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State government escapes major disruption

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By Harold Morgon

By hook, crook, shifting from Peter to Paul, and hundreds of millions of federal stimulus dollars, state government survived, without major operational disruption, three years of less money coming into the general fund, the states principal pot of operating money.
The period ended with the 2011 fiscal year (FY 11) that closed June 30 of this year.
Survival came through easing down spending 3 to 4 percent per year for four years, said David Abbey, Legislative Finance Committee director.
Abbey spoke Dec. 15 at the annual legislative outlook conference of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute.
The overall spending cuts ended with FY 11. For the current year (FY 12, ending June 30, 2012), the state has gotten lucky.
Abbey didn’t cite luck, however. Just as one-time options ran out, revenue has increased, he said.
“The FY 13 revenue outlook suggests steady but moderate growth consistent with a slow economic recovery,” Abbey said.
That “moderate growth” projection is considered somewhat conservative.
What may be the best news isn’t a number but rather a trend, or perhaps the beginnings of what may become a trend.


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