I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
The New Mexico Department of Corrections is fining GEO Group, a Florida-based private prison operator, $1.1 million for understaffing one of its prisons.
New Mexico has added 100 government jobs since 2007, making it one of 22 states to have added rather than lost government jobs since the start of the economic crisis in 2007.
In response to concerns over the term “Occupy Albuquerque”, the protest movement has renamed itself “(Un)occupy Albuquerque.” The decision was made in a general assembly meeting of protesters othe University of New Mexico campus.
Looks like the government is happy to create jobs financed by public dollars—only a few tax hikes are in order before the new projects can begin. Mayor David Coss of Santa Fe is trying to convince residents to swallow a…
News the New Mexico Tourism Department laid off seven New Mexico Magazine employees Tuesday highlights the state as one of the many in the nation with a relatively fertile employment picture despite a decline in government jobs. More …
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute calculates 2.8 million U.S. jobs have been lost to China since 2001, the year the country joined the World Trade Organization.
The New Mexico Supreme Court has overruled Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s decision to fire the entire state Public Employee Labor Relations Board. Martinez must now rehire two of the three board members that she dumped without the authority to do so back in February.
This time around Democrat Diane Denish claimed the eye-popping contributions and raised the most out-of-state money. But two six-figure contributions and nearly $600,000 in out-of-state money wasn’t enough to power Denish past Republican Susana Martinez in dollars raised during the waning days of the 2010 New Mexico governor’s race, campaign finance reports filed Thursday show.
Actor and Albuquerque native Neil Patrick Harris is one of several celebrities who this week recorded a video message encouraging gay youth to “be proud” and not let anti-gay bullies push them to suicide.
The video was inspired by…
Jobs—and how the government should do more to promote them—were the main focus of the One Nation Working Together rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend, which was sponsored by more than 500 progressive organizations. “We bailed out the banks and the insurance companies. Now it’s time to bail out the American people,” urged the Rev. Al Sharpton, who drew some of the loudest cheers of the afternoon. “I hope they look at the mall, because this is what America looks like,” he added. “Not one color or one gender.”
The Public Regulation Commission (PRC)’s Tuesday meeting erupted into a heated debate overa national auditors’ report that was sharply critical of the agency’s Division of Insurance. Although the report was released after a public records request, the agency announced that a new, more restrictive PRC-wide policy about employee contact with news reporters is being drafted.
In response to last month’s Glenn Beck-hosted “Restoring Honor” summit, hundreds of thousands plan to descend on Washington for a rally by the Lincoln Memorial next weekend. On Saturday, liberal groups are hosting the “One Nation Working Together” event, making a case for activism for progressive legislation to a middle class that increasingly seems to be withdrawing support from Democratic candidates.
The groups attending include civil rights, gay rights, economic justice, peace and labor activists. The AFL-CIO, National Council of La Raza and dozens of others are busing in participants, and more than 200,000 are set to attend.
“Despite having such evidence of what we can accomplish together, we have seen voter participation rates plummet — from Shelby County, Tennessee to Alameda County, California,” said Ben Jealous, the head of the NAACP. “Simultaneously, far-right extremists have found their way back into the nation’s political discourse and helped re-energize a retrograde agenda that includes attacks on every pillar of our civil rights protections from the Voting Rights Act to the Civil Rights Act to the 14th Amendment itself. Now is the time to get everyone off the sidelines and back on to the battlefield.”
And one of the groups storming that battlefield will be a new, targeted umbrella organization for the 99ers, the American 99ers Union. Just a few weeks old, the union represent 17 groups that in turn represent workers who have exhausted the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits. Its stated goal is supporting fading legislation to help the long-term unemployed, given the high unemployment rate and congressional intransigence and to raise awareness.
Nationally, long-term unemployment remains one of the most prevalent and pressing results of the recession. There are about 6.6 million workers who have been out of a job for more than six months and approximately one million who have exhausted their jobless benefits. Long-term joblessness results in everything from worse health outcomes to increased use of safety-net programs such as disability insurance — and studies show the longer a worker is unemployed, the harder it is for her to find a job.
