Friday, November 12, 2010

Rainy Day

El Nino may keep the rain and snow away from New Mexico for the next year, but it is easy to see the Land of Enchantment is still having a rainy day.  The new budget deficit numbers coming out of Santa Fe are truly scary.  It is something I haven't witnessed since I started work in state government in the mid 70's.  Now we have to deal with it and I think there is a way.

Firing thousands of state employees at this point would only make things worse for ourselves.  It seems Governor elect Martinez understands that.  But it is not like the state is completely broke.  We have the Permanent Fund and the Severance Tax Permanent fund sitting in place with billions of dollars.  While I would oppose raiding the Permanent Fund because of its value to education, I could certainly see some value on issuing bonds against the severance tax permanent fund to keep state government on an even keel.  That fund should have over $4 billion in it. Strangely, you cant find that number easily on state websites so this is an educated guess.   If it were ever considered to be a rainy day fund, then that day has arrived.  I believe the legislature could do this without much trouble.  Some constitutional lawyer might think otherwise, but I know that Senator Michael Sanchez has some idea that this could work.

1 comment:

Bubba Muntzer said...

When the Republicans take over I tend to lose interest in government for awhile because it's too depressing. It won't really get interesting for me again until they do something illegal or unethical or really stupid. They always do, and then it gets interesting again.

Meanwhile, could you take some more pictures of bridges over the Rio Grande?