Clovis hosts Legislative Finance Committee meeting

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

With the Legislative Finance Committee meeting in Clovis this week, local officials hope that updates on the local uses of government appropriations will encourage the Legislature to earmark more money for the area.

The Clovis Civic Center will host the three-day meeting, which begins with an 8:30 a.m. Wednesday welcome from Mayor Gayla Brumfield and Curry County Financial Director Mark Lansford. Eastern New Mexico University is scheduled to give a presentation during the meeting.

The committee, first established as the Legislature’s fiscal and management arm in 1957, makes budgetary recommendations to the Legislature for funding state government, higher education and public schools, according to the Legislature Web site. The committee also prepares legislation addressing financial and management issues of state government.

State Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, said having an interim committee in one’s community is always a helpful for future legislative sessions so committee members from other areas in the state have firsthand knowledge of a place’s needs and successes.

“It’s a chance to showcase, also,” said Harden. “It’s an opportunity to say the money you give us works.”

In the case of the LFC, Harden said, committee presence is key because the LFC carries a lot of weight in finance-related decisions.

ENMU President Steven Gamble plans to share the university’s strengths, weakness and more with the committee.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to tell our story to the decision-makers and the Legislature,” Gamble said.

The better informed the members are about the university, he said, the better decisions they can make.