Disgraced state senator may get taxpayer-funded pension instead of conviction

By   /  March 23, 2015  /  Ethics, Finances, Legislature, New Mexico, Politics & Elections, Power Abuse, State Government  /  No Comments

AP file photo

State Sen. Phil Griego, D-Santa Fe, resigned before the Senate could censure him for using his office to profit in a shady real estate deal. If he is not convicted of a felony — and neither the DA nor the AG have moved to prosecute — he will receive an $18,000 annual legislative pension for the rest of his life.

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Lawmakers move to guarantee New Mexicans right to comment at public meetings

By   /  March 19, 2015  /  Censorship, First Amendment, Free Speech, Legislature, New Mexico, New Mexico Watchdog, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo by Brigette Russell

Citizens have the right to attend and listen at public meetings in New Mexico, but not to speak. Rep. Jim Smith, R-Sandia Park, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, are trying to change that, guaranteeing New Mexicans the right to speak their mind before any public body in the state.

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Minnesota libraries have something for everyone, but is that something everyone should pay for?

By   /  March 18, 2015  /  Accountability, community, Education, Legislature, Minnesota, News, State Budgets  /  No Comments

MELSA Photo

Patrons used to go to the library to check out books. Today, people go for any number of reasons. But while there’s something for everyone in 365 branch libraries statewide, some events leave discerning taxpayers wondering whether it’s something everyone should pay for.

People go for the secret life of puppets ($13,200), farmer comedian Roger Radley ($9,154), stage combat demonstrations with sword fights and mock brawls ($608), duct tape wearables classes ($300) and a series on darkness ($3,816).

All are taxpayer-funded programs, now commonplace in Minnesota libraries.

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Archived webcasts would bring more transparency to New Mexico Legislature

By   /  March 17, 2015  /  Accountability, Legislature, New Mexico, News, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo by Brigette Russell

“It’s the citizens’ house, they pay the rent, and they should know what’s going on in their house.”

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Minimum wage exemption on the Minnesota statehouse menu

By   /  March 6, 2015  /  Economy, Government Regulation, Jobs + Growth, Legislature, Minnesota  /  No Comments

Delta Airlines Photo

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party legislators were for it before they were against it.

A loophole in the DFL’s signature 2014 minimum wage hike — passed without one Republican vote — lets resort owners pay less than the new minimum wage to seasonal employees who receive room and board as a benefit.

Now that House Republicans want to extend a similar break to restaurants, however, DFL support remains harder to find than a waiter at McDonald’s.

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Elvis Presley’s birthplace, Jackson Zoo could get more state money

By   /  March 4, 2015  /  Economy, Legislature, Lobbying, Mississippi, News, Politics, Wasteful spending  /  No Comments

Photo by Steve Wilson

Without state money, a couple of tourist attractions in Mississippi may be headed to the “Heartbreak Hotel.”

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