Lujan office hours limited to local locations

Few residents attended the office hours held by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan Jr., whose spokesman said future sessions will be limited to local locations due to recent federal cuts.

"The cuts have eliminated all of our travel budget," said Ron Wilmont, who represents Lujan.

Wilmont said the travel restrictions will keep him mostly stationed at the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce. He said other congressional representatives have been affected in this way.

"It hurts our ability to get out into the district to hear the concerns of the constituents," Wilmont said.

Wilmont said It is important for residents needing assistance to attend the office hours when they are held. He said not being able to travel to different parts of district will limit opportunities for residents who may have to seek assistance or voice their concerns.

During the two hour session Friday at the Tucumcari Senior Center, Wilmont answered questions raised by two residents about Social Security, disability or Veteran's benefits.

Wilmont said much of the assistance requested through the office hours is for Social Security Applications.

Tucumcari residents Erlinda Blea said she had been curious where she needed to go to apply for Social Security benefits.

Wilmont assisted Blea in filling out the forms to start the process and told her to visit the office later next week to complete the application.

Wilmont said one of the main purposes of the office is to provide a place for residents to go to have questions answered and assist them with the application process.

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