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State of the state is hemorrhaging

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By Hal Rhodes

Last week Gov. Susana Martinez delivered her third State of the State address since taking office on Jan. 1, 2011. It was, almost certainly, a public relations success.
The governor was poised, smiling and gracious as she outlined her ambitions for the 2013 legislative session.
It helped too that she surrounded herself with a bevy of smiling and poised youngsters and veterans and notables who composed an attractive picture.
And to hear the governor tell it, “The state of our state is getting stronger.”
Whereupon almost anyone who has been paying even slight attention to the situation in this enchanted land must surely have started scratching his or her head in disbelief.
The fact is that in the months leading up to the current 60-day gathering of state lawmakers in Santa Fe, virtually all recent studies into the state of New Mexico’s economy have been disappointing, if not downright depressing.
Early in January one such study, commissioned by the Santa Fe New Mexican, found New Mexico to be “dead last” among the 50 states in job growth between Jan. 1, 2010 and this past October, 2012.
Indeed, data examined in this study indicated that New Mexico is one of only “two states still showing negative jobs growth” in the 14-month period examined.