Gregg Rosen, host of the BlogTalk radio show Unemployment Roundtable, and Michael White of the Unemployed Workers Action Group started the umbrella group. It represents about 40,000 workers, most of whom connect via the Internet. “99ers and 99er groups are banding together,” explains LaDona King, one of the most prominent 99er activists on the Web and a member of the new union. “And they are coming in one by one for strength and for consistency. The idea is that we have a consistent message, not a bunch of stories of woe and terror. And the message is that Americans need legislation to stay afloat. Workers are really hurting.”
The union is intently focused on pressuring legislators to move forward on two bills to give additional weeks of benefits to jobless workers. One bill, by Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), grants 20 more weeks of benefits to workers in states where the unemployment rate is above 10 percent.
“Right now, there are more long-term jobless Americans than we’ve ever had on record, and we can’t just let them all fall off a cliff,” McDermott said, introducing the legislation. “I don’t believe how we can cut and run from helping unemployed workers when there are five of them competing for every available job. You only have to hear from a few unemployed workers to know how hard they are looking for work and to feel their sheer sense of desperation. Are we really prepared to just stand by and watch them sink into abject poverty?”
The second bill — fuller legislation that is therefore the subject of more 99er activism — is Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) Americans Want to Work Act. That legislation the maximum number of weeks to 119 in states with unemployment rates above 7.5 percent, meaning 34 states and the District of Columbia would currently qualify. It also extends a tax credit to companies that hire workers who have been unemployed for more than two months.
The union held its first major push for the bills last week, having members fax in a letter to Congressional offices, urging action on the bill. Sites informed jobless workers how to use free websites to send two faxes a day, some Congressional offices reported hundreds coming in. Additionally, the 99ers union is working to bring workers to the One Nation Working Together rally.
Thus far, there are no clear signs of movement on either piece of legislation, though Stabenow’s office has indicated it will try to get the Senate Finance Committee to move forward on her bill. (It needs committee approval before a floor debate.) Congressional aides say it is highly unlikely for a vote on either bill before the November election — after which, Congress will need to take up an extension of current benefits, meaning Tier V legislation might fall by the wayside.
But the activists remain galvanized by their new coordination. “We’re fired up and we’re not giving up,” King says. Thousands of jobless workers are using the new 99er group to find free or reduce rides to the rally, a chance to press again for the cause, she says.
“If Obama said the word ‘99er’ once, if he recognized this problem, I would put all my energy into campaigning for a Democratic win this November,” she notes.
Embattled Secretary of State Mary Herrera and her Republican challenger Dianna Duran raised almost exactly the same amount in the last quarter, with Duran bringing in $29,070 to Herrera’s $28,681. But while Herrera’s still got $74,465.04 cash on hand, Duran only has…
For most of their history, labor unions opposed attempts at loosening immigration laws and often threw their weight behind restrictionist measures. During the most recent overhaul effort in 2007, a schism among unions cracked an otherwise willing liberal coalition and helped defeat the reform bill. But now, in the wake of Arizona’s strict and highly controversial new immigration law, labor has united to support immigration reform with unprecedented vigor.
Visiting loved ones in the hospital when you don’t happen to be immediate family or legally married is about to become easier. President Barack Obama has mandated that any hospital participating in the Medicare or Medicaid programs allow hospital visitation rights to same-sex…
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry’s proposed budget for next year doesn’t raise any taxes to make up the city’s revenue shortfall, nor does it furlough or lay-off any employees. But it does balance the budget in large part by squeezing wages and salaries. Public employee unions presented alternatives to the city council on Wednesday, claiming that there are other options for balancing the budget that weren’t considered by the administration.
Public school teachers and state workers would pay more toward their retirement while several, but not all, state agencies would get fewer dollars next year under a state budget plan approved by a powerful Senate committee on Thursday.
Also roughly 250 more state jobs across state government would disappear than in a House-approved state budget plan that served as the starting point for the Senate proposal. Many of those targeted state government positions are already vacant, legislative officials said.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned decades-old law this morning that restricted corporate giving by ruling that corporations shouldn’t be constricted by money limits in what they can give to political campaigns, the New York Times reports.
Here’s an excerpt…
New Mexico would eliminate more than 900 jobs and reduce state workers’ salaries by 2 percent to balance the state’s out-of-whack budget, if it followed a budget proposal released Monday by the Legislature’s budget committee.
A District Court Judge ruled this week that an Albuquerque photo studio violated New Mexico’s Human Rights Act in 2006, when the owner refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony—simply because they’re lesbians, the Albuquerque Journal reports.