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NM eases through financial crisis

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Plenty of budgetary challenges still loom for state

By Harold Morgon

State government has gotten through its financial crisis reasonably intact. Revenue is showing some growth. There may be a little money left after the 2013 session of the Legislature. Huge challenges loom.
This was the overall message from David Abbey, director of the Legislative Finance Committee, to the conference of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute. Abbey spoke in Santa Fe May 12 to about 75 of the state’s tax and policy professionals
The general fund picture for the next budget year, fiscal 2012 that begins July 1, Abbey said, is that “we eased out of this difficult period” that began with a $700 million gap between FY 09 appropriations and recurring revenue. The gap went to almost $1 billion for FY 10, the budget year that ended June 30, 2010. The gaps were plugged with federal stimulus money, other state funds and solvency measures that included tax increases and spending cuts. The federal stimulus money went almost entirely for public education and Medicaid.
“We cut 2,500 jobs over two years, probably without a major impact on provision of goods and services,” Abbey said.


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