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State finances seem all right

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By Harold Morgon

At one point in the rock opera “Tommy” by The Who, someone says, “I think it’s alright, yes I think it’s alright.”
Alright seems the status for the state’s financial condition, I concluded after financial officials reported to the recent annual conference of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute.
This year’s session of the Legislature was successful, said Charles Sallee, deputy director of the Legislative Finance Committee.
The session produced a balanced budget. The Constitution requires the budget be balanced, so producing a balanced budget is not news. What was successful, relative to the past few years, was the absence of phrases such as “solvency actions” and lack of talk of special sessions to whack spending in the face of declining revenue.
Both the Legislature and the Martinez administration agreed to use the $250 million in “new money” projected for budget year beginning July 1 on what Sallee called “targeted investments” in areas including education. Capital spending was authorized. Agreement came on the size and scope of tax cuts. State financial reserves were set at 9 percent of spending.
For the future, caution rules, indicated both Sallee and Secretary Tom Clifford, of the Finance and Administration Department.


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