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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 sacrifice necessary to close a yawning (and ongoing) budget gap, the public employee labor unions which represent 66,000 New Mexico teachers and public employees filed suit recently to block the Legislature’s cost-saving efforts – at least as far as they impact government workers.
The unions, through their legal actions, are saying “Don’t include us in President Obama’s vision of ‘shared sacrifice.’”
Of course, with the Legislature having cut $450 million and only $80 million of that coming directly from public employees, it would seem that the public employee unions and their members were getting off easy.
We at the Rio Grande Foundation applauded the Legislature’s fiscal restraint in the face of budgetary reality, particularly when so many other states are passing major tax hikes that will only further hobble a future economic recovery.
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