Jim & Donna Crawford: Two More Bills To Oppose

This one from Jim:

Here is a new and improved version of my comments to the Senate Judiciary Committee for their hearing on 2-25.
Later Jim

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Oppose SJR 3 Land Grant Fund Balance & Distribution CA
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2013 10:26:33 -0700
From: James Crawford <jamesr.crawford61@gmail.com>
To: Richard Martinez <richard.martinez@nmlegis.gov>, Joseph Cervantes <Joseph@cervanteslawnm.com>, Ron Griggs <ron.griggs@nmlegis.gov>, Linda Lopez <linda.lopez@nmlegis.gov>, Cisco McSorley <cisco.mcsorley@nmlegis.gov>, William Payne <william.payne@nmlegis.gov>, John Ryan <john.ryan@nmlegis.gov>, Michael Sanchez <senatormichaelsanchez@gmail.com>, Lisa Torraco <lisa.torraco@nmlegis.gov>, Peter Wirth <peter.wirth@nmlegis.gov>
CC: Clemente Sanchez <clemente.sanchez@nmlegis.gov>

I oppose SJR3 Land Grant Fund Balance and Distribution.  This bill is the annual attempt to make additional raids on the permanent funds for one social welfare purpose or another.  In this iteration of the permanent fund raid, an annual 1%  distribution from the land grant permanent fund will be dedicated to “education” services from birth to kindergarten age.  In other words it is designed to provide baby sitting service until a child is old enough for kindergarten.  This is one more bill in this legislature to provide state control of children from the womb to the first grade.  The permanent funds were created for certain specific purposes and should be restricted to those purposes.  Tax and spend legislators always view the funds as slush funds to endow pet projects that have no way of making it through the regular appropriation process.  As stated in the Fiscal Impact Report, continued raids like this will result in eventual depletion of the permanent fund.

Large scale universal baby sitting services such as proposed here are insanely expensive and have little or no affect on the child’s learning ability.  This is borne out by the experience in Georgia and Oklahoma which have universal womb to first grade programs.  More than a decade after offering universal preschool, neither Oklahoma nor Georgia has shown significant progress in academic improvement.  In fact Oklahoma’s 4th grade reading proficiency has declined since starting universal preschool.  Many if not all of any perceived gains early in the programs have all dissipated by the time a child reaches first grade.

Besides being costly (almost $200 million per year in NM) and ineffective, universal preschool programs have other disadvantages.  It will provide an unneeded subsidy for middle and high income folks.  It will tend to crowd out private preschool companies which now provide most preschool opportunities in favor of state run schools.

The biggest and longest running preschool program is Head Start.  Head Start has been around for more than 50 years and has no proven long term results.   In fact any results attributed to Head Start have dissipated by the time children reach the 3rd grade.  The best that Head Start can do is provide a few hours of warmth, safety, and nurturing that may not be found at home (i.e. baby sitting) but will not do anything for educational ability.

As yet, no one knows how to provide an effective and successful early childhood development program.  Throwing more money at it is sure not the answer since it has not worked anywhere so far.

This permanent fund raid needs to be defeated one more time.

Thank you
James Crawford
19 Lucero Road
Los Lunas, NM 87031

References:
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/05/does-universal-preschool-improve-learning-lessons-from-georgia-and-oklahoma

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/Early-childhood-education-overrated-192321421.html

This one from Donna

Here are the comments Donna submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for their hearing on this bill 2-25.
Later Jim

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: OPPOSE SB 477 Utility Right-of-Way Access Fees
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2013 11:34:31 -0700
From: Donna Crawford <donnalee.crawford69@gmail.com>
To: Richard Martinez <richard.martinez@nmlegis.gov>, Joseph Cervantes <Joseph@cervanteslawnm.com>, William Payne <william.payne@nmlegis.gov>, Ron Griggs <ron.griggs@nmlegis.gov>, Linda Lopez <linda.lopez@nmlegis.gov>, Cisco McSorley <cisco.mcsorley@nmlegis.gov>, John Ryan <john.ryan@nmlegis.gov>, Michael Sanchez <senatormichaelsanchez@gmail.com>, Lisa Torraco <lisa.torraco@nmlegis.gov>, Peter Wirth <peter.wirth@nmlegis.gov>
CC: Don Tripp <trippsdon@netscape.net>, Alonzo Baldonado <zobaldonado@gmail.com>, Kelly Fajardo <kelly.fajardo@nmlegis.gov>, Clemente Sanchez <clemente.sanchez@nmlegis.gov>

OPPOSE SB 477 Utility Right-of-Way Access Fees

I am trying my best to calm the outrage I feel about some of the legislation coming out of this legislature.  You are citizen legislators; what are you thinking?!  Your mind-set seems to be fees, tax credits, taxes, and spending.  No matter what representative or senate district you are from, you still represent ALL of the citizens of this state, and you work for us, not the other way around.  My point being that I can’t imagine citizens of this state wanting their utility rates to be raised, which is what SB 477 is about.

The Fiscal Impact Report of SB 477 says that counties and municipalities can now charge all public utilities up to 4% of a utility’s gross revenue (in the county or town) to be collected as a “Right-of-Way fee”.  Nothing in the bill prohibits a county AND municipality from collecting the same fees.  The possibility exists for a lot of money to be collected from utilities.  Once the word gets out to the counties, every county in the state will jump on this, thus raising everyone’s utility rates.  Who do you think the utilities are going to bill for their increased fees that they have to pay?  Rate-payers, that’s who.

Let’s examine just the short list of what expenses are already coming up for rate-payers:  1) our state, PNM, and the EPA recently reached an agreement on “Regional Haze”, calling for closing of two units at San Juan Generating Station, equipping the others with selective non-catalytic reduction, constructing a gas plant and other “replacement power”.  2) In 2007, the NM Legislature mandated into law the Renewable Portfolio Standard which by 2020 (only 7 years from now) is going to cost rate-payers $2.3 Billion dollars.   3) Under the Renewable Portfolio Standard, electric utilities are required to build wind and solar facilities which are the most expensive source of electricity.  To ensure continuity of power, “back-up” coal or gas-fired power plants have to be built at the expense of rate-payers.  4) New transmission lines for wind and solar are paid for by rate-payers and now this bill wants rate-payers to kick in for the “right-of-way” fees for the transmission lines.  5) The energy edicts coming out of the White House are no doubt going to make “electricity rates skyrocket” even more in the next four years; TBA.

And yet, you as legislators have the audacity to suggest even more rate increases?  One has to believe that the authors and sponsors of these kinds of bills really don’t want citizens to be able to afford electricity in their homes and businesses.  But that’s the “green energy” mentality.

Kill this bill, please.

Donna L. Crawford

19 Lucero Rd.

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