NATIONAL NEWS

New Mexico native will oversee the state’s $49B savings portfolio amid windfall from petroleum

Dec 27, 2023, 2:16 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state cabinet secretary and former economist to the Legislature was selected Wednesday to oversee New Mexico’s $49 billion nest egg of savings and trust accounts at the State Investment Council.

As state investment officer, Albuquerque native John Clark will oversee financial assets including the New Mexico land grant permanent fund — built largely from petroleum production on state trust lands since the 1970s to benefit schools, hospitals and other public institutions.

The 11-member investment council — a board of elected and appointed officials with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham serving as chair — conducted a nationwide search that generated more than 80 applications.

Clark in 2019 joined the Economic Development Department and rose this year to acting cabinet secretary at an agency that administers annual incentives worth hundreds of millions of dollars aimed at creating private employment opportunities, from job-training grants to film production “rebates” that can offset nearly one-third of local spending.

Prior to that, he worked as an analyst and chief economist to the budget and accountability office of the Legislature.

Steve Moises retired on Oct. 1 after a 13-year stint as state investment officer. Clark starts work at an annual salary of $285,000.

Management of New Mexico’s state investments has taken on increasing significance amid an unprecedented surge in state government income from oil and natural gas production in the Permian Basin that overlaps southeastern New Mexico and portions of western Texas.

Voters last year approved an increase in annual distributions from the land grant fund to public schools and early childhood education programs. At the same time, state lawmakers have been setting aside billions of dollars in surplus state income each year in a variety of trust accounts for the future, in case the world’s thirst for oil falters.

The State Investment Council oversees New Mexico’s early childhood education trust, created in 2020 to generate investment earnings and underwrite an ambitious expansion of public preschool, no-cost child care and home nurse visits for infants. The fund already holds roughly $6 billion.

National News

Associated Press

After rare flash flood emergency, Florida prepares for more heavy rainfall in coming days

A tropical disturbance has brought a rare flash flood emergency to much of southern Florida as residents prepared to weather more heavy rainfall on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday’s downpours and subsequent flooding blocked roads, floated vehicles and delayed the Florida Panthers on their way to Stanley Cup games in Canada against the Edmonton Oilers. The […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Arizona man sold firearms to undercover FBI agent for mass shooting, indictment says

PHOENIX (AP) — A firearms dealer in Arizona sold weapons to an undercover federal agent he believed would help him carry out his plan for a mass shooting targeting minorities, an attack that he hoped would “incite a race war,” according to a federal grand jury indictment. Mark Adams Prieto was indicted Tuesday by the […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon governor who confessed to sex with a minor in the 1970s, has died

Neil Goldschmidt, a former Oregon governor whose confession that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s blackened what had been a nearly sterling reputation, has died. He was 83. Goldschmidt died at his Portland home on Wednesday, The Oregonian reported, according to family members. The newspaper said the reported cause was heart […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged with robbing a California bank was released from prison a day earlier, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man charged with taking three people hostage while robbing a Southern California bank last month had been released from prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The 53-year-old was indicted on robbery charges after investigators said he claimed to have a gun, jumped over the teller counter and […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

South Carolina man pleads guilty in federal court to fatally shooting Virginia police officer

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A South Carolina man pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday in the shooting death of a police officer in southwest Virginia in 2021. Michael Donivan White, 36, of Cross, South Carolina, had already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in state court. The federal counts include drug charges and causing the […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Democrats in Congress say federal mediators should let airline workers strike when it’s ‘necessary’

A group of 32 senators say federal mediators should speed up labor negotiations between airlines and their flight attendants and other workers, even granting them permission to go on strike “as necessary.” The lawmakers said Wednesday that airlines feel no pressure to reach contract agreements quickly because federal law makes it difficult for airline workers […]

10 hours ago

New Mexico native will oversee the state’s $49B savings portfolio amid windfall from petroleum