Conflict and happiness came to the Legislative Finance Committee meeting Nov. 20 in Santa Fe. Department budgets for the year ending June 30, 2015, were the agenda. The LFC builds a budget, as does the executive branch.
The Economic Development Department and Secretary Jon Barela brought conflict. Irrepressible Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson brought joy, requesting a $2.5 million ad budget increase, which she may get, LFC members indicated.
Barela handed out a 24-page, printed PowerPoint document. He alternately called the pages “foils” or “slides,” gaining this column’s low-level jargon obscuration award. The presentation opened with a fudge of numbers, continued the administration’s whining about federal spending here (What are we supposed to do, Jon, close the national laboratories, WIPP and White Sands?) and peaked with an error of fact when Barela incorrectly said, “Mexico is our largest trading partner.”
Last time I looked, not that long ago, Israel was our largest trading partner due mostly to Intel sending stuff to Intel facilities in Israel. Mexico is second.