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Whatever the shortfall, service cuts are looming

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By Harold Morgon

A crowd appeared for the Dec. 2 Legislative Finance Committee meeting. The topic was a new consensus General Fund Revenue Projection. All 16 LFC members were there.
Eight other legislators had a chair at the front of Room 307 in the Capitol in Santa Fe. House Speaker Ben Lujan sat in a dark corner, almost hidden. Room 307 wasn’t full, as in wall-to-wall full. The audience, scattered around the room, included lobbyists, state staff, and business types.
Key elements of recent revenue projection meetings were missing. The administration’s presentation lacked the gratuitous claims that Gov. Bill Richardson had built a grandly better economy for New Mexico. Movie subsidies went undefended.  While revenue shortage estimates from the executive and the LFC remain far apart, the differences come from reasoned assumptions one way or the other, so there was no need for the presenters or legislators to suggest anyone was smoking something in creating revenue assumptions.


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