Constitution and Criminal Justice Economy Local Government Notable News Top Issues Uncategorized Videos

Rio Grande Foundation in the news on paid sick leave AND public health order enforcement

In case you missed it, Albuquerque’s City Council recently punted on TWO big issues. RGF discussed both issues with KOB TV channel 4. You can watch the discussion relating to fines and even jail time for disobeying the public health order below.

And, RGF and the local business community has engaged in a the issue of mandatory paid sick leave. The Council (again) pushed the final vote to at least February 1, 2021.

Economy Notable News Open Government Tax and Budget Top Issues Videos

RGF’s Paul Gessing discusses State contact tracing contract w/ company being sued in Texas

The Lujan Grisham Administration has contracted with a company that has been involved in a lawsuit for not fulfilling its end of a contract with the State of Texas. Click on the story below to watch:

Constitution and Criminal Justice Economy Local Government Notable News Top Issues Videos

RGF president Paul Gessing discusses Albuquerque Police on KOB Channel 4

The Rio Grande Foundation is avowedly NOT an expert on the nitty-gritty of policing, BUT when asked about the general role of what a new police chief for New Mexico’s largest city should do, we definitely have a perspective. We shared that with KOB TV Channel 4.

1) Police MUST protect property including businesses downtown AND statues. Waiting and simply watching vandals destroy businesses and public property is a bad strategy and it undermines the very role of policing. This includes doing more to move homeless encampments out of parks and other public areas.

2) Politicization of policing is a problem. The Mayor should set goals and standards and let the professionals work to achieve them.

3) “Defunding” the police is simply not going to happen, nor should it. Reforms must be considered to both encourage proactive law enforcement AND respect for individual rights, but even substantial budget cuts are likely NOT helpful in high-crime Albuquerque.

You can watch what we have to say below:

Economy Notable News Open Government Top Issues Uncategorized Videos

Brief RGF explainer video shows how much of NM has been minimally-impacted by COVID 19

We at the Rio Grande Foundation have found the New York Times’ website tracking COVID 19 to be very useful in better understanding the important data surrounding the Virus and the State of New Mexico’s response to it.

Watch this short, 3 minute video and you too will better understand the situation.

Local Government Notable News Tax and Budget Top Issues Videos

Albuquerque to pay nearly $100,000 for “social distance” fireworks displays

The Rio Grande Foundation always is on the lookout for unnecessary government spending. With this Independence Day “on lockdown” the City of Albuquerque chose to spend nearly $100,000 to put on four fireworks displays instead of the usual one at Balloon Fiesta Park (which actually cost the City zero).

This fact was not discussed in the recent KOAT Channel 7 story in which briefly shared my thoughts on the issue. In reality, the City could have modified  their one fireworks display to embrace reasonable social distancing guidelines (just as it seems could have been done with Balloon Fiesta. Instead, in a time of budget issues the City is spending nearly $100,000 for four displays throughout the City in order to keep  people at home.

Anyone who knows that he’s not a huge fan of fireworks. Hanging out in a car and watching the big City display from a nearby park is his preferred approach. It is strange and unfortunate that the City couldn’t come up with an innovative approach that brought Albuquerque residents together (safely) rather than keeping them apart.

Economy Notable News Tax and Budget Top Issues Videos

Tracking and comparing federal COVID 19 spending in New Mexico

KOAT TV Channel 7 and the Rio Grande Foundation are both tracking COVID 19 spending in New Mexico. You can find an interactive chart for New Mexico and other states here.

Notably, New Mexico’s COVID 19 spending is concentrated in areas of the State that have had serious impacts from the Virus. Also, New Mexico has received MUCH more money from the Feds than other states including those of similar populations (like Nebraska).

Click here to watch the story.

Economy Legislature Notable News Taxes Top Issues Videos

RGF president Paul Gessing discusses NM’s Unemployment Insurance System on KOAT Channel 7

Due to the shutdown of New Mexico’s economy during the COVID19 outbreak New Mexico businesses have had to furlough or let go large numbers of their workers. This is going to potentially have seriousrepurcussions for the State’s unemployment insurance fund and the payments those businesses must make to that fund.

This article by Carol Wight of the New Mexico Restaurant Association addressed the issue from the 2008-2009 economic crisis. Unfortunately, if the political leadership of New Mexico is not prudent, businesses could be deeply impacted, even if they are able to recover from the shutdown.

You can watch the story here:

Economy Notable News Tax and Budget Taxes Top Issues Videos

RGF’s Gessing presents webinar on NM economy/virus to Los Alamos GOP

With so many in person events on hold these days organizations, especially political ones, are working overtime to figure out ways to keep momentum and activism going without meeting in person.

The Los Alamos GOP recently invited RGF president Paul Gessing to present information on New Mexico’s economy and the prospective recovery from the Virus shutdown and oil/gas price decline. You can watch the webinar below. Or, if your group would like to host a similar discussion, contact the Rio Grande Foundation at: or 505-264-6090. We can even “host” through our Zoom account!

Economy Taxes Top Issues Videos

KOB 4 Interviews RGF president Gessing on Taxation of Grocery Delivery

The Rio Grande Foundation recently called attention to some quirks in New Mexico’s gross receipts tax law with regard to grocery taxation. This drew the attention of KOB TV reporter Patrick Hayes.

Hayes not only put together the story below but in his work he confirmed that the Lujan Grisham Administration very recently applied to the federal government for a waiver that would make delivered groceries non-taxable.

Whether you think groceries should be taxed or not, the tax should be applied fairly and simply. With more New Mexicans than ever getting groceries delivered, we wanted to make sure people are not caught off guard.

Economy Local Government Notable News Tax and Budget Taxes Top Issues Videos

RGF’s Paul Gessing (and Sen. Finance Committee Chair John Arthur Smith) on NM’s budget and should tax hikes be on the table?

KOB TV’s Patrick Hayes talked to RGF and Sen. Finance Committee Chair John Arthur Smith about budget challenges facing our State. Smith says we are facing a shortfall of up to $1.5 billion.

Thankfully, it seems like Smith agrees with us that tax hikes are not the answer.