Sen. Pat Woods appointed to legislative committees

The Legislative Council made up of leaders of both the state Senate and House appointed Sen. Pat Woods as a voting member on three legislative committees.

Woods, a Broadview Republican, was appointed on Thursday to the Economic and Rural Development Committee, the Water and Natural Resources Committee and the Drought Subcommittee.

Woods will serve during the interim, when the legislature is not in session.

Woods serves District 7, which includes Curry, Quay, and Union counties.

Woods said economic development is a front line issue for the state and Eastern New Mexico. He said we need continued growth and stabilization of current businesses as well as attracting new business to the area.

"Woods being appointed to these committees will have a positive impact on our area," said Patrick Vanderpool, executive director-Greater Tucumcari Economic Development.

Vanderpool said he was pleased to learn of the appointments. He said the ERD committee reviews proposed changes and new laws, regulations and policies which impact business in the area.

"It places him in a position to do good for rural communities," Vanderpool said.

Woods said he is proud to be on the water and drought committees, which are key issues in our part of the state.

This is a great appointment for Woods who knows the importance and how valuable water is to the state and especially in our area said Franklin McCasland, manager Arch Hurley Conservancy District.

McCasland said water is vital to area farming and ranching; the members of the irrigation district have not received an allocation of water in five years due to the low levels at Conchas Lake.

The lake serves as the sole source of water for the irrigation district and continued drought and surface evaporation is responsible for decline in the water level.

McCasland said Woods' background gives him an insight and understanding on how water issues are critical to Eastern New Mexico. He said his appointment means there is a strong advocate who will be a friendly voice and supporter for the farmer and rancher.

Woods recently secured $190,000 in capital outlay money for the district, which plans to use the cash for equipment purchases.

McCasland said Woods would serve the committees and residents of eastern New Mexico well.

Woods was also appointed as an advisory member to the Legislative Education Study Committee, Public School Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force and Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee.

Woods said the state has a lot of good teachers and the state needs to do what they can to help them educate children. He said the education of our children is the most important task, one that the state has struggled with for years.

"We are not going to be able to change things over night," Woods said. "We will just have to keep working to make changes for the better."

Woods said it is vital to the children's future and success they receive a good education which better prepares them entering the workforce or attending college after graduation.

During the interim, the committees examine the effectiveness of state government, including the operations of all of its departments and agencies, and how they can be improved to serve the citizens of New Mexico.

The committees also consider proposed legislation for endorsement.

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