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There is no doubt that Governor-elect Susana Martinez faces a difficult
task. Not only does she have to put together an administration to operate (and hopefully improve) New Mexico’s sprawling government, she now faces a $450 million deficit that must be dealt with in the next legislative
Making the situation even more difficult is the fact that Martinez, during the campaign, seemingly
removed 60 percent of New Mexico’s budget from belt-tightening. Of course, that was based on
“only” a $260 million deficit and, given the recent budget news, it might be possible for Martinez to
find some cost savings in K-12 without making them obvious “cuts.”
Regardless of this, we at the Rio Grande Foundation have put together a list of potential spending cuts that works from
the assumption that K-12 and Medicaid are indeed “off the table.”
We also assume that simply “cutting administration” and “reducing waste” will not get the
job done. The fact is that tough decisions need to be made. These are tough decisions that have been
put off for years by a combination of irresponsible leadership and so-called “stimulus” money which
has dumped the tough decisions onto the new governor.
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