State Legislators to speak at ANVA meeting on Thursday

Bill O'Neill

Sen. Bill O’Neill

The Alameda North Valley Association will hear from our state legislators on Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at the Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center at 9800 4th Street NW.

Senators Bill O’Neill, John Sapien and Representative Sara Maestas Barnes will discuss the 2016 New Mexico legislative session.

In January Sen. Sapien warned the community about the difficult financial situation facing the legislature and his predictions of the problems proved true.

Sen. John Sapien

Sen. John Sapien

The lawmakers will talk about the budget compromises that had to be made and the decisions that lie ahead

in the 2017 legislative session. In 2016 many state departments, the public schools and higher education faced some budget cuts, and agencies will be seeking additional funds to improve operations.

One of the big problems facing the state legislature next year is how to fund Medicaid. When New Mexico decided to accept Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act lawmakers knew it would be very costly. They were counting on oil and gas tax revenues to help pay for extra cost, but those revenues have crashed over the last year.

Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes

Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes

Soon lawmakers will be faced with very difficult choices about whether to increase taxes to pay for health care for New Mexicans who live at poverty levels or whether to limit health care. This will be an opportunity to ask them how the think this big problem should be handled.

There will also be an opportunity for other candidates who are running for office to introduce themselves to people before the primary in June.

In addition to the legislators, there will be an update on activities in Bernalillo County.

There will also be an election of officers. Anyone who is interested in serving on the board of directors for ANVA over the next year should contact Steve Wentworth at




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