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State budget ripple effect

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Don’t reduce government size carelessly

By Merilee Dannemann

We complain that they aren’t competent. But now we have reason to worry that there aren’t enough of them.
Government employees, that is — specifically, the front-line regulators who are charged with keeping us safe and keeping our institutions honest. This is an effect of the looming cuts in the state budget.
Construction inspectors are in short supply, a construction industry executive told me.
Budget shortfalls have led several New Mexico municipalities to let go of their own inspectors because they can turn over inspection duties to the state.
At the same time, the state has fewer inspectors. Since construction projects require inspections at several points during the course of a project, if inspection is delayed, the project has to stop and wait. Small contractors shut down, and workers go home with no paycheck. In an industry hard hit by economic factors, this makes things worse.


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