Jim Williams

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KUNM Local
2:55 pm
Mon March 8, 2010

Senator Bingaman to lead senate committee discussion on stronger appliance efficiency requirements

Albuquerque, NM – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Bingaman chairs, will hear proposals to strengthen requirements for furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and streetlights.

Bingaman is a co-sponsor of the legislation. He says there are currently such standards in place for 33 other consumer products.

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KUNM Local
6:16 pm
Fri March 5, 2010

Consumer group issues warning for NM on health care

Albuquerque, NM – Washington, D.C.-based Families USA released a report Friday for all fifty states. It estimates fatalities over the past fifteen years and projects deaths through the year 2019.

The report indicates 3,000 people have died in New Mexico since 1995 due to a lack of health insurance.

The number nationwide was 292,000. Families USA President Ron Pollack says the organization has been using the information to put pressure on Congress.

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KUNM Local
6:14 pm
Thu March 4, 2010

State Democratic lawmakers want to explain tax increases to voters; Republicans look to November

Santa Fe, NM – State lawmakers have adjourned after a special session to fill a 600 million dollar budget hole for the coming fiscal year. Much of the budget fix was done by raising taxes. As KUNM's Jim Williams reports from our capitol newsroom, that's left more than one Democrat uneasy in an election year, and ready to talk about income taxes for the wealthy.

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KUNM Local
6:07 pm
Wed March 3, 2010

State lawmakers reflect on tax package; Republicans continue to feel shut out of the process

Santa Fe, NM – As lawmakers prepared to debate the appropriations bill Wednesday, state Senators were reflecting on the tax increase package that passed that chamber Tuesday night. KUNM's Jim Williams has more from our capitol newsroom.

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KUNM Local
6:02 pm
Tue March 2, 2010

Senator blasts Republican filibuster of federal funds

Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico U.S. Senator Tom Udall is blasting a Republican filibuster of federal funds for highway projects and unemployment payments, say the delay is impacting projects in New Mexico. KUNM's Jim Williams reports.

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KUNM Local
5:51 pm
Mon March 1, 2010

State lawmakers begin special session with sense of agreement versus a feeling of exclusion

Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico lawmakers are back in Santa Fe today for a special session to deal with the state budget after they were unable to find consensus in the regular session that ended nearly two weeks ago.

As KUNM's Jim Williams reports from our capitol newsroom, negotiations have gotten legislators closer to agreement, but some say they were shut out of that process.

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KUNM Local
3:56 pm
Fri February 26, 2010

New Mexico Has a Unique Approach to Mental Health Services, but Funding May be at Risk

Albuquerque, NM – The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Psychiatry Department hosted a panel discussion on mental health policy last night on the UNM campus. At issue, among other things, was how the state addresses mental health services and funds them.

KUNM's Jim Williams spoke with one of the organizers about the focus of the event.

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KUNM Local
3:54 pm
Wed February 24, 2010

Tobacco Tax Proponents: Tax Could Help Avoid Education Cuts; Prevent Teen Smoking

Santa Fe, NM – High school students from around New Mexico were at the Roundhouse Wednesday to add their voices to the support for increasing the state's cigarette tax.

As KUNM's Jim Williams reports from our capitol newsroom, the message was two-fold: stop cuts to education while at the same time discouraging kids from smoking

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KUNM Local
3:51 pm
Mon February 22, 2010

Winter Weather Moving into State Again

Albuquerque, NM – Another wet winter storm is moving into New Mexico, and the National Weather Service says this one could be even more potent than some of our recent ones. KUNM's Jim Williams reports.

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KUNM Local
3:49 pm
Mon February 22, 2010

Is There a Surge of Support in the Senate for a Public Option?

Albuquerque, NM – President Obama outlined his proposal Monday morning to move along the health care overhaul debate that seemingly has Congress stalled. KUNM's Jim Williams visited with both New Mexico U.S. Senators about it, and about what appears to be a surge in support for bypassing the filibuster to pass a "public option".

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KUNM Local
3:24 pm
Thu February 18, 2010

State lawmakers Fail to Pass Budget; Gov. Richardson Wants Them Back Next Week

Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe's not done with state lawmakers this year. Though the regular 30-day session wrapped up Thursday at noon, unfinished budget business will bring them back next week.

