By Claus Whiteacre
Legislative members convened in the House chambers today to listen to an address by U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman.
Notably absent were some Republican senators, who remained in the Senate chamber and held an impromptu mini-caucus as Sen. Bingaman spoke.
In his address to state legislators, New Mexico’s senior senator spoke of the similarities between the challenges facing the New Mexico legislature and Congress in Washington D.C.
“New Mexico relies on both government and the private sector to create jobs.” said Bingaman.
Bingaman went on to list a large number of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects and the associated federal funds that have flowed into the state over the last couple of years.
While that funding will no longer be available, Bingaman assured the audience that New Mexico will continue to receive large amounts of
federal dollars, including money for the national laboratories to use to modernize the nuclear arsenal and comply with the new START treat and funds for the Airforce Advanced Research Lab to develop “plug and deploy” miniature satellites.
The challenge will be to make sure that the work on energy research continues at the labs and does not get overshadowed by the lab’s new responsibilities, he said.
While most states are looking at losing military funding in the coming years, Bingaman said that New Mexico should see a steady and