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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Working together a worthy goal

Posted

At the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce’s annual Las Cruces Day in Santa Fe last week, several entities presented their wants and needs to state legislators and administrators.

More than 125 Las Crucens also made the trip, learning more about the community in the bargain.

Tracey Bryan of the Bridge of Southern New Mexico summed it up well: “We’re all here, as one community, trying to improve the overall quality of life in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County.”

Those entities included the City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, Spaceport America, the Greater Chamber, the Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, New Mexico State University, Doña Ana Community College, the Bridge of Southern New Mexico and Las Cruces Public Schools.

Sometimes the interests of those entities don’t always coincide. Sometimes they even contradict.

This time of year, however, they get together – literally on the same pages – as the Doña Ana County Legislative Coalition (DACLC). They find common ground and work together to promote the issues and needs of our region.

When I say on the same pages, I mean in a nice booklet which details key legislative priorities for each entity.

During the even-year, 30-day sessions, the legislature’s primary focus is on the budget. But there are plenty of opportunities for additional bills, and the important laying of groundwork of topics and issues for future sessions.

Most of the DACLC’s priorities for this year are related to infrastructure. The priorities include the following.

CITY OF LAS CRUCES

  • Supporting the elimination of taxes on Social Security benefits
  • Skate parks, East Mesa Recreational Complex road, East Mesa roads and drainage, septic-system replacement at Hacienda Acres phase III
  • Transit facility construction, mental health facility
  • Taxi lane design and construction at Las Cruces International Airport

DOÑA ANA COUNTY

  • Hatch flood control dam
  • East Mesa flood control channel (Dragonfly Channel)
  • South Central Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Industrial road overpass at the Union Pacific Railroad in Santa Teresa

MESILLA VALLEY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE

  • Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) budget stabilization
  • Expansion of Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funding

SPACEPORT AMERICA

  • Information technology upgrades and facility
  • Visitor access control and welcome center
  • Spaceway Taxiway Phase One
  • Payload processing, vehicle assembly and preparation facilities

NMSU

  • Agriculture modernization and educational facilities, phase 2
  • Milton Hall Data Center infrastructure upgrades
  • Creative Campus Media Building for Doña Ana Community College

THE BRIDGE

  • Dual-credit funding for higher education institutions

LAS CRUCES PUBLIC SCHOOLS

  • Fully funding student transportation
  • Funding for Technology for Education Act and restore funding for Educational Technology Fund
  • Funding high-quality pre-K programs

Lt. Gov. Howie Morales addressed the attendees at breakfast Monday, Jan. 27, and his words echoed the weekend’s theme.

“We’re all in this together,” Morales said. “We won’t always agree, but we must work together.”

A legislative session, as it gets going, has a way of bringing out disagreements both wild and mild.

And partisan politics, especially in today’s world, has a way of getting in the way of progress and compromise.

But we can hope the logic of moving New Mexico forward, in a fiscally responsible way, can be a path all want to discover.

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