Governor Bill Richardson has called a special session beginning Wednesday for legislators to find some kind of compromise to shore up the state's $500 million shortfall.

From our capitol newsroom, KUNM's Jim Williams reports.

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KUNM Local
2:55 pm
Tue February 16, 2010

House Passes Ban on Lobbyist and Contractor Political Contributions

Albuquerque, NM – The state House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to prohibit political contributions by lobbyists and state contractors. KUNM's Jim Williams reports.

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KUNM Local
4:17 pm
Thu February 11, 2010

Just How Open Will a State Ethics Commission Actually Be?

Santa Fe, NM – New Mexico remains one of just ten states without an ethics commission, but that may change soon.

While the idea has failed in the state Senate the past several years, lawmakers this week are looking at several options for forming such a commission, and this year there seems to be some force behind the idea.

Still, as KUNM's Jim Williams reports from our capitol newsroom, open government advocates aren't exactly thrilled with the proposals.

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KUNM Local
4:01 pm
Wed February 10, 2010

State Senate Passes Measure that Would Prohibit Use of Gender in Health Insurance Rate Setting

Santa Fe, NM – Should insurance companies be allowed to charge women higher health coverage rates than men in New Mexico?

That question led to an interesting debate in the state Senate Wednesday.

From our capitol newsroom, KUNM's Jim Williams reports.

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KUNM Local
2:58 pm
Tue February 9, 2010

NM Senator Bingaman says President's Planned Health Care Summit May Not Hold Much Promise

Albuquerque, NM – Over the weekend, President Obama announced he would hold a televised health care summit with members of Congress later this month. Obama said he hopes it gets Republicans to "put their ideas on the table."

For the most part, Republicans have been steadfastly opposed to the president's and congressional democrat's ideas for health care overhaul.

KUNM's Jim Williams spoke with New Mexico's Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman about the president's proposal.

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KUNM Local
5:48 pm
Mon February 8, 2010

State Senate Votes to Override Contract Openness Veto

Santa Fe, NM – The state Senate has overridden one of Governor Bill Richardson's 2009 vetoes.

In last year's legislative session, both House and Senate unanimously passed a measure that would require state agencies to disclose to each other and the legislature information about certain contracts.

Richardson pocket vetoed the measure. From our capitol studio, KUNM's Jim Williams reports.

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KUNM Local
4:52 pm
Mon February 8, 2010

UNM President Wants Advice on How to "Streamline" University

Albuquerque, NM – University of New Mexico President David Schmidly has announced he's putting together a "President's Strategic Advisory Team" to look at ways to streamline UNM's structures and activities.

KUNM's Jim Williams spoke with him Monday afternoon.

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KUNM Local
3:50 pm
Mon January 25, 2010

State Senate May Hold Cards in Budget Negotiations

Santa Fe, NM – On the sixth day of the 30-day budget legislative session in Santa Fe, discussions of what to do about an estimated $500 million state budget deficit are taking place all over the Roundhouse.

The major options can be boiled down to basically two categories: increases in income and sales taxes, and cuts to education, Medicaid, and state government departments and programs.

As KUNM's Jim Williams reports from our capitol newsroom though, it's the state Senate that likely holds the cards in this debate.

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KUNM Local
5:32 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

Governor Richardson Delivers State of the State Address

Santa Fe, NM – Governor Bill Richardson this afternoon laid out his agenda for the 30-day legislative session that began today in Santa Fe.

In his state of the state speech, Richardson said he wants lawmakers to fix a $500 million budget shortfall essentially by using a scalpel, not an axe.

And as KUNM's Jim Williams reports from our capitol newsroom, some legislators are skeptical they'll reach agreement on how to do it.

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KUNM Local
2:59 pm
Fri January 8, 2010

Craig Barnes Talks About His New Book "Democracy at the Crossroads"

Santa Fe, NM – Is this a critical point in time for the U.S. and its political systems?

Santa Fe writer and KUNM Commentator Craig Barnes thinks so.

KUNM's Jim Williams sat down with him in our Santa Fe newsroom, and had Barnes begin by reading from his new book, "Democracy at the Crossroads."

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