Categories
Education

Target Higher Ed Inefficiency

It is no secret that, despite significant tax hikes passed during this year’s special legislative session, New Mexico’s budget picture remains bleak. The good news is that through greater efficiency and modest spending cuts, policy-makers can avoid further tax hikes. One area that must be in focus is higher education, an area the Rio Grande […]

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Tax and Budget

Voter Discontent Building in NM

After 30 days in Santa Fe, the one thing the Legislature was charged with doing — passing a balanced budget — was left undone. It wasn’t entirely their fault. Gov. Bill Richardson hit them with a long list of non-budget proposals — everything from gay marriage to embryonic stem cell research. They became distracted and […]

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Tax and Budget

Fixing New Mexico’s $25.8 Billion Unfunded Retiree System

Additionally, New Mexico’s state government, in FY 2008, was required to pay $948 million in contributions to the state’s pension and OPEB system-based on the lower, official unfunded liability estimate of $4.6 billion. Yet, the political will to meet even the very minimum obligation has been waning with the state’s FY 2008 contribution of only […]

Categories
Tax and Budget Taxes

Are Temporary, Regressive Tax Hikes The Best We Can Do?

Gov. Bill Richardson seems adamant in asserting that whatever tax hikes he pushes through during the 2010 legislative session will be “temporary.” This promise from a lame-duck governor is ridiculous on its face and is an impossible promise for him to keep. Since this is his final legislative session in office, he won’t even be […]

Categories
Education

Smaller Schools Make Fiscal, Education Sense

The 2010 legislative session is right around the corner and, while solving New Mexico’s difficult budget problems — hopefully without raising taxes — will likely be the Legislature’s primary task, reforming K-12 education demands attention as well. First and foremost, those who have supported higher taxes for education will need to understand that the economy […]

Categories
Tax and Budget Taxes

Don’t Raise Taxes, Cut Spending Bloat

Having stood firm against tax hikes during the October special legislative session, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson seems to have switched directions and is now pushing to raising New Mexicans’ taxes to fill in the massive budget deficits the state now faces. His tax hike commission is now holding a series of meetings to decide […]

Categories
Economy Tax and Budget

Public Workers Should Feel Economic Pain

During the 2009 legislative session, New Mexico policymakers faced some of the most challenging budgetary times in recent memory. That fact led to reductions of approximately $450 million to the General Fund from about $6 billion to just over $5.5 billion. Unfortunately, despite the seemingly obvious need for public sector workers to share in the […]

Categories
Economy

Get SIC Out of Job Creation, Back to Investment Basics

It is no secret that the State Investment Council is in serious need of greater reform and oversight. Whether the issue is the widely reported millions in fees investment companies paid to third-party marketer Marc Correra or the lack of transparency in the SIC’s decision-making process, the question is not whether the council needs to […]

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Tax and Budget

Take Ads Off Taxpayers’ Dime

Now that the dust has settled in the wake of the 2008 election, New Mexico’s political leaders will have some needed time to rest and regroup for the upcoming 60-day legislative session, which begins in January. Allegations of voter fraud took a back seat to the Obama-led landslide, but that does not mean that there […]

Categories
Health Care

Governor’s Overhaul Can’t Cure Health Care’s Ills

After failing to gain either legislative or popular support for his ambitious, universal health care plan which would have relied heavily on government mandates, Gov. Bill Richardson has introduced a scaled-back proposal that will be considered in the upcoming special session. The governor’s bills which were unveiled recently would: Require all children through the age […]