PNS Daily Newscast - February 17, 2020 

44 Americans infected, but not all show signs of coronavirus illness; and many NC counties declare themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries.'

2020Talks - February 17, 2020 

Nevada's experiment with early caucusing is underway until tomorrow. Some candidates plus some Nevada Culinary Workers Union Local 226 members oppose Medicare for All, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defends it, with a study just published making the case for it.

Controversial Spending Bill Includes Big Boost to Schools, Public Lands

March 26, 2007

The tussle over a timetable for the Iraq war and plenty of pork are the issues getting all the attention when it comes to the latest round of spending bills before Congress. But vital funds for schools, public safety and conservation are also at stake. This week, New Mexico's senators will offer an alternative to the Bush administration's plan to fund rural schools by selling off public lands. Mike Anderson with The Wilderness Society says that idea wasn't popular with many people across the West.

"What Congress is doing now, is working on legislation that will provide the funding for the counties and the schools, but not have to sell off these important National Forest lands in order to finance that."

The funding goes to help fund counties with large areas of National Forest and other federal lands that don't produce any property tax revenue. Last year, New Mexico counties received $2.3 million from the program, which expired in January.

In addition to schools, roads, and law enforcement, Anderson adds there would also be funds to help improve and maintain New Mexico's federal lands.

"Several millions of dollars for National Forests to do good stream restoration work, road upgrades and trail work."

Senator Bingaman's office says it plans to add over two billion dollars for the next five years of the program to the spending bill being taken up this week by the Senate. The program is part of the "Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act."

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM