Resetting state government

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By Harold Morgan

The election is pretty much done as I write the weekend before the final day of voting. But not knowing the identity of our new governor doesn’t matter for the immediate purpose.
The campaign ended with neither Susana Martinez nor Diane Denish having provided detailed, substantive ideas for solutions to the state government’s revenue/spending saga.
As the campaign ended, we got news that New Mexico is still in recession, meaning we’re still losing jobs. Employment did increase in September from August, a single item of good news, but not enough to overturn the recession classification.
The Legislative Finance Committee unveiled the newest excess spending number — $800 million. The number means, maybe, that if current Medicaid benefits and current spending levels continue, the state will be $800 million in the hole through June 30, 2012, as compared to forecast revenue. The deficit might be much less, I’m told. The amount is uncertain.
Gov. Bill Richardson leaves us an uncertain mess – quite a legacy.
The future gubernatorial policy slate is fairly clean, more so for Martinez who has said less about actually running state government than Denish.
What to do? For sure, cut spending. What to cut?

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