America Initiative and has been traveling the country as a self-described “hypothetical candidate” for president, says because of the deficit and the Federal Reserve’s willingness to continue to print more money, the …

Government, Peter St. Cyr »

[16 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

It’s National Sunshine Week in America. This important initiative was created to promote dialogue on the importance of open government and freedom of information — key elements of Veritas NM’s mission.
As lawmakers debate electronic records and open meeting laws in Santa Fe, Veritas NM  decided to sit down with the state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Gary King. We asked him about his thoughts on transparency in New Mexico, public records and opening meetings laws and his take on government agencies’ overall compliance.
King believes:
‘If you’re a government official and …

Featured, Government, Health »

[16 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

Staff at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC)’s Insurance Division displayed ‘questionable thoroughness’ in their reviews of a controversial set of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico health insurance rate hikes that took effect in October, according to a draft hearing examiner’s report obtained by Veritas NM.
But the rate hikes on 40,000 New Mexican policyholders, averaging 21 percent — for many, hundreds of dollars a month — should remain in place, the draft report concludes.
The draft “recommended decision” report was prepared for state …

Bryant Furlow, Featured, Government, Health »

[16 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]

The five-member New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted unanimously March 1 to order the state Insurance Division to disclose to Veritas NM a draft report on the controversial Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico health insurance rate hikes that took effect in October.
The draft “recommended decision” report, authored by PRC Insurance Division hearing examiner Alan Seeley, questions the thoroughness of the Division’s review of the insurance company’s 2009 request for rate hikes, but recommends state Superintendent of Insurance Franchini leave the hikes in effect. (See related story.)
(See …

Bryant Furlow, Government, Health »

[16 Mar 2011 | No Comment | ]

In March 2010, Jody Neal-Post, an angry Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) health insurance policyholder and Albuquerque attorney, questioned the justification for her insurer’s newly-approved 25 percent rate hike, and sought a hearing in front of the state Superintendent of Insurance.
That seemingly simple act set in motion a heated debate that would lead to a Supreme Court case, denunciations of “back-room deals,” the resignations of three sequential insurance superintendents, and proposed legislation to strengthen the Public Regulation Commission (PRC)’s oversight of its semi-autonomous Insurance Division.
Along